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Piedmont sweeps Noble on the hardwood

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Mina Iyaye battles for a rebound Friday night against Noble.

Blake Colston

After navigating a brutal foursome of games the last week and a half, the fourth-ranked Piedmont Lady Wildcats took a breath Friday night against a struggling Noble squad.

Bre Reid put in a game-high 22 points and everyone the Wildcats dressed, played in Piedmont’s 78-30 win over the Lady Bears at Collett Fieldhouse.

“In games like that you could come out flat and not ready to play, but the girls were intense from the start,” Piedmont head coach Jamie Hill said. “Everyone came to play. You value games like this.”

The ‘Cats (7-1) wasted little time taking control, racing out to a 25-5 lead after a quarter and extending the lead to 45-11 by half. All five of Piedmont’s starters scored in the game, and reserves McKenna Kirkpatrick, Kelli Patterson and Hannah Reasoner, all of which will be counted on this season, continued to mesh with the starting five. Read more →

6A No. 4 Millers take down Piedmont 62-12

By Blake Colston

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Brody Largent pinned his opponent Tuesday night in Yukon.

YUKON –– Piedmont head wrestling coach Erik Ford can deal with early season losses to highly ranked teams. But non-competitive efforts won’t fly with Ford.

A lack of competitiveness was the source of Ford’s frustration after the Wildcats 62-12 loss at Class 6A No. 4 Yukon Tuesday night.

“I didn’t feel like we had a lot of fight to us tonight,” Ford said. “Yukon is tough and I expect them to do a lot of good things this year, but there were a lot of matches that I felt like we could’ve kept closer.”

Ford admitted a victory Tuesday night was unlikely, but was disappointed by the number of pins the Millers earned.  The Wildcats were pinned at 106, 138, 145, 152, 160 and 182 and lost by technical fall at 120.

“A couple of the matches we were just overmatched, but you’ve got to go out and do a job for your team,” Ford said. “And that means staying in good position and not falling to your back and giving up big points.” Read more →

Piedmont falls to Edmond North at Edmond Open

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Adokiye Iyaye drives past Edmond North’s Mason Turner Friday at Edmond Santa Fe.

Blake Colston

Class 6A No. 14 Edmond North started Friday’s consolation round game of the Edmond Open red hot.

Even though the Huskies didn’t keep up their torrid pace, they still made a season-high 11 three-pointers in a 78-48 win over Piedmont at Edmond Santa Fe High School. Tyson Anderson led North with 15 points and hit a pair of the Huskies’ six first-quarter treys.

“Oh my gosh, they shot it extremely well,” Piedmont head coach Troy Lallemand said. “The first half and especially the first quarter and the first part of the second quarter, that was all them, they were just hitting.”

Piedmont (0-5) opened the game in a man-to-man defense, switched to zone then back to man, but it made little difference to North. The Huskies (1-3) scored 24 points in the first quarter and 22 more in the second behind nine first-half threes.  Read more →

Top-ranked Tuttle wrestling downs No. 6 Piedmont

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Francisco Lopez tries to pin Tuttle’s Dante Farmer Thursday night in Piedmont.

Blake Colston

Ranked in the top 20 nationally by multiple wrestling publications and No. 1 in Class 4A, the Tuttle Tigers came to Piedmont with a superb reputation.

Their performance Thursday night against Class 5A No. 6 Piedmont did nothing to hurt that. The Tigers earned four pins and lost just three matches while coasting to a 52-12 dual victory over the Wildcats.

The score though, wasn’t the most important thing on Piedmont head coach Erik Ford’s mind afterwards. Ford knew his team would be hard-pressed to beat Tuttle, but thought an early season test for a talented squad would be a good thing.

“We had a lot of up and down in that dual. There were three or four matches that could’ve gone either way,” he said. “The team score doesn’t really tell the whole picture, that’s the weird thing about wrestling.”  Read more →

Piedmont falls to PC North 49-42

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Maddie Sperle drives to the basket on Thursday afternoon.

Blake Colston

EDMOND — It was a matchup of front-court size and athleticism, against back-court speed and scoring Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the Edmond Open at Edmond Memorial High School.

Class 6A No. 12 Putnam City North’s size dominated sixth-ranked Piedmont on the boards and rode Nikylla Carter’s game-high 21 points to a 49-42 victory. The Panthers badly out-rebounded the Wildcats, scoring numerous second and third-chance baskets to overcome a 24-23 halftime deficit.

“One of our keys to the game was blocking out and we didn’t do that,” Piedmont head coach Jamie Hill said. “They’re bigger than us, but that’s something we have to learn how to face and overcome.”

