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Archive for: January 2016

Organ, Rader success stories for Piedmont swim

Blake Colston

Swim was never, and probably never will be, something Piedmont senior Holly Organ takes too seriously.

Photo Provided Holly Organ swims at the state meet last season in Edmond.

Photo Provided
Holly Organ swims at the state meet last season in Edmond.

She works during the week, so she doesn’t make every practice. In the summer, when top swimmers from around Oklahoma are busy on the club circuit, Organ is nowhere to be found. Organ doesn’t spend hours of her own time in the pool, either, although she lifeguards in the summers.

But make no mistake, she’s a success story. Roughly four years ago as a freshman, Organ wasn’t sure what to expect when she came out for the team. At the time, she was new to competitive swim. Now a senior — the Lady Wildcats only senior — Organ is a leader.

“I’ve had a bigger role because I’m the oldest and fastest,” she said. “Everyone just looked up to me and I went with it.”

Tuesday, in a meet at Edmond’s Mitch Park YMCA, Organ made, perhaps, the highlight of her career. She finished third overall in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1.05.18 against a field chalked full of 5 and 6A competition.

“I usually swim the 100, but I’ve never tried that hard in it,” she admitted. “It’s always just kind of come natural.”

The fast time came as an even bigger surprise to Organ, who expected her time to go up after a Christmas break layoff. Instead, she was more than two seconds quicker than ever before.

“I think it’s just because I didn’t swim my first event,” she said of skipping the 50-freestyle.

Organ hopes to qualify for state in one of her two events after swimming there as part of Piedmont’s relay team last season. After high school, she plans to attend The University Northern Colorado and eventually hopes to become a dentist.

Organ will keep swimming as a hobby, she said. And though it’s never become a serious passion of Organ’s, she said the four-year commitment has had a big impact on her.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person,” she said.

Rader enjoying first season with Piedmont swim

Cade Rader, like Organ, is never likely to plan his life around swimming. But he’s also just as likely to speak up about how much he’s enjoyed his first season with Piedmont.

Rader quit club swimming in the summer, but didn’t want to give up swim completely, so he joined Piedmont’s team.

“Swimming with a team of people my age is a lot different,” he said. “It’s really nice to swim them. The teamwork is great.”

He swims primarily the freestyle, but has added the butterfly and backstroke recently. He’s lowered his time in the 50-freestyle from around 30 seconds to 26 and is also a part of the Wildcats fast-improving B relay team.

“Greatly. My time has gotten a lot better,” he said of the difference being on the team has made. “School swim is a lot different and it’s helped me.”

As a team, Piedmont’s boys took sixth at the Putnam City Invitational. The Lady Wildcats were ninth out of 12 teams.

Green, Mitchell defensive specialists for Piedmont

Blake Colston

It takes a while to find Delaney Mitchell and Melissa Green’s names on Piedmont’s season scoring stats.

Photo by Earl Bailey Delaney Mitchell takes the court at the Bethany Tournament earlier this season.

Photo by Earl Bailey
Delaney Mitchell takes the court at the Bethany Tournament earlier this season.

But if one could make a list that measured their value as defensive presences, their names would be near the top. Because on a team with a head coach, Jordan Stark, that preaches defense first, the two undersized, but quick guards fit right in.

“They’re fighters and they know what we need to win a game on any given night,” Stark said. “Even if they’ve not been incredibly successful on the offensive end, for me, defense wins games.”

Green, a sophomore, has cracked the starting lineup for Stark this season almost entirely because of her defensive prowess. By her own admittance, Green’s shot remains a work in progress, but her defense comes to the court every night. That’s why she’s started more than half of the Lady ‘Cats games this season, though teams often sag off of her on the offensive end. Green is that valuable defensively.

“She’s one of the quickest guards we have,” Stark said.

Which means Green often gets the assignment of guarding the opponent’s best player when Piedmont plays its box-and-one defense. A task Green looks forward to each time it’s given to her and has had multiple times this season.

“I’ve always really liked defense. I like the challenge,” she said.

Green is, perhaps, Piedmont’s most intense and focused player. For proof, look for the permanent scowl she keeps while on the floor, which Green swears is unintentional. Read more →

Birthday boy leads Piedmont to victory

Blake Colston

Adokiye Iyaye has worn Lawton MacArthur smooth out since his high school career began as a freshman last season.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont's Trevor Bailey, right, tries to defend MacArthur's Donovan Foster.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Trevor Bailey, right, tries to defend MacArthur’s Donovan Foster.

So it was no surprise that Iyaye, who’s averaged 29 points per game against the Highlanders in his career, put in 25 on his 16th-birthday Tuesday night to lead Piedmont to a 63-56 victory.

Piedmont (5-12) shot 14 of 20 from the field – many of the makes from inside the paint – in the second half with Iyaye putting in 16 after intermission, all in the paint to help a 7-point halftime lead stand up.

“Offensively whether they’re in zone or man, we want to go inside-out. That’s the whole principle behind everything we do,” Lallemand said

Poor play from MacArthur (6-10) helped, too. In one stretch at the end of the third quarter on Tuesday, the Highlanders missed five consecutive layups. In a 7-point game, that was too much to overcome. The Highlanders never found the range from beyond the arc, either, going 3 of 15 for the game, which made the missed layups even more costly.

“We kind of banked on that,” Lallemand said of MacArthur’s cold shooting from 3-point range. “They might’ve gotten baskets from inside, but from outside they didn’t kill us. You have to play percentages and tonight we won out.”

After trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, Hugh Coleman, who scored 24 points, brought the Highlanders within five, 61-56, with 23.9 to play. But after a foul and two missed free shots from Addaryl Quinn, Quinn hustled down his own rebound and made the next two foul shots to ice the game. Quinn finished with 14. Read more →

Ada too much for Piedmont in ‘Sweet Pea’ semis

Blake Colston

NEWCASTLE — A day after taking down 4A No. 6 Chickasha in double overtime at the Newcastle Invitational, it seemed likely Piedmont would, at the very least, compete with 4A No. 5 Ada.

Blake Colston/Gazette Addaryl Quinn of Piedmont carries the ball into the open floor Friday night.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Addaryl Quinn of Piedmont carries the ball into the open floor Friday night.

But the Cougars (13-1) were quicker to every loose ball, made more shots and waltzed to a 66-42 win and the RV General Store Newcastle Invitational finals behind 22 points each from Ben Pruitt and Montie Carpitcher.

“We’re still Dr. Jeykl and Mr. Hyde a little bit,” head coach Troy Lallemand said. “It was two things: competing and toughness. We had that yesterday…it’s hard for high school kids to have that night in and night out, but unfortunately that’s what we have to have to be successful.”

Lallemand said fatigue was not a factor after his team played 40 minutes a day earlier to win against Chickasha.

“I thought they took it to us because we bailed out of some charges,” he said. “We were right where we needed to be defensively and we just got out of the way.”

The Cougars led by 10 after a quarter and by nine at half. Their lead was 16 by the end of the third quarter. Piedmont briefly cut the deficit to 11 with 4:07 to play, but Ada stretched the lead back to 15 by the 3:42 mark.

The Wildcats offense never found a rhythm against a primarily 2-3 zone for the Cougars. Piedmont’s normally reliable 3-point shooting was nowhere to be found Friday. The ‘Cats made only two shots from beyond the arc. Read more →

Guthrie sweeps Piedmont

Blake Colston

GUTHRIE — Sophomore Adokiye Iyaye was, as he usually is, a scoring machine Friday night.


Blake Colston/Gazette Adokiye Iyaye heads for the basket Friday night in Guthrie.

Iyaye scored a season-high 31 points, but it wasn’t enough for Piedmont to earn a road victory over No. 11 Guthrie. The Blue Jays topped the Wildcats, 58-55.

Iyaye helped Piedmont forge a 21-all halftime tie with the Jays, but Guthrie switched from zone defense to full court man-to-man to open the second half. The result was unforced and forced errors from Piedmont (3-9) and a 10-point lead by the end of the third quarter for Guthrie.

“We looked like the pressure surprised us,” head coach Troy Lallemand said. “It was disheartening.”

Despite the sloppy third quarter, the Wildcats came as close as three points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get over the hump. Iyaye scored his final points of the game on a layup with 1.8 seconds to play to provide the final margin.

“They’re 10th in the state and they’ve had some good wins,” Lallemand said. “We’re right there we’ve just got to find a way to win games. Still love our effort, we’ve just got to keep working.”

PHS pressured Guthrie full court in the fourth quarter. At times, the pressure forced quick misses from the Jays. Other times, Guthrie found uncontested layups behind the pressure.

“Any time you get behind like that and start pressing you’re going to give up layups, so I’m not surprised at that,” Lallemand said. “We’ve just got to do a better job of coming out and trying to take control of the game.”

Piedmont was 11 of 20 from the free throw line.

“If we take care of the ball and make free throws it’s a different game,” the coach said.

Guthrie 60, Piedmont 43

For three quarters Friday night, Piedmont played the sixth-ranked team in the state within three points.

The only problem? Guthrie owned the first quarter, building a 22-8 margin it played with the rest of the game while coasting to victory. Micayla Haynes scored 16, so did Branzi Jordan while Nakiya Stevenson put in 12.

Maddie Sperle totaled a double-double, with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Piedmont, which came within nine points of Guthrie on a McKenna Kirkpatrick 3-pointer late in the third quarter.

Kirkpatrick scored 12 points and briefly leaft the game with what, at the moment, appeared to be a serious injury to her right knee. She returned to score nine points after the injury, though.

The Lady Wildcats defense was blitzed in the first quarter as Guthrie waltzed to the basket to finish uncontested layups, or on the off chance a Piedmont defender was in the way, to dish off to a teammate for a score.

Piedmont is now 3-9 overall.



Piedmont hopes to grow from tournament title loss

Blake Colston

Piedmont played in its first tournament championship game under second-year head coach Troy Lallemand last Saturday in the Bethany Classic against Casady.


Brant Ranney

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the game didn’t go as the Wildcats would’ve liked.

Lallemand cautioned all week that top-seeded Casady was solid, despite getting little notoriety in the city area because of its private school standing. The Cyclones proved the coach correct, beating Piedmont by 13, 67-54, in the finals.

The loss in itself didn’t frustrate Lallemand, the way it happened, however, did. Piedmont trailed by as many as 20 and made uncharacteristic mistakes on both ends of the floor to fall to 3-7 on the season.

“If we had lost the game and played to the best of our abilities, I wouldn’t have been disappointed,” he said. “I’m disappointed because we had some really bad mental lapses that shouldn’t happen. That said, they are extremely good.”

Casady point guard Omar Boone was dynamic for the Cyclones, drawing high praise from Lallemand.

“He doesn’t get a lot of hype because he’s at Casady, but he’s one of the best point guards I’ve seen in the state the last two or three years,” Lallemand said. “He’s so hard to keep out of the paint.” Read more →

Sparks’ heroics lead Piedmont wrestlers past Deer Creek

Blake Colston

Piedmont senior Kade Sparks’ motivation was simple. His team needed him.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont's Aria Mazroy, left, gets the best of Deer Creek's 106-pounder, Pazton Gary.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Aria Mazroy, left, gets the best of Deer Creek’s 106-pounder, Pazton Gary.

So with No. 7 Piedmont clinging to a 30-21 lead against No.5 Deer Creek with three matches to go, Sparks went to work.

After tying the match at two to force extra time, his escape in triple overtime vs. Deer Creek’s returning 132-pound state placer Dayton West helped cinch Piedmont’s thrilling 39-24 win over the rival Antlers.

“I sucked it up and told myself I needed to win this match for the team,” Sparks said of what drove him to win the grueling 8-minute match with West. “I decided when I went down that last period that I was going to give it my all and wasn’t going to lose.”

