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Archive for: October 2015

Piedmont hosts Southeast tonight at 7

L White

Landon White runs for a touchdown in last year’s game against Southeast.

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen is confident his team has improved each week of the season.

He’s also sure his team remains confident despite an 0-6 start to the year. That doesn’t mean Piedmont wouldn’t desperately like to win tonight’s game against Southeast (1-5, 0-3) set for a 7 p.m. kick at Wildcat Field.

“That would be a big deal,” Gossen said. “It’s hard to replace that feeling of going out and earning a win.”

It’s a feeling Piedmont hasn’t felt yet this season after four games against Top 10 opponents in six games to start the year. The Wildcats faced a similar gauntlet last season when they started 0-6, but rebounded with a win over Southeast that helped spur Piedmont on to a strong finish that brought them within a win of the postseason.

Like last season, Piedmont is still in position to challenge for a playoff spot if it finishes the season well. The Wildcats hopes of reaching the playoffs got a shot in the arm last week when Western Heights pulled an upset of Deer Creek in Edmond.  It’s a warning not to take anyone opponent lightly, but also a reminder that the ‘Cats still have a chance to make a move in the standings.

“Right now our district is in a bit of a frenzy,” Gossen said. “We feel like if we can get four district wins we’re right there in the hunt.”

It’s not unlike last year when Piedmont needed only to win at Bishop McGuinness in its last regular season game of the year to secure the final playoff spot in 5A-II.

“This year, the way things are shaking out, it might not be as neat and clean at the end,” Gossen said. “There might be some scores and all that stuff that come into play, but if we get four district wins we’ve got a shot.” Read more →

Seniors lead Piedmont into state tournament

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Kassidy Scott easily lays claim to being amongst the best softball players in Piedmont softball history.

She’s helped lead the Wildcats to three state tournaments in four seasons with dominating pitching performances in the circle and unstoppable games at the plate. 10-1 Piedmont Scott

With Piedmont now just three wins from a state title – its first ever – Scott said she’s spent little time reminiscing about her impressive career, though. Instead, she’s focused on winning her dad, Rick Scott, his first state title as a coach.

Coach Scott’s strong personality makes friends and enemies, and this season has been no exception. It’s draining for the Scotts – Kassidy and Rick — as well as for their family. Which would make a state championship that much sweeter for them personally, especially in what could be Scott’s last season as head coach.

“My dad is the most deserving man out there,” she said. “I think it would be an awesome experience to have his last go-around, maybe, we don’t know if he’s going to come back or not, to go out with a bang.”

If that’s to happen, Kassidy Scott will be a driving force behind it. A four-year starter for Piedmont, she’s willed the Lady Wildcats to more victories than anyone can count, including her dad.

“As far as being a dominant player, she’s a game-changer,” Rick Scott said while agreeing she was the best player he’s ever coached. “What she brings to the table is you can’t ever count her out. She brings the fire to the game that we need.”

Scott’s play has already earned her a spot in college – she’s committed to Texas Tech – and has brought her one step closer of reaching her ultimate goal of playing in the 2020 Olympics.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” she said. “I don’t take credit for it because I’m so incredibly blessed.”

Ray a driving force for Piedmont
Cassadie Ray hopes the biggest hit of her career thus far becomes the second biggest of her career soon.

As Ray and Piedmont enter today’s game against Carl Albert in the Class 5A state tournament quarterfinals, the Lady ‘Cats catcher comes in as a catalyst for PHS.

She’s a big part of Piedmont’s defense behind the plate and a reliable hitter in the middle of the lineup. Never was that more true than last year in the state semifinals against Duncan, when she ended a 14-pitch at-bat with a double off the wall that put the eventual game-winning run on base. Read more →

Carl Albert beats Piedmont 32-0

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

MIDWEST CITY — Piedmont’s defense forced four turnovers — three in the second half — Friday night at Carl Albert.

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Blake Colston/Gazette Jacob Bakewell runs with the football Friday night at Carl Albert.

Piedmont’s offense capitalized on none of them, though, and the Titans rolled past Piedmont 32-0 to drop the Wildcats to 0-6 and 0-3 in district play.

