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Archive for: February 2016

Hendrickson places third at 5A State Wrestling tournament

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — D.J. Hendrickson ended a frustrating weekend for Piedmont’s wrestling team at the Class 5A State Tournament with a dominant victory that helped the Wildcats exit on a high note, after PHS entered 10 wrestlers, but placed only two.

Blake Colston/Gazette D.J. Hendrickson smiles after winning Saturday's third place match over Ryce Haymaker of Collinsville.

Blake Colston/Gazette
D.J. Hendrickson smiles after winning Saturday’s third place match over Ryce Haymaker of Collinsville.

Hendrickson, who missed most of the season after breaking his ankle in the preseason, earned a 9-1 major decision over Ryce Haymaker of Collinsville in the third place match at 138 pounds to become one of two Wildcats to place. It was a solid end for the team and Hendrickson, who battled back after a narrow one-point defeat in the semifinals Friday.

Hendrickson, a senior, took an early 5-0 lead after a take down and three near fall points against Haymaker, then held on, admitting he never got into his best shape after the injury.

“I busted my butt everyday to get here and make my family proud,” Hendrickson said. “I have to score first to win matches because I’m not in great shape. I was able to do that today.”

Head coach Erik Ford said it took toughness for Hendrickson to finish strong despite his team struggling to gain traction at any time through the weekend. Read more →

Northwest Classen edges Piedmont on buzzer-beater

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

MIDWEST CITY — Piedmont’s defense did everything right during Northwest Classen’s final play Friday night.

With Classen forced to traverse the length of the court, Piedmont pinched the middle of the floor, forced a twice-tipped pass and a contested, off-balance shot as time expired.

Blake Colston/Gazette Trevor Bailey puts up a shot as a Classen defender leaps into his path Friday night.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Trevor Bailey puts up a shot as a Classen defender leaps into his path Friday night.

None of it was enough.

Mo Wilson’s 3-pointer banked home as the buzzer sounded to give 18th-ranked Northwest Classen a 53-51 win over Piedmont in a Class 5A regional playoff game played at Carl Albert High School Friday evening.

The loss ended Piedmont’s season at 7-17 overall and also the careers of six Wildcat seniors. Read more →

Hendrickson wins on Day 1 of state wrestling

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Piedmont wrestler D.J. Hendrickson kept alive his quest for a second straight state title on the opening day of the Class 5A wrestling tournament at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

Blake Colston/Gazette D.J. Hendrickson holds down Duncan's Tyler Hicks in his 4-0 win Friday at State Fair Arena.

Blake Colston/Gazette
D.J. Hendrickson holds down Duncan’s Tyler Hicks in his 4-0 win Friday at State Fair Arena.

Hendrickson, a 138-pound senior who won a state title as a member of Western Heights’ team last year, defeated Tyler Hicks of Duncan, 4-0, with a methodical effort. Hendrickson will wrestle for a spot in Saturday’s championship match tonight against Ryce Haymaker of Collinsville.

The news was not as good for Piedmont elsewhere. Of 10 qualifiers, only Hendrickson won his opening round match. Top-seeded Tyler Banks at 195 and Mitchell Lance at 120, were both upset.

Wyatt Lewis battled Elijah Tanner of Collinsville, but fell, 8-2. The win moved Tanner to 47-3 on the season.

Each of Piedmont’s nine wrestlers that lost matches Friday, still have the opportunity to place as individuals through the consolation bracket. That wrestling begins Friday evening and continues Saturday.

Piedmont takes on No. 8 Woodward tonight

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Blake Colston/Gazette McKenna Kirkpatrick shoots a 3-pointer earlier this season.

Blake Colston/Gazette
McKenna Kirkpatrick shoots a 3-pointer earlier this season.

It’s fitting that the Piedmont Lady Wildcats’ postseason journey begins with a long, arduous road trip. It mirrors their long, frustrating season.

