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Piedmont beats El Reno in overtime to make state tournament

Blake Colston

EDMOND – Call them the cardiac ‘Cats.Piedmont

Piedmont’s fourth-ranked girls basketball team earned its second thrilling win in as many games Thursday night at Edmond North’s Siberian Gym with a 57-51 Area Finals victory over El Reno in overtime that clinched the Lady Wildcats’ third state tournament berth in four seasons.

Kish Chandler banked in a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds to play in regulation to tie the game at 48 and Piedmont limited El Reno to just three points in the overtime period to complete a three-game sweep of the rival Indians this season.

“We’ve done a good job of playing together as a team,” head coach Jordan Stark said. