There is always a risk of team losing its step coming out of the winter break, but after Deer Creek took a brief lead in the second quarter, the Piedmont Lady Wildcats returned to form with a 46-35 win to remain undefeated.
Kylie Boggess led the way in the first half for Piedmont, scoring eight of her 14 in the first two frames. Deer Creek’s defense kept Piedmont out of the paint most of the game, but Boggess found success shooting from the outside and helped her team cling to a one point lead at halftime.
In the second half it was Davie Owen who set the tone as she hit a three early in the third quarter. Fouls on Deer Creek’s posts opened up driving lanes, and before the Lady Wildcats blinked they were ahead by eight going into the final quarter.
Senior Miesha Stevenson battled fouls all night and fouled out early in the fourth, but Owen would again spark Piedmont with a three. That three not only got the crowd on their feet, but also started a run that saw the Lady Wildcats’ lead stretch to as many as 14.
“This was a good win,” Coach George Wagner said. “To come out of the break and play a good, well coached team and control the game is big for us.”
Deer Creek came into the contest ranked No. 9 in Class 5A.
“It’s always big to beat your rival,” Sophomore Sarah Parker said. Parker scored six points on the night. “We get a kind of swagger if we win (a big game like this). We think that this gives us a good chance to go far in this week’s tournament. We’re getting the chance to play some really good teams.”
Wagner, while happy with his team’s start, is wary for the girls to be too focused on their 7-0 record.
“We have to focus on March and make sure we’re playing our best basketball then,” he explained.
Wagner also credited his bench’s play for the night’s success.
“We can go eight or nine deep and all our girls are very good,” Wagner said. “As a team, our defense tonight was outstanding. Our half-court man-to-man defense gave them a lot of trouble.”
Tuesday night’s win is Piedmont’s second in a row against the Lady Antlers.