Titans quarterback Braxton Dickerson rushed 16 times for 72 yards and a touchdown and threw for 177 more and another score on 12 of 20 passing. Diego Richards added 83 yards rushing with a touchdown and also caught a 35-yard score in the first quarter to give Carl Albert a 6-0 lead. The Titans also blocked a punt for a touchdown in the first half.

Their offense was slowed by the Piedmont defense for most of the night, though.

“The defense played awesome. They played their hearts out,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said. “I’m really proud  of them.”

The Wildcats held Carl Albert to 404 total yards, more than 100 of which was gained as the Titans milked the clock in the fourth quarter against a weary Piedmont defense.

Trailing 19-0 to open the second half, the Wildcats forced turnovers on Carl Albert’s first three possessions to give Piedmont a chance to climb back into the game.

Bryson Ensminger intercepted Dickerson’s first pass of the second half and returned the ball to the Carl Albert 32. Ensminger did more work two plays later, taking a 27-yard catch and run to the Titans 1-yardline. But Piedmont was pushed back to the five and on fourth down quarterback Noah Ellis was intercepted.

Ellis finished the game 13 of 28 for 91 yards and three interceptions. Piedmont gained 73 total yards in the game.

Cody Winkle and Kanton Logan each recovered fumbles on the Titans next two drives, but the Wildcat offense failed to make anything happen.

“Disappointing,” Gossen said of the missed opportunities. “We’ve got a lot of guys that need to grow up in a hurry.”

Piedmont faces Southeast next Thursday. Read more →

Piedmont clinches its 10th state tournament berth

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont softball is headed back to the state tournament for the 10th time, and for Piedmont head coach Rick Scott, it’s the sweetest of them all.

Scott’s Lady Wildcats beat Tahlequah 3-0 on Thursday to sweep through their regional and on to next week’s state tournament in Oklahoma City. They did it behind pitcher Kassidy Scott, who threw 17 scoreless innings in two days while driving in eight runs and hitting a pair of mammoth home runs.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont celebrates after winning the regional championship Thursday in Piedmont.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont celebrates after winning the regional championship Thursday in Piedmont.

“She’s just a beast,” Scott said of his daughter. “She took over against a good hitting team today and shut them down. We played fantastic defense behind her, too.”

Piedmont will face Carl Albert (31-6) in the Class 5A State Tournament next Thursday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

“With the way this year started out and where we’re at now, anything can happen,” Scott said of a tumultuous season that started with Piedmont slumping and included a two-game suspension for Scott in the middle of the year. “These girls and coaches that I have are so awesome. They found a way to win and get another regional championship.”

Kassidy Scott gave herself all the support she needed on the day in the top of the first inning. Scott lined a 3-0 pitch into the right-center field gap to score Ashlyn Ratliff to give Piedmont a 1-0 lead. The Lady ‘Cats scored single runs on fielder’s choices in the second and seventh innings.

“We left too many runners on, but we came through when we needed to,” Rick Scott said.  Read more →

Piedmont travels to Carl Albert Friday night

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

10-16 Piedmont H Chism

Hunter Chism runs with the football in last season’s loss to Carl Albert.

Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen doesn’t make much of his team’s three-game stretch of games against 5A District-II powerhouses Deer Creek, Guthrie and Carl Albert, the final of which takes place Friday night at 7 at Carl Albert.

He didn’t last year, either, when his Wildcats faced the same three-game gauntlet in the middle of the season.

“You could argue that if we play certain teams on our schedule first that maybe we’re 3-2 instead of 0-5,” he said. “But are we better for that? I don’t know that we are.”

So although Piedmont remains winless and in last place in the district heading into Friday’s game, Gossen is confident his team has gotten better each week because of the challenging schedule.

“You realize that playing great competition is going to make you better in the long run as long as our kids keep fighting,” he said. “So that’s a good thing.”

This week, 11-time state champion Carl Albert and dual-threat quarterback Braxton Dickerson present perhaps the stiffest challenge for Gossen’s team so far this season.

“They want to run the ball and dominate the line of scrimmage. That’s always been their M-O.” Gossen said. “And they’re good at it.” Read more →

Seniors play big role for Piedmont volleyball

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Ashton Howe knew coming into her senior season that her role on this year’s team might diminish.

But what at first she saw as a lesser role has become something completely different. She’s one of Piedmont’s best passers and defensive players and helps setup the Lady Wildcats’ big hitters along the front line.