Piedmont travels almost 2:30 northwest today for tonight’s game at eighth-ranked Woodward set to tip off at 8 in the opening round of the Class 5A regional playoffs having lost three of their last four games. But the Lady Wildcats (6-17) hope the postseason brings a fresh start, said junior guard McKenna Kirkpatrick.

“We’re 0-0. It’s kind of like preseason all over again,” she said. Read more →

Piedmont wrestling sends 10 to state

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Piedmont head wrestling coach Erik Ford has had a quiet confidence about his team all season.

Friday and Saturday at the regional tournament at Western Heights, his Wildcats proved that confidence correct, punching through a program-record 10 wrestlers to this week’s state tournament at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

Blake Colston/Gazette Michael Brown, right, tries to gain control in his match against Yukon's Chase Vincent.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Michael Brown, right, tries to gain control in his match against Yukon’s Chase Vincent.

“We just got on a roll,” Ford said. “In the consolation semifinals we won six in a row and six out of nine total. We wrestled well all weekend.”

Aria Mazroy (106) was fourth, Logan Chappell took second at 113, Mitchell claimed first at 120, Bard Appleton was fourth at 126, Kade Sparks third at 132, D.J. Hendrickson took first at 138, Alex Cardenas was fourth at 145 and Wyatt Lewis was fourth at 152. At 160 pounds, Michael Brown took third and at 195 Tyler Banks was a regional champion.

Dylan Meador, Justin Brooke and Will Heinselman finished fifth and will all serve as alternates in case of an injury to a qualifier.

Only Coweta (12) and Collinsville (11) qualified more wrestlers for state. Altus will also send 10 while Lawton Mac has 9. That means Piedmont could, potentially, factor in the team title race. Read more →

Piedmont hopes to put late-season skid behind it

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

By late Friday evening, Piedmont hopes its three-game losing streak to end the regular season is a distant memory.

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.

If the Wildcats can knock off 18th-ranked Northwest Classen in the opening game of the Class 5A postseason, in a game set to be played at Carl Albert Friday at 8 p.m., the losing streak almost certainly will be just that.

The Wildcats lost in their opening round postseason game last year, but Troy Lallemand believes this team is much-improved, more experienced and hungry to put a disappointing regular season behind them.

“Legitimate teams kind of take off at this point of the year,” the second-year coach said. “This is really kind of the season that counts. It’s cliché a little bit, but it’s absolutely true. Everyone is 0-0 now.” Read more →

Eck makes mark during final season at Piedmont

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

It’s been a long wait for Piedmont senior basketball player Ben Eck, but the wait has been worth the time.

Relegated to a reserve role his first two seasons at PHS where many of his practices were spent separate from the varsity, and then, as a junior, playing in only seven varsity games, Eck wasn’t sure his time would ever come.

Photo by Earl Bailey Ben Eck shoots a free throw during a game against Chickasha at the Newcastle Tournament.

Photo by Earl Bailey
Ben Eck shoots a free throw during a game against Chickasha at the Newcastle Tournament.

But it has.

Eck is Piedmont’s best 3-point shooter at better than 40 percent from there this season, and one of the Wildcats top scoring options off the bench.

For head coach Troy Lallemand, the contributions haven’t come as a total surprise. When the coach first arrived in Piedmont nearly two years ago, he saw Eck’s potential.

“I saw something there in him that I don’t even know if he saw at the time,” Lallemand said.

Eck has always had a smooth shot. What he hasn’t always had, is confidence to shoot it or in his ability to play defense.

“Coach has instilled a lot of confidence in me,” Eck said. “Every day he comes around and tells me, ‘keep shooting, keep shooting.'”

Building Eck’s confidence started long before this season.

“The first day he was here we had a camp, he came by and said, ‘you can shoot, what grade are you in?’ That gave me a lot of confidence because somebody noticed,” said Eck.  Read more →

Piedmont geared up for state swim meet

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

The Piedmont swim team will send a total of eight athletes to the Class 5A state swim meet at the Jenks Aquatic Center, where the prelims will be held Friday, with the finals set for Saturday.