At times in the first half and early in the second Piedmont’s guards sliced up the Panthers’ zone pressure. Sophomore Hannah Reasoner’s bucket with 0:02 in the first half sent the ‘Cats to half with momentum and a one-point lead.  Read more →

Firefighters respond to two fire in two days

By Traci Chapman

Piedmont firefighters were busy last week as they responded to two house fires on two consecutive days.

Fire completely destroyed this house in the 7600 block of East Meadows Lane last week. Piedmont firefighters responded to a second fire the next morning on Daisy. (Photo/Bobby Williamson)

The first fire occurred early Dec. 3, when firefighters were called to the 7600 block of High Meadows Lane at 2:02 a.m., Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan said. When they arrived at the residence at 2:07 a.m., the second floor of the home was completely on fire.

Residents had escaped the burning structure, but two pets were still inside the home, the chief said. Firefighters were able to locate both pets; one survived the blaze. The intensity of the fire meant it was categorized as defensive, Logan said.

“It was the magnitude of the fire – the roof had already begun to collapse when we arrived,” he said.

It was unclear whether the home’s smoke detectors went off, the chief said.

“Luckily, according to the homeowner, he woke up and noticed a glow from outside,” Logan said. “The family said when they opened the door to exit the house, it was completely engulfed in smoke.”

Although investigators were certain the fire began on the second floor, the exact cause of the blaze was still under investigation, Logan said. What was known was its cause was not suspicious and it was classified as a total loss, with damage topping $300,000, he said.

Early the next morning, firefighters were called to the 5300 block of Daisy.

“At 5:35 a.m. on Dec. 4, we were called – a mother and four daughters were inside the home and woken by the odor of smoke,” Logan said. “They were able to get out and we were able to contain the fire to the living room and master bedroom.”

Despite firefighters’ efforts, total damage to the home was estimated at about $80,000, he said. That fire was still under investigation, and the department was awaiting a report from the Oklahoma Fire Marshal’s Office, the chief said.

While house fires are always difficult, when they occur near the holidays it is always worse, Logan said. He said he would remind residents to be vigilant, especially during cooler weather when fireplaces were in use and Christmas trees and other items were displayed.

“Check your smoke detectors and do al of the precautionary measures you can,” the chief said. “Sometimes you can everything right and it’s just something we can’t foresee or avoid.”

We have a family in need, they lost everything due to a house fire. Please pass this along and help if you can!

Efforts are being made to help the family who lost everything in the Dec. 3 fire. An account has been set up at F&M Bank under “Aber Family” for donations, and clothing and other household items are also needed. In addition to those items, one of the family’s sons lost his saddle, helmet and all his riding equipment, said Summer Riggins, Canadian County Extension Office 4-H coordinator. Donations can be dropped off at the extension office in El Reno or call 262-0155 for more information.



Anderson, Stewart move forward; set Feb. 10 election

By Traci Chapman

Canadian County voters on Feb. 10 will be asked to keep the county’s children’s justice center operational – by approving a 14 percent reallocation of the sales tax dedicated to it since 1996 to “capital needs of the county.”

Commissioners Jack Stewart, left, and David Anderson discuss a reallocation of 14 percent of the .35 of one cent dedicated to the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center. (Photo/Traci Chapman)

The election was formally approved Monday, through a two-commissioner majority vote. Commissioners David Anderson and Jack Stewart approved a resolution and call for election, while District 1 Commissioner Phil Carson voted against it. Although Carson did not approve the issue, as chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, he was compelled to sign the documents because the measure passed by majority vote.

Commissioners serve as board chairman on a rotating basis.

The election came a little more than a month after an Oct. 31 Attorney General’s Opinion – sought by commissioners – stated the .35 of one cent sales tax used to build and operate the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center since it was approved by voters in 1996 was limited in how it could be used. In the opinion, Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Assistant AG Richard Olderbak cited wording in the original 1996 ballot, as well as their inability to determine voters’ intentions, when the matter was decided 18 years ago.

Commissioners echoed that question during a round of public meetings held in the wake of their receipt of the AG’s opinion. Although some residents have in those public meetings told commissioners they always intended to use the sales tax to fund both construction and operations at the center, Anderson said it was his responsibility as a commissioner to consider “all of the needs of the county, not just the juvenile center.”

Anderson and Stewart voted to set the election after meeting more than seven hours last week on the issue. After first discussing the matter during their regular Dec. 1 meeting, they recessed and reconvened twice – on Dec. 2 and Dec. 4 – to come to a resolution. The sessions were necessary as the clock was ticking on a deadline of Dec. 10 to file ballot language with the Canadian County Election Board. The pair settled Feb. 4 on the language formally drafted by Assistant District Attorney Paul Hesse and approved Monday to be considered by voters in February.

