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Archive for: March 2016

Iyaye, Sperle named to All-Suburban Conference first team

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Maddie Sperle and Adokie Iyaye led the way for Piedmont basketball on the Suburban Conference all-league teams released earlier this month. Iyaye

Sperle, a junior, and Iyaye, a sophomore, were each named to the conference’s first team after leading their respective squads in scoring this season.

In addition to Sperle and Iyaye, freshman Lady Wildcat Maci Attalla and senior Wildcat Addaryl Quinn earned a spot on the league’s third team.

Lady Wildcats Delaney Mitchell, Karlie Owens and McKenna Kirkpatrick were named all-conference as honorable mentions. Trevor Bailey also earned honorable mention recognition.

The Wildcats finished the season 7-17 overall while the Lady Wildcats were 6-18.

Carl Albert’s Mason Harrell earned the boys Most Valuable Player award after leading the Titans to a conference and state championship. Dominique Golightly of Chickasha took home MVP honors on the girls side.

Tim Flanigan of Carl Albert was the girls Coach of the Year. Wes Pulliam of Chickasha, who led the Fightin’ Chicks to a 20-7 record and a berth in the Class 4A State Tournament, was named boys Coach of the Year.

 

2015 – 2016 Suburban Conference Selections

Most Valuable Player: Mason Harrell – So. Carl Albert

Defensive Most Valuable Player: Jalal Gondal – Sr. Noble

Newcomer of the Year: Daniel Lee – Sr. Noble

Coach of the Year: Wes Pulliam, Chickasha

1st Team All Suburban Conference

Callen Haydon – Jr                El Reno
Trey Hopkins – So                Carl Albert
Christian Wassana – Sr        El Reno
Adokiye Iyaye – So                Piedmont
Brock Henderson – Jr           Chickasha

2nd Team All Suburban Conference

Jalal Gondal – Sr                    Noble
Jackson Winrow – Sr            Shawnee
David Sumo – Jr                    Guthrie
D. Honeycutt – Sr                Guthrie
Brandon Shumway – Sr       Chickasha

3rd Team All Suburban Conference

Kevin Rassatt – Sr                Western Heights
Chris Nimsey – Jr                  Noble
Daniel Lee – Sr                      Noble
Coby Barham – Sr                 Shawnee
Addaryl Quinn – Sr               Piedmont

Suburban Conference All Defensive Team

MVP: Jalal Gondal – Sr       Noble

Jaedon Pool – So                   Carl Albert
Brock Henderson – Jr           Chickasha
T.C. Ellis – Jr                           Guthrie
Seth Maston – Sr                   Shawnee
Tony Evans – Sr                    El Reno

Honorable Mention:
Carl Albert: Quavon Pearson – Sr, Bryce Mooreland – So
Chickasha: Colton Christian – Sr, Magyver Boles – Jr
El Reno: Cale Owens – Jr, Drew Wassana – Sr
Guthrie: T.C. Ellis – Jr
Noble: Christian Robinson – Jr, Zach Coffey –Jr
Piedmont: Trevor Bailey – Sr
Shawnee: Carson Meier – So
Western Heights: Lacorian Ballard – Jr, Saylon Chavers – So

2015 – 2016 Suburban Conference Awards

Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Dominique Golightly (Sr) Chickasha

Newcomer of the Year: Tandra King (Sr) Chickasha

Defensive Player of the Year: Taylor Sylvester (Sr) Chickasha

Coach of the Year: Tim Flanigan Carl Albert

1​st​ Team All Conference:  
Micayla Haynes (Sr.) Guthrie
Shamika Smith (Sr.) Carl Albert
Taleigh Davis (Sr.) El Reno
Maddie Sperle (Jr.) Piedmont
Monica Brooks (So.) Shawnee

Piedmont soccer sweeps Putnam City West

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont’s no nonsense approach to this soccer season continued Tuesday night.

Blake Colston/Gazette Alex Pierce of Piedmont, right, battles a PC West player for the ball.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Alex Pierce of Piedmont, right, battles a PC West player for the ball.

The Wildcat boys throttled Putnam City West, 3-1, behind goals from Kanton Logan, Spencer Christensen and Dakota Cope to improve to 4-0 overall and improve their goal differential on the season to a prolific 14-2.

“I couldn’t have imagined a start like this,” head coach Zac Selph said. “We’re further ahead of where I wanted to be, and a lot of it has to do more with how the players are stepping up to the challenge than anything else.”

Namely Logan, who put home his fifth goal of the season at the 24:56 mark of the first half to give PHS a 1-0 lead.

“He’s easily, right now, in the top two forwards that we’ve had here,” Selph said of the senior. “If he keeps on this pace, he could end up being one of the best to ever come through here. It’s amazing to see what he does even though people know about him.”

