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Archive for: November 2016

Piedmont edges El Reno on Attalla’s buzzer-beater

Blake Colston

El Reno owned the offensive glass in its season-opening matchup with Piedmont, but when the Lady Wildcats needed a rebound most, they got one.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont celebrates after Maci Attalla's game-winner Tuesday. Attalla, second from right, scored six points.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont celebrates after Maci Attalla’s game-winner Tuesday. Attalla, second from right, scored six points.

Maci Attalla gathered in a rebound off a Maddie Sperle miss with 1.2 seconds left and put a shot in off the glass as the horn sounded to give Piedmont a 51-49 victory over the Indians Tuesday night at Collett Fieldhouse.

The 13th-ranked Lady Wildcats (1-0) led for the entire first half, but El Reno grabbed a 43-42 lead on a 3-pointer from Rachelle Roman Nose with 6:42 to play in the third quarter. From there, the game see-sawed back-and-forth until the final minute when Maddie Sperle evened the game at 49 with a layup with 0:18 left in regulation.

No. 11 El Reno (0-1) seemed poised to take the final shot, but threw the ball away, opening the door for Attalla’s heroics.

Attalla finished with six points, nine rebounds, and the most important basket of the game. Millwood transfer Kish Chandler led Piedmont with 16 points. McKenna Kirkpatrick added nine points, all on 3-pointers, to go with seven rebounds. Hannah Reasoner also scored nine.  Read more →

Local mom claims Piedmont schools violating federal law

James White image

James White

Melanie Berry image

Melanie Berry

By Tim Farley
News Editor
Melanie Berry wants Piedmont school officials to do their job and help her teenage son with problems stemming from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

After years of dealing with the district’s Special Services Director Lynda White and Superintendent James White, Berry was fed up with the lack of action regarding her son and daughter, both of whom require special services for their educational disabilities.

In June, Berry filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging Piedmont school administrators discriminated against her eighth-grade son because of his disability. Berry claims her son’s ADHD “substantially limits his ability to concentrate, think and communicate.”

Superintendent White said the district has not received official notification of a civil rights complaint.

Berry’s son is intelligent and has a high IQ. He’s enrolled in Advanced Placement classes and scores high on tests. He’s also been on the Academic Team since fourth grade.

“His working memory is at the top of the charts, but his processing speed is at the bottom of the charts,” Berry said. “His brain is working so fast he can retain it all, but then he tries to write it out and the brakes go on.” Read more →

Report cards show progress

Piedmont School's report card

By Tim Farley
News Editor
Piedmont Superintendent James White doesn’t put much faith in state-issued report cards for individual schools.

It’s not because the high school dropped from an A to a B or that Piedmont Elementary went from an A to a B+. In fact, there were mixed results this year with Stone Ridge Elementary elevating its grade slightly while others like Piedmont Intermediate remained steady.

“We’re about in line with what it’s been in past years,” White said. “It’s really hard to put much stock in them because of how they’re adjusted from year to year. They’re nice grades to get but it’s not necessarily any goals we’ve set.”

Instead, Piedmont school officials would rather focus on graduation rates, attendance figures and ACT scores.

“We can monitor each of those every year and see if we improved or not,” White said.

School officials also like to brag about national honors such as the Blue Ribbon Award received recently by Northwood Elementary as one of the top schools in the country. White, school principal Lisa Campbell and four teachers traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this month to accept the award. Read more →

Ardmore’s big plays push it past Piedmont in first round of playoffs

Blake Colston

ARDMORE – Fourth-ranked Ardmore threw two passes Friday night. One was intercepted and another was incomplete.

Photo by Holly Cowden Jacob Storts recovers an Ardmore fumble in the second half Friday night.

Photo by Holly Cowden
Jacob Storts recovers an Ardmore fumble in the second half Friday night.

It was what the Tigers did the rest of the time that made the difference. Ardmore’s option attack totaled 397 yards on 44 carries and Jordan Roberts, the star of night, scored three touchdowns in a 35-0 first-round playoff win over Piedmont at Noble Stadium.