When Sparks broke free, the crown inside Piedmont’s high school gymnasium erupted. The momentum carried Fisher Johnson to a surprising pin at 138 pounds that gave the Wildcats the win with one match remaining.

“Kade wrestled really well and showed a lot of heart,” head coach Erik Ford said. “After that the crowd got loud and Fisher steps out there and seals it up. We really rode the momentum.” Read more →

Public Meeting for Piedmont Park Project’s LWCF Grant Application

Roger Pugh, Publisher
Piedmont-Surrey Gazette/Okarche Chieftain
The City of Piedmont, in conjunction with the Piedmont Park Project, are applying for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant from the National Park Service and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. This grant provides funds for cities to provide outdoor recreation facilities that will be preserved into perpetuity. In 2015, the program distributed $600,000 to parks and trails throughout Oklahoma. The Piedmont Park Project is working with grant writers from Social Advocate Associates to complete the full application for $200,000 toward the splash pad and playground.
The Parks and Recreation Board will hold a public hearing to gather input from any interested and affected people. The meeting will be at City Hall on Monday, January 11, 2016 at 6:30pm. This is an opportunity for residents to help plan the park project and express their own recreation needs. Input from attendees will be considered as the park project finishes planning for the splash pad and playground portions of the new park. An update of the park project and an overview of the grant application process will also be given at the meeting.
Attendance information and meeting minutes along with a summary of public comments will be submitted as part of Piedmont’s application for funding.
For more information about the Piedmont Park Project, go to www.piedmontparkproject.com or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Pfaff sinks clutch free throws to push Okarche past Hennessey

Blake Colston

KINGFISHER — Kyle Pfaff knew the toughest free throw was the first one. After that, it’d be easier he told himself.

Blake Colston/Gazette Kyle Pfaff tries to finish around Hennessey's Dalton Vinson Saturday night.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Kyle Pfaff tries to finish around Hennessey’s Dalton Vinson Saturday night.

That in mind, Pfaff made the first, and the second, and the third after he was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer with 16.6 seconds to play with and Okarche trailing Hennessey by two in the Three Rivers Conference Championship game.

His free throws proved to be the game-winning points as Okarche came from behind to beat the Eagles, 49-47, after Carlos Rojo’s 3-pointer missed as time expired. The Warriors rallied from five points down with only 0:57 to play in regulation.

“I’ll admit that I was very nervous,” Pfaff said of heading to the line with the game in his hands. “But I’ve been working on them and I knew I could do it. I had to do it for my team.”

Pfaff made the all-important first and second free throws to tie, then had to hit the third out of a timeout.

“I was most nervous about the first one, because if I had missed that one the pressure was definitely on,” he said, adding that no one in the huddle said anything about the free throw he was about to shoot. “I knew I could make the third one. All the pressure was off.” Read more →

Iyaye leads Piedmont into Bethany Classic Finals

Blake Colston

BETHANY — Adokiye Iyaye just needed new shorts.

Blake Colston/Gazette Addaryl Quinn drives the ball up the court against Lattaryus Smith of Star Spencer.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Addaryl Quinn drives the ball up the court against Lattaryus Smith of Star Spencer.

Iyaye scored a game-high 27 points — 21 of which came after half with a new pair of shorts — to lead Piedmont to a 66-56 win over Class 4A No. 14 Star Spencer.

Thw win punched the Wildcats’ ticket to the Bethany Classic finals Saturday night at 8:30 against Northeast Academy or Casady.

Iyaye swapped shorts with a teammate in the second quarter after a cut on his hand left blood on his original shorts. After the switch, Iyaye’s play went to another level.

“That was a team that we’re better than and sometimes when we’re not playing well I have to step in,” Iyaye said. “I didn’t start good, so I had to pick it up. I guess the shorts were the difference.”

Must have been. Piedmont led 43-39 into the fourth quarter when Iyaye, a sophomore, went to work. He scored 13 points — eight in a row to open the quarter — to help the Wildcats pull away for the 10-point win, punctuating the victory with a powerful two-hand dunk with just less than two minutes remaining. Read more →

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