Christensen scored 12:04 before half to give Piedmont a 2-0 cushion.

Selph, though, credited Piedmont’s defense for at least part of the Wildcats early season offensive performance. The Wildcats allowed a goal on a penalty kick in a season-opening win at Choctaw, then didn’t allow another goal until West found the back of the net with 3:18 to play Tuesday.

“Our defense is doing exactly what we want it to do. It’s a total defensive effort,” he said. “It’s hard to lose a game if you’re not giving up goals, so they’re doing their part.” Read more →

Lybarger adds a veteran presence for PHS

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Junior Madi Lybarger has seen plenty in her Piedmont soccer career.

Photo by Bill Nixon  Madi Lybarger connects with a ball in a game against Lawton MacArthur earlier this season.

Photo by Bill Nixon
Madi Lybarger connects with a ball in a game against Lawton MacArthur earlier this season.

Now three games into her junior season, Lybarger has started every game of her career for the Lady Wildcats and is among Piedmont’s most reliable and dependable defenders. So not much is likely to faze her. Because of that, this season, she’s added a new and more challenging role to her job description.

With a youthful backline around her, Lybarger is a leader and a player that the young Wildcat’s defenders look to for guidance, on and off the field now.

“She’s’ kind of a coach for us on the field. The other day, we had two freshmen and two sophomores stacked around her,” head coach Brad Brucker said. “But she’s able to get the things I want done and communicate it to them on the field. It really works out well when you have a player on the field that can do that for you.”

It’s been an interesting transition for Lybarger who, before this season, relied on the older players like Morgan Wilson and Taylor Baurichter around her for direction at times. Piedmont is off to a 1-2 start, but picked up its first of the season, 2-1, over Lawton MacArthur last week.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s nice to see all the improvement the girls make,” Lybarger said. “I’m glad they’re comfortable listening to me and taking my advice.”

At first, Lybarger saw the younger player’s apprehension about asking her questions on the field or during practice. But once she reassured them that she’d been in their shoes before, the communication improved. Read more →

Logan’s tenacity makes him a star

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

At any given time, Piedmont senior Kanton Logan has at least two advantages over his opposition on the soccer field.

Photo by Bill Nixon Piedmont's Kanton Logan celebrates after scoring a goal earlier this season.

Photo by Bill Nixon
Piedmont’s Kanton Logan celebrates after scoring a goal earlier this season.

First, the 5-foot-4 senior’s diminutive stature can lull opponents into thinking Logan isn’t a real threat to score. And second, Logan is ultra-talented. Put them together with a relentless will, and the result is a dynamic offensive player that has a chance to become Piedmont’s all-time leading goal-scorer this year.

Currently second on the all-time list of goals scored in the program’s brief history, Logan has proven himself as a reliable and dangerous offensive player time and again. But teams still overlook him, Logan says, which fuels him. Logan plays with a chip on his shoulder and he’s proud of it.

“I think I’ve used it to my advantage. No one expects much out of a 5-foot-4 guy,” the USAO commitment said. “Over the years I’ve had a lot of people look past me just because of my size. So that makes you want to try just that much harder.”

The lack of respect has instilled a relentless determination in Logan. As a 5-foot-4 cornerback for Piedmont’s football team, teams challenged him repeatedly, only to find their results average at best. When defenders challenge him on the pitch, he’s usually up for the opportunity there, too.

“I come out and prove everyone wrong,” he said. “That’s what I’ve tried to do my whole life.” Read more →

Stark: First season set foundation for future success

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont first-year head girls basketball coach Jordan Stark saw this season as the first step in a much larger plan.

Blake Colston/Gazette Hannah Reasoner shoots a 3-pointer Tuesday night. Reasoner scored 16 points.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Hannah Reasoner shoots a 3-pointer during a game at Collett Fieldhouse last season.

So while her Lady Wildcats’ 6-18 record was far from what anyone around the program, including Stark, wanted in her first season, Stark said the season was part of a larger transformation she intends to be the leader of in Piedmont.

After Piedmont lost four of its five starters, a key reserve and its head coach off a state semifinal team, rebuilding from the ground up was the only realistic option for Stark when she arrived from Okeene last May.

“I think it takes three or sometimes four years to really see the results of a coach,” Stark said. “This year was really about the girls and I getting to know each other and understanding what’s expected of them.”

The team showed glimpses of what Stark hopes to build consistently in Piedmont. They beat 4A No. 16 Blanchard, 5A No. 18 Lawton MacArthur and took No. 9 Carl Albert to overtime. The ‘Cats season ended in a 9-point loss at Woodward, who’s headed for the state tournament.

“That just goes to show that you can beat anyone regardless of the situation,” Stark said.