Blake Colston/Gazette Ashton Howe serves a ball earlier this season.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Ashton Howe serves a ball earlier this season.

“You can’t have the offense without the defense,” head coach Lauren Bernhardt said.

Howe, like her fellow senior class members, has fit perfectly into a role that, before the season she was skeptical about. Once she saw the talent Piedmont had along the front line though, she bought in.

“I think that kind of started my transition into thinking more about defense than offense,” she said. “It’s been a work in progress this season because that’s not my normal position. But I think I’m where I want to be right now.”

For Bernhardt, Howe is exactly what she hopes all of her players will be. Tough-minded, hardworking and selfless.

“She’s fought for this team and she’s been what a team member should be,” Bernhardt said. “She supports everyone and everyone supports her.”

The common theme amongst the senior line class revolves around two things. First, that it’s a tight knit group which has been through a lot together.

“They’re like my family. I couldn’t imagine a greater group of girls to be seniors with and to be on a court with,” Howe said. Read more →

Piedmont moves within one win of state

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Tatum Honer didn’t think she’d have the chance to drive in Piedmont’s first run Wednesday against Tahlequah.

She thought instead that head coach Rick Scott would pinch hit for her and reinsert her later, or possibly have her bunt. When Honer’s spot in the lineup came up with two outs and a runner at second in the third inning, though, Scott let her hit and Honer delivered by bouncing what proved to be the game-winning RBI-single up the middle in the Lady Wildcats’ 5-0 win over Tahlequah.

Blake Colston/Gazette Kassidy Scott, above, and Piedmont are just one win away from reaching the state tournament.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Kassidy Scott, above, and Piedmont are just one win away from reaching the state tournament.

“He ended up keeping me in, so I just said, OK, I have to do my job and get a hit,” Honer said. “It was an inside pitch and I just got my hands through and drove it up the middle.”

Down to her final strike, Honer did the job by grounding a slowly hit ground ball just past the Tigers’ shortstop to score Abby Detar.

“She got it started and opened up the floodgates,” Scott said of Honer’s hit.

With pitcher Kassidy Scott cruising in the circle, an inning later another somewhat unlikely RBI source came through for Piedmont when Noodle Owen drove home a run.

“We executed better tonight than we have in a long time,” Scott said of Piedmont’s approach on offense. “The whole team — everyone on the bench, the fans — they all made a difference.”

Tahlequah mounted a two-out rally in the sixth by putting the tying runs on base, but Scott induced a groundout to shortstop to end the inning. Scott pitched a complete game shutout while allowing just three hits and striking out six. PHS added three unearned insurance runs in its half of the seventh.

Now Piedmont, which was just .500 midway through the season, is one game away from advancing to the state tournament.

“It feels amazing, I can’t even put it into words,” Honer said. “Being my senior year I can’t even describe it.”

Piedmont will play either Tulsa Memorial or Tahlequah tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the regional finals. Either team would have to beat the Wildcats twice to advance.

“It’s not going to be easy tomorrow,” Scott said. “But it’s huge to have to be beat twice. There’s no doubt in my mind if we come out and play like we did today that we’ll be regional champions.”

Piedmont pounds Tulsa Bishop Kelley

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Texas Tech commit Kassidy Scott drove in six runs, hit two home runs and threw a perfect game to lead Piedmont past Tulsa Bishop Kelley 12-0 in a regional playoff game Wednesday afternoon.

Scott did all that in just three innings to advance Piedmont within two wins of a berth in the state tournament. The Wildcats will play the winner of Tulsa Edison and Tahlequah at 6 p.m. tonight in a regional semifinal.

“I hope we can continue this tonight,” head coach Rick Scott said. “That’s what counts. We need to stay focused and keep it up.”

Piedmont scored 10 times in the third inning after Scott put Piedmont in front 2-0 with a two-run home run in the first inning. Jourdan Edwards and Cassadie Ray delivered RBI-doubles in the 10-run frame. Later, Scott added a three-run home run to end the game.

Piedmont improved to 24-13 overall. Bishop Kelley fell to 4-16 overall.

Tulsa Edison beats Piedmont in four sets, heads to state

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont volleyball’s dream season came to an end Tuesday night in Piedmont in front of a raucous home crowd.

