Ardmore Tigers Basketball – Presented by Excel Therapy

Excel basketball

By Michael Kinney

Mark Wilson wasn’t sure what to expect. The longtime boys’ basketball coach at Ardmore knew his team was going to be young, didn’t know for sure how they would respond on the court.

That question was answered early on for Wilson as the Tigers jumped put to a 1-9 record in their first 10 contests.

“Well, we’re struggling. We’re very, very young,” Wilson said. “We’ve been starting five sophomores that don’t have much experience, or any experience, back from last year. So, it’s had growing pains. We’re playing a little bit better the last couple of weeks, but it’s been a trying season.”

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The Tigers are coming off a 2018 campaign in which they went 19-7 and made it to the Area playoffs before losing to Heritage Hall and Ada.

But Wilson lost several key contributors from that squad. This season the young, inexperienced players would have to get a trial by fire.

“The thing about it is, with young kids is, you don’t really know,” Wilson said. “Because they were successful as freshmen and as MJB kids last year, but lots of them don’t realize what the step in competition is. When you play varsity, people scout you, and they know if you can’t shoot, they know if you can’t go left. And JV and freshman games, you just go play. And it’s a huge adjustment. We haven’t adjusted very well at times.”

By the time Ardmore reached the midway point of the season, Wilson was still waiting for the light switch to flip one.

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“Well, we’re waiting on that. I think the last five games or so, we’ve started to slowly, kind of … We played much better in a little bit longer spurts, and you just have to contain,” Wilson said. “So, they’re just going to have to play four quarters and we hope the ‘a-ha’ moment comes pretty quick, so we’re just waiting. But we’re getting better.”

The Tigers have had their ups and downs for the most part this season.  But Wilson sees the development coming along.

“Well, when you’re all young, it’s up and down. We had a bunch of kids that played well in spurts. Everybody’s played poorly at times, too,” Wilson said. “But we have the confidence that, down the road, there’s enough talent and there’s some kids that are going to become really good players.”