Ardmore (9-2, 6-1) advances to play at top-seeded Tulsa Bishop Kelley Friday while Piedmont’s season comes to an end at 6-5 overall.

“They’re very methodical and disciplined and they execute extremely well,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said of the Tigers’ keys to victory. “We knew trying to defend this offense was going to be a challenge and it was.”

Roberts, who flashed brilliant speed on each of his big plays, gathered in an option pitch and sprinted 52 yards untouched for Ardmore’s first touchdown of the game. He added a 21-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 34-yard interception return for a score to put the game on ice in the fourth quarter.

It’s what Ardmore head coach Josh Newby has gotten accustomed to from the 6-foot-1, 171-pound senior. Roberts credited his coaches for putting him in the right spots to make the big plays Friday night.

“Coach had great play-calling and put me in best position to get into the end zone,” Roberts said. “I just made the right cuts and made the right moves that I needed to.”

It wasn’t just Roberts, though. Chantz Scurry capped off a 29-yard scoring drive from Ardmore with a 2-yard plunge up the middle to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead with 0:21 left in the third quarter. Scurry carried 18 times for 160 yards and two scores to compliment Roberts’ six carries for 82 yards. Kobe Pickens had nine carries for 97 yards.

“It’s not one, it’s three or four guys who rack up the yards,” Gossen said. “You have to defend all of them on every single play and that makes it tough.”

Highlights were few and far between for Piedmont, which gained only one yard in the second half. Tanner Knight picked off an Anthony Kimmons pass at the Piedmont 12-yard line to snuff out a Tiger scoring opportunity late in the first half, and Jacob Storts returned a Tiger fumble 21 yards late in the fourth quarter.

Still, Piedmont had a potentially program-building season that ended with consecutive losses to Top 5 teams, but was otherwise stellar.

“The teams in the future at Piedmont have a lot to look up to,” Gossen said. “These guys set a standard that’s very high and you can’t ask for more than that.”

Three things to watch: Piedmont at Ardmore

Blake Colston

Trick plays: Piedmont hasn’t run any fake kicks this year, or trick plays for that matter. That could change tonight. The Wildcats have several different formations and trick plays in the gameplan this week. When, or if, they choose to use them could go a long ways in determining if PHS can pull the upset.

Photo by Holly Cowden Landon White carries the ball in Piedmont's loss at Noble Friday night.

Photo by Holly Cowden
Landon White carries the ball in Piedmont’s loss at Noble Friday night.

Blocking Tyrecce Lott: Though they’ve already played Carl Albert and Bishop McGuinness, Ardmore defensive lineman Tyreece Lott could be the Piedmont offensive line’s biggest challenge yet this season. At 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, Lott is a difference maker who just received a scholarship offer from the University of Kansas. First things first on each play: Block No. 70.

The Wildcats’ mindset: Throughout the week, Piedmont’s players and coaches have said all the right things about not being satisfied with just making the playoffs for the first time since 2011. But it would only be natural for the team to breathe a sigh of relief with the accomplishment. If they do, that won’t bode well for their upset chances. But if they stay focused like they’ve been all season – look out.

Wildcats not satisfied with playoff berth, they want more

Blake Colston

Piedmont could already be so satisfied that it’s qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2011, that it’s first round game at Ardmore on Friday night at 7:30 takes a backseat to the accomplishment.

Photo by Hugh Scott Piedmont's Bryson Ensminger, left, jumps to deflect a pass intended for Rubell Goe of Bishop McGuinness.

Photo by Hugh Scott
Piedmont’s Bryson Ensminger, left, jumps to deflect a pass intended for Rubell Goe of Bishop McGuinness.

That mindset wouldn’t bode well for the third-seeded Wildcats’ chances to spring an upset, but wouldn’t be completely unexpected considering most preseason predictions had Piedmont watching the playoffs from home.