No. 7 Tulsa Edison used athleticism and uncharacteristic mistakes from 11th-ranked Piedmont to clinch its berth to the 5A state tournament in four sets (25-20, 25-21, 19-25, 25-18).

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont’s Delaney Mitchell reaches to return a ball in the Lady Wildcat’s four-set loss to seventh-ranked Tulsa Edison Tuesday night in Piedmont.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Delaney Mitchell reaches to return a ball in the Lady Wildcat’s four-set loss to seventh-ranked Tulsa Edison Tuesday night in Piedmont.

The loss ended an otherwise successful season for Piedmont, which had its first winning season in program history, hosted its first regional and won its first postseason game.

“It wasn’t the ending we had hoped for, but when you look at the season we had, we had a lot of amazing games,” head coach Lauren Bernhardt said. “I’m just really proud of the girls.”

The Lady Wildcats never gained traction on Tuesday. Edison took the first set, and never trailed in the second. Piedmont avoided the sweep in the third thanks to stellar play from sophomore Laureli Grothe. Brooke Spears clinched the set with one of her five kills on the night.

The ‘Cats never led in the fourth and decisive set and were tied just once. Bernhardt thought nerves played a factor from start to finish.

“I think there were a few individuals that were nervous coming into the game, and I don’t know if that ever left them,” she said. “It showed with errors and what or not.

“It was a very high-energy game and we thank our fans for that, but it’s learning how to control that and turning it in into positive energy on the court.” Read more →

Guthrie hands Piedmont its fifth straight loss

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Quarterback Zane Maltz ran the ball 26 times for 86 yards and three scores Friday night to lead Guthrie to a 28-6 win at Piedmont.

Maltz, who also threw for 112 yards on 7 of 12 passing, led the Blue Jays’ methodical attack (2-2, 1-1) back from an early 6-0 deficit after Piedmont scored on an 81-yard pass from quarterback Noah Ellis to Hunter Chism.

Blake Colston/Gazette Landon White runs the ball in the first quarter of Friday night's game.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Landon White runs the ball in the first quarter of Friday night’s game.

Guthrie strung together a handful of big plays, but for the most part moved the ball in small chunks behind Maltz, racking up 14 first downs along the way.

“That’s their gameplan and in the second half they really started to implement it,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said. “They took five and six yards at a time and it was just go, go, go.”

Piedmont led 6-0 after a quarter and had a chance to extend the lead after a pair of Noah Ellis to Easton Hensley connections brought Piedmont to the Guthrie 30-yardline, but the ‘Cats were forced to settle for a 33-yard field goal attempt from Butch Hampton that Guthrie blocked.

“We wish we could’ve gotten points there, obviously,” Gossen said. “It was a good drive and we needed to finish better.”

It didn’t take Maltz and Guthrie long to charge down the field after the blocked kick. The ‘Jays went 67 yards capped by a 4-yard run from Maltz to take a 7-6 lead at the 10:49 mark of the second quarter. Maltz scored again, this time from a yard out, less than three minutes later to help Guthrie take a 14-6 lead into intermission.

The Blue Jays went 80 yards on the opening drive of the second half, with running back Kevin Blue accounting for a 40-yard gain to the Piedmont half-yardline. That set up Maltz’s third and final touchdown run of the game to give the ‘Jays a 21-6 lead with 9:36 to play in the third quarter.

Blue added a 6-yard run with 6:20 to play in the fourth to seal the win for Guthrie. Blue finished with 110 yards on 15 carries.

For Piedmont, Ellis had his best throwing night of the season. The junior completed 19 of 30 passes for 252 yards and one score while leading Piedmont to its best offensive output of the season.

“Noah was kind of in the zone. His footwork was great and he was getting the ball out on time,” Gossen said. “He did a really good job of putting the ball in the right spots over and over again. I can’t say enough about the job he did.”

Though he finished with just 11 yards on seven carries, running back Landon White provided a spark for Piedmont early. It was White’s first action since an offseason transfer to Wynnewood and back to Piedmont again left him ineligible for the first four games of the season.

“We’re excited to have him back,” Gossen said. “Things went well for him tonight.”

Piedmont (0-5, 0-2) plays at Carl Albert next Friday.

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