From the start, Stark wanted defense to be Piedmont’s calling card. A change, she said, from a more offensive-oriented philosophy that the Wildcats had been used to under former head coach Jamie Hill.

Piedmont seemed to start to believe in the defensive system around Christmas time, but the team hasn’t fully learned everything, according to Stark.

“I think as far as it coming naturally to them and doing it without having to think, that’ll still take some time,” Stark said. “But I think the concept has been grasped.”

When Piedmont was at its best this year, the Wildcats were locked in defensively.

“When we had a great defensive game we were hard to beat, but when it wasn’t clicking for us, we were an easier target,” she said. Read more →

Piedmont native Hedrick leads Seiling into Class A title game

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Taylor Hedrick always imagined she’d play in the state tournament.

Blake Colston/Gazette Taylor Hedrick and Seiling face Pond Creek-Hunter for the Class A state title tonight at 5:30.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Taylor Hedrick and Seiling face Pond Creek-Hunter for the Class A state title tonight at 5:30.

So as the senior leads second-ranked Seiling into tonight’s girls Class A state title game against Pond Creek-Hunter at State Fair Arena, it’s no surprise to her. But for the longest time, Hedrick assumed it’d be Piedmont she’d lead towards a state title, not Seiling.

Born and raised in Piedmont, Hedrick was on the Lady Wildcats varsity team as a freshman, but didn’t see much playing time. Then, prior to her sophomore season, Hedrick’s parents, Bryan and Jasmine, both Seiling High graduates, decided to take Hedrick home.

“It all happened in a matter of a month, but it’s all worked out great,” she said. “It’s been a lot easier of transition than I thought it would be.”

It’s rarely the fortune of a Class A school to pick up a talented transfer from a 5A school, so Hedrick’s arrival was the most pleasant of surprises for Seiling head coach Brady Hamar.

“It had never happened. It kind of caught us off guard,” Hamar said. “It was one of those deals where we were at summer team camp and they came up and said this is so and so. You watch her shoot for just a minute and you say, holy moly, this is quite a move-in.” Read more →

Pond Creek-Hunter stops Okarche in Class A semifinals

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Okarche head coach Cherie Myers says that games in the state tournament often come down to who can put the ball in the basket and get a little luck.

Blake Colston/Gazette Kinsey Neiderer of Okarche, center, goes up for a shot as Pond Creek-Hunter's Bailey White tries to block her attempt.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Kinsey Neiderer of Okarche, center, goes up for a shot as Pond Creek-Hunter’s Bailey White tries to block her attempt.

Friday night in a Class A semifinal against Pond Creek-Hunter, Myers’ belief came to fruition. The Lady Panthers upended a cold-shooting Okarche team, 50-40, at State Fair Arena to advance the state finals against Seiling Saturday.

Pond Creek-Hunter (28-2) had three players in doubles figures led by Brooke Rayner’s 16 points. Tiarra Davis added 13 with six assists while Tyra Peck had 12. The Lady Panthers shot 51 percent for the game.

Top-ranked Okarche mustered just 35 percent and was only 5 of 20 from 3-point range. Hope Sellers led Okarche (27-5) with 17 points and six rebounds on 6 of 12 shooting.

“We couldn’t hit shots and we wouldn’t execute our offense. Part of that is that Pond Creek is tough,” Myers said. “They did a good job defensively of spreading out and we didn’t adapt to it well.”

After a high-scoring first quarter that Pond Creek took 18-17, the Lady Panthers offense stayed in high gear, but the Lady Warriors couldn’t keep pace. The Lady Panthers outscored Okarche 14-6 in the second to lead by nine at half. Read more →

Okarche hammers Cyril in Class A quarterfinals

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

MIDWEST CITY — Cyril needed desperately to get off to a fast start if it had any hope of upsetting top-ranked Okarche Thursday in a girls Class A state quarterfinal at Carl Albert High School.

Blake Colston/Gazette Ally Taylor dribbles around Paige Pendley of Cyril Thursday night in a Class A girls quarterfinal game at Carl Albert High School.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Ally Taylor dribbles around Paige Pendley of Cyril Thursday night in a Class A girls quarterfinal game at Carl Albert High School.

It was Okarche, though, not No. 9 Cyril, that delivered the first blow. The Lady Warriors raced out to an early 10-2 lead and never looked back while coasting to a 61-38 win behind a game-high 26 points from junior forward Kinsey Neiderer.

The Warriors (28-4) advance to play the winner of Frontier and Pond Creek-Hunter at 9 p.m. Friday in State Fair Arena.

“When you jump out and hits some shots early, that puts the pressure on the other team,” Okarche head coach Cherie Myers said.