Tyler St. John, Jarrod Rein, Justin Rein and John Anderson will compete for the boys team. All four with swim in the 200-meter individual medley and the 200-meter freestyle relay. Individually, Justin Rein will swim the 100 butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley. His brother, Jarrod, will also swim the 200 IM along with the 50-yard freestyle. St. John, meanwhile will swim the 50-free, and is seeded first in the 200 IM.

St. John deals with pressure of expectations

By all the metrics, junior Tyler St. John should take home a state title on Saturday.12-10 Piedmont T St John

The top seed in the 200 IM, St. John has beaten his top competition, freshman John Ryan Cook of Carl Albert, three different times this season. But St. John has to avoid a letdown in the biggest race of his career.

“I’m kind of pressured, but then again I kind of have some confidence because I’ve beaten (Cook) each time I’ve raced him,” St. John said. “I think the most important thing is to not get a big head. You need to make sure you know you could be beat.”

In order, the 200 IM consists of 50 yards of butterfly, 50 yards of back, 50 of breaststroke and, finally, the 50 freestyle. St. John swims club with Cook, so he has the advantage of knowing Cook’s strengths and weaknesses in each leg of the race. Read more →

Piedmont gets feel-good win at Noble

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

NOBLE — It’s been a long, sometimes frustrating season for Piedmont’s girls basketball team.

But Friday night in Noble, the Lady Wildcats were all smiles on their way to a, 55-42, win over the Lady Bears in a game that Piedmont led by as many as 24 in the second half.

“Finally,” said leading scorer Maddie Sperle afterwards. “We’ve had such a long, hard season. It’s been exhausting, but it was nice to go out there and get a big win.”

Piedmont (5-15) tied its season-high for points in a game with 57 Friday, which it’s done three times previously. PHS shot just under 50 percent (13 of 27) in the first half and made 4 of 11 from 3-point range. The ‘Lady Cats moved the ball as well as they have all season.

“We’ve decided just to come together finally as a team,” Sperle said.

The ‘Cats led by 9, 18-9, after a quarter, by 16 at half and by 23 after three quarters. Piedmont held Noble (8-12) to 7 of 30 shooting in the first half, including 1 of 9 from beyond the arc and found easy baskets in transition off Lady Bears turnovers.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to do all season,” Sperle said of scoring in transition.

Piedmont has one regular season game remaining at Shawnee Tuesday before traveling to fifth-ranked Woodward for the opening round of the playoffs Thursday. It hopes to carry momentum into the postseason, where the Wildcats regular season record  won’t matter. Read more →

Newspaper contends school board improperly hired softball coach

Roger Pugh
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

The Piedmont Board of Education voted Monday to hire a new girls softball coach, but the  Piedmont-Surrey Gazette maintains the board did not follow proper legal procedures in making the hire.

Gazette editor Roger Pugh attempted to object when the motion was made and seconded at the board meeting to  accept all of the retirement, resignations, employment and reemployment listed on Attachment A to the board agenda. Included on that attachment were the names of all of the people resigning, retiring, being reemployed, and newly employed, except for one, the name of the teacher/softball coach the board wanted to hire.

As Pugh was attempting to explain his concerns and to ask the board a question about the procedure, board chairman  Stanley Nance cut him off.

“We are in the middle of vote here. That’s a personnel matter and you need to take that up with the superintendent,” Nance said.

Nance then conducted the vote, and the board unanimously approved the adoption of schedule A, which included the unnamed coach.

Pugh later said he was trying to advise the board that the hire was not proper because no one was named. He also said he was concerned that the executive session that was held previous to the employment vote might be illegal and if not, certainly violated the spirit of the law because the law says, among other things, a public board is to identify, who is being discussed in executive session. Read more →

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