Senior receiver Parker Smith says that Wildcat-backers have nothing to worry about, though and that Piedmont’s focus is 100 percent on beating the Tigers.

“What’s the point of playing one extra game in a season if it doesn’t mean anything,” Smith asked. “This is about being able to show our community that we’re playing for something more than just ourselves.”

Piedmont (6-4, 5-2) enters the game on a two-game losing streak after losses to third-ranked Carl Albert (49-21) and No. 2 Bishop McGuinness (21-0) with a district title on the line, but doesn’t necessarily feel like it has lost momentum. If anything, head coach Drew Gossen said, his team feels as prepared as ever to win important games because it’s played in so many already.

“Every game has been a big game and every game has been against a quality opponent,” he said, “so it’s just like it escalates into this. From here on out they just keep getting bigger and bigger.”

Ardmore (8-2, 6-1) played for a district title down the stretch as well and had the title within its grasps in a 28-27 loss to Lawton MacArthur that Ardmore led in the fourth quarter. The Tigers had won six in a row before the loss. Read more →

Bishop McGuinness beats Piedmont in regular season finale

Blake Colston

Highly touted receiver Rubell Goe caught 10 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns to help lead second-ranked Bishop McGuinness past Piedmont 21-0 in both team’s regular season finale Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.

Photo by Holly Cowden Easton Hensley tries to reel in a pass over a pair of Bishop McGuinness defenders.

Photo by Holly Cowden
Easton Hensley tries to reel in a pass over a pair of Bishop McGuinness defenders.

In a game dominated by defense, the Wildcats were limited to just 130 total yards. Goe’s yards accounted for almost half of the Irish’s 282 total yards.

Piedmont, (6-4, 5-2) seemed to be just a fraction off from making key plays all night. Landon White ran for for 74 yards on 22 carries, but was one tackle away from breaking a pair of long runs. Noah Ellis was 6 of 19 passing for 52 yards and narrowly missed connecting with Easton Hensley for a long touchdown pass.

“Offensively we couldn’t sustain drives and really battled field position all night,” head coach Drew Gossen said. “We’re one block away from breaking a power play early and then another one late. It was a play here and there that made the difference.”

Trailing 7-0 with less than a minute to play in the first half, Piedmont’s Christian Bricker wrapped up McGuinness quarterback Jarrett Lewis near the goal line and appeared to strip the ball from Lewis. An Irish lineman recovered the ball in the end zone for a potential safety, but the officials ruled the play as an incomplete pass instead. Read more →

Piedmont playing for playoff momentum in regular season finale

Blake Colston

The result of Friday night’s regular season finale at Wildcat Stadium set for a 7 p.m. kickoff between Piedmont and second-ranked Bishop McGuinness likely won’t have any bearing on either team’s playoff destinations.

Photo by Hugh Scott Landon White stretches over the goal line for a touchdown at Carl Albert.

Photo by Hugh Scott
Landon White stretches over the goal line for a touchdown at Carl Albert.

Because of its stranglehold on the district points lead, McGuinness (8-1, 6-0) holds the potential tiebreaker over Piedmont and Carl Albert and thus has already locked up a district title, while Piedmont (6-3, 5-1) will be the third seed unless it wins Friday and Woodward pulls an unlikely upset of Carl Albert.

Despite all that, Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen says that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important game.

“It’s all about momentum,” he said. “You think about any level of football, the champion is not necessarily the team that at the beginning of the season impressed everyone, it’s the team that gets hot at the right at time and that’s really what our goal is right now.”

Piedmont built a good deal of momentum heading into last week’s game at third-ranked Carl Albert, but suffered its first loss since Sept. 16 at Noble, so the importance of regaining whatever momentum it lost as it nears the postseason, where it’ll face either Lawton MacArthur or Ardmore next Friday, can’t be overstated.

“It’s a matter for us of getting better everyday,” Gossen said. “This week, a win would give us a huge swing of momentum going into the playoffs.” Read more →

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