With the early deficit, Cyril struggled to find a rhythm offensively and finished an uncharacteristic 3 of 21 from 3-point range. The Pirates climbed to as close as six late in the first quarter, but never drew closer.

“They came out and jumped on us and that probably got in our heads a little bit,” Pirates head coach Shane McLemore said. “That’s the worst we’ve ever shot the ball. We knew we had to shoot it really well and Okarche kind of had to have a bad night.”

Myers said the fast start by her team likely took Cyril out of its comfort zone from the outside, which was a key for the Lady Warriors coming into the game. Read more →

Okarche opens state tournament vs. Cyril tonight at 7

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY —  Okarche took the road less traveled to get here, but it’s no less satisfying. In fact, it might be more gratifying.

Blake Colston/Gazette Bailey Vogt shoots against Seiling in the state tournament last season.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Bailey Vogt shoots against Seiling in the state tournament last season.

The top-ranked Lady Warriors open the Class A state tournament against Cyril tonight at 7 p.m. at Carl Albert High School, after winning three straight games in the consolation bracket at Byng, capped off by a 63-38 rout of Stonewall behind 22 points from Kinsey Neiderer.

It was the first time in 15 years under head coach Cherie Myers that the Lady Warriors had gone through the consolation bracket to state, and the tough road proved especially pleasing to Okarche.

“To put three together makes a big difference,” Myers said. “I was pleased. I thought they stepped up and were focused. I thought they did a good job of staying with the scouting report.”

It was just the second time in four opportunities this season that Okarche had won three games in three days.

“We didn’t tell them that, but we kept thinking about those tournaments that we’d lost in the finals at,” Myers said.

This marks Okarche’s 13th trip to state in 15 seasons, and is the Lady Warriors fifth straight appearance overall, a program-best. OHS has played for and won two of the last four state titles, but doesn’t enter this tournament as the top seed. That honor belongs to Seiling, which knocked off Okarche earlier this season. Read more →

Piedmont baseball returns talented, experienced lineup

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont head baseball coach Kory Williams sees lots of familiar faces on the diamond this year, and that’s a good thing for Williams and the Wildcats.

Blake Colston/Gazette Trevin Michael will likely anchor Piedmont's pitching rotation in 2016.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Trevin Michael will likely anchor Piedmont’s pitching rotation in 2016.

Piedmont returns all five infield starters and a sixth in the outfield — Hunter Chism — to go along with two of its top three pitchers from last season.

“Our lineup is one of the better lineups we’ve had in a while,” Williams said. “There are a lot of guys in there that I trust.”

Chism, along with shortstop Gabe Griffth, catcher Bryce McDermott, first baseman Koy Priddy and designated hitter Noah Ellis, will makeup a batting lineup that appears formidable.

“It is definitely an advantage. The experience they bring back and the time they’ve played together — that’s important,” Williams said.

The key to Piedmont’s season will likely be its pitching staff, though, led by probable district starters Trevin Michael and Brayden Nelson. Nelson has primarily pitched in relief prior to this season, but seems poised for a larger role.

“Brayden just mixes it up so well,” Williams said of what makes Nelson effective. “His velocity has increased and he can throw any of his pitches for strikes.”

Michael had an offseason arm injury that threatened to keep him out this season, but he’s looked good in preseason scrimmages.

“Trevin throws harder and strikes more guys out than Brayden and has a good curve ball,” Williams said, noting control has been an issue at times.

Ty Anderson, Austin Mitchell and Jacob Henson are in line to be the Wildcats top arms out of the pen. Noah Ellis, Chandler Prough and Parker Greenhill could also log innings. Henson, Williams said, has been impressive during preseason scrimmages.

“This season boils down to our pitching. We’ll play good defense and score runs, if our pitchers throw strikes we’ll have a chance to be pretty good,” Williams said.

In the outfield, Williams still needs to find two players to flank Chism in center. He anticipates the trio of Trevor Larson, Garrett Proctor and Caleb Krekleu to platoon in both spots.

“Those guys all understand their roles. We’re asking them to play good defense and get on base. if they do that, then they’ve done their job,” Williams said.

The Wildcats 2016 district includes 5A’s likely No. 1 team Shawnee, as well Guthrie, Woodward, Noble and Del City. Northwest Classen and Guymon round out the eight-team district.

“I think it’s the toughest district in 5A,” Williams said.

Last season, Piedmont had its streak of making four straight regional finals appearances snapped to end a frustrating season. At the time, Williams saw the season as a disappointment. But looking back, he said he thought the Wildcats were just off from being a much better team.

“It wasn’t as bad as it seemed, but this group is motivated to improve on it,” he said. “We can definitely get (to state) if these guys play like they’re supposed to play and things falls into place.”

Piedmont opens the 2016 season baseball season Saturday at Duncan with games against Durant and Duncan.

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