Carson suggested drafting a ballot that would give voters the choice to either simply amend language concerning the use of sales tax to include operations or divert some of the tax for capital improvements. Hesse discouraged that move, saying it would cause voters confusion. The commissioner also proposed that a portion of both sales tax currently held in reserves – anticipated by commissioners to reach about $7.2 million by the time residents vote on the matter in February – and future tax collections be split. Carson suggested 50 percent of the roughly $7.2 million be diverted to capital improvements, with another 50 percent of “unexpended funds that exist at the end of each fiscal year” also allocated to those improvements.

Anderson countered with a proposal which would also split the existing funds 50/50 between capital improvement fund and the children’s justice center, but that 80 percent of all unexpended sales tax, not to exceed 20 percent of the total collected in any one year, should be allocated to capital improvements, with 20 percent dedicated to the children’s justice center.

When Carson refused to vote in favor of the proposal, Anderson reverted to the 86/14 percent split, which he first proposed Dec. 1.

What that translates to for the children’s justice center is a decrease in funds immediately available for reserves, emergencies and carryover. For example, if the county collected $6 million in sales tax during the fiscal year and only utilized $4 million of that tax for its operations, $2 million would be split – with $280,000 of it going to county capital improvements and $1.72 million available to the children’s justice center for reserves, carryover and the like.

Of $7.2 million anticipated to be held in sales tax accounts by mid-February, $1.008 million would go to commissioners’ for capital improvement use, and $6.192 million would remain in children’s justice center coffers, if Anderson’s proposal is approved by voters.

Carson was not alone in his opposition to the resolution approved by Anderson and Stewart. Children’s justice center co-director Bill Alexander said he felt including the component of splitting the tax on a ballot necessary to keep the center open was unfair to voters, particularly in light of a 2011 election where voters rejected diversion of part of that tax to fund a county jail.

“I think there’s a real problem, it’s not fair to voters – you’re coercing the voters,” Alexander said. “You’re diverting taxes on something they voted ‘no’ on three years ago, and they have to vote for it to keep the center open.

“People want to save the children’s justice center but they don’t want diversion,” he said.

“I’m going to do what’s right for this county, and I’m going to work to convince the public that this is the right thing for the county,” Anderson said.

Moser to remain on school board

Piedmont Public School Board member Jerrod Moser will remain the Office 5 representative through the next term.

Moser was the lone candidate for the position during the Dec. 1 – Dec. 3 filing period, Canadian County Election Board Secretary Wanda Armold said. The election, had someone challenged the incumbent, would have been held Feb. 10.

“We have done a lot of great work in the past five years, but there is a lot of work ahead of us as the district is continuing to see such tremendous growth,” Moser stated via email last month. “It’s an honor to serve such a great school district with great parent support and great kids.”

Piedmont Board of Education meetings are held the second Monday of every month beginning at 6 p.m. in the Piedmont Administration Annex, located at 723 Piedmont Road.

Lopez becomes star in short order

Blake Colston

Two-time state tournament qualifier Francisco Lopez never cared much for wrestling growing up.

A baseball player by trade, when his twin brother, Michael, who was state qualifier at 126 pounds last season, went out for Piedmont’s wrestling team in seventh grade, Francisco made fun of him.

“The singlet – I did not want to wear that,” Lopez stated as one of the main reasons he stayed away from wrestling.

That phobia slowly left Lopez, though, and in the summer of his seventh grade year he wrestled freestyle with Piedmont’s team. Then his eighth grade season he joined Piedmont’s team full time.

Almost immediately, Lopez’s natural ability on the mat showed. Read more →

Cope represents Oklahoma at Junior Olympics

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. ­–– Piedmont’s Blake Cope will represent the state of Oklahoma’s cross country hopes in South Carolina this week.

Cope, an eighth grader from Piedmont will run in the United States Track and Field Junior Olympics on Saturday at the Whispering Pines course in Myrtle Beach, one mile from the Atlantic Ocean.

Cope, who will run in the 13-14 age division with 375 of the top runners from across the country, is the only Oklahoman in his division.

“He puts so much hard work into it, this is a great ending to the season for him,” Cope’s mother, Jamie said.

Cope qualified for the race via his third place finish at the Oklahoma Junior High All-Stars race at Edmond Santa Fe High School in November, and initially wasn’t sure if he’d make the 19-hour road trip to South Carolina.

“I was excited, but I really wasn’t sure how to react,” Cope said.

Now that Cope has decided to run in the 4K race that will measure just less than three miles, he’s already set some goals for himself.

“I’m hoping to finish in the top 25 and hit around a 13:30,” he said. “I want to be up there with the leaders.”

When he returns to PHS, Cope is expected to be a major contributor for Piedmont’s varsity cross country team next season.
“I think I can help them out quite a bit,” he said.

He’ll form a solid top four with All-Stater John Anderson, Connor McIntosh and Ethan Taylor.

“We all have a pretty good relationship,” he said of the foursome. “We all enjoy running with each other.”

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