NEWCASTLE — Thursday, a slow start meant nothing for the third-ranked Piedmont girls basketball team. Friday it was a sign of things to come.
Chickasha’s Dominique Golightly put in 21 points and Jackie Ramos hit a clutch three to lead the upset-minded Lady Chicks to a 50-45 win in overtime against Piedmont in the semifinals of the Newcastle Invitational.
Golightly hit a pair of free throws with less than 30 seconds to play in overtime to ice 4A No. 17 Chickasha’s improbable win that sent them on to the tournament finals.
“(Chickasha) really dictated this ball game today,” Hill said. “We can’t win games when we’re not the dictators. We usually throw the first punch, but tonight they did.”
Piedmont, which handed Chickasha a 79-49 defeat in Chickasha Jan. 6, could never gain command on Friday. The Lady Chicks used the one-two punch of Golightly and 6-foot-2 center Taylor Sylvester to gain control in the first half and to seal the game in overtime.
Sylvester and Golightly’s size and length proved to be insurmountable for a smaller Piedmont squad, as Sylvester blocked three Piedmont shots in overtime and Golightly scored four crucial points.
“Size is an issue we have to deal with and learn how to face better,” Hill said. “It’s something we’re going to have to improve on.”
The Lady Wildcats trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, but battled back to tie the game at 32 on a Hayden Priddy free throw with 1:16 to play in regulation. Piedmont had the final possession of regulation, but Bre Reid missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer that sent the game to overtime even at 32.
Piedmont struck first in the opening minute of the extra period on a 3-pointer from Reid, but the Lady ‘Cats scored just two more points the rest of the way.
Ramos buried a 3-pointer to tie the score and Golightly gave the Lady Chicks the lead for good two possessions later.
“Give it up to Chickasha, they’re a good team” Piedmont head coach Jamie Hill said. “I don’t think we were ready to play today, mentally.”
The Sylvester-Golightly duo combined for all 17 of Chickasha’s points in the first half and gave CHS a 17-10 lead at half.
Priddy scored 11 to lead Piedmont, including eight points in the fourth quarter and overtime. No other Lady Wildcat reached double figures.
Blanchard 58, Piedmont 46
Blanchard’s Coy Hacker put in 22 points and Aaron Brooks added 14 to push Blanchard past Piedmont 58-46 in the consolation bracket of the Newcastle Invitational Friday.
Hacker and Brooks sparked a 21-13 third quarter-run that took Blanchard from down one at half to up seven heading to the fourth quarter.
“One of our kids said after the game, ‘coach, we don’t know how to win yet,” Piedmont head coach Troy Lallemand said. “That’s probably a fair statement.“
A Brooks 3-pointer gave Blanchard its widest margin of 11, 50-39, with 4:46 to play, but Piedmont answered with a pair of 3-pointers from Brant Ranney to pull within five. The Wildcats got within four, but could never claw closer.
“We haven’t found confidence yet when we’re down late in tough situations,” Lallemand said. “It’s part of learning. You just have to fight and keep plugging away.”
Other than a late flurry of 3-pointers, the Wildcats never found a rhythm against the Lions’ 2-3 zone defense.
“It’s amazing because we have good shooters,” Lallemand said of his team’s struggles against the zone. “We don’t see zone as often and I don’t think we’ve quite found our comfort zone against zone yet.”
Adokiye Iyaye scored 13 to lead Piedmont. Ranney had 10. Piedmont plays Saturday at 11:30.