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Ardmore boys basketball falls to Eisenhower on last-second shot

Beau Bearden

ARDMORE — No squad wants to be on the losing end of a close battle, especially when the game-winning shot happens with less than five seconds remaining.

The Ardmore High School boys basketball team experienced that misfortune Tuesday as a last-second basket was the difference-maker in a 70-69 setback to Lawton Eisenhower.

“We felt like we never could get away from them,” said Ardmore head coach Kyle Jessie. “We’d get a six-point lead and that’s about the highest we would get. They’d battle back, to their credit. They did what they were supposed to. It was an exciting game. Those are the kind of games you want to be part of. You just want to be on the right side of it, but basketball is a make or miss game.”

The Tigers looked to be in good shape late in the fourth quarter as they led 69-66 with 19 seconds remaining. However, things didn’t go their way at the 11-second mark as a turnover on the inbound pass gave the ball back to Eisenhower.

That’s when the Eagles capitalized as Jamel Graves drove to the basket and sank the game-winning shot to finish with 28 points on the night.

“It’s one of those games where you don’t look at the scoreboard and you’re thrilled with what your team did,” Jessie said. “And getting some guys in the game who got some more minutes than they’re used to. We just have to try to make adjustments and learn from it. We’re pretty young. We have three seniors and a lot of underclassmen who are getting a lot of minutes for us. We’ll learn from it and get better because of it.”

Ardmore doesn’t have much time to dwell on the loss though, returning to the floor on Thursday, Jan. 7 against Eisenhower at the East Central Classic.

But the Tigers aren’t complaining about getting to play after a recent quarantine.

“This is only our fourth game and the first in a month,” Jessie said. “I was thrilled with the intensity that we brought. I thought the kids played hard for not playing for a month. It’s something to build on. If we can continue with that kind of intensity and get after them, we’ll be pretty good. As long as we can consistently play.”

And even in the loss, the Tigers still have a number of positives it can build on, highlighted by D.D. Coleman's team-high 23 points. Dakaree Scott added 14 and Dion Brown chipped in 10.

“Dakaree Scott is our sparkplug off the bench,” Jessie said. “He could easily start for us and he plays starter minutes when he’s in the game. He barely comes off the floor. With our full-court man, to bring someone in like that who can just go for days. It’s really tough for teams to adjust to. He was definitely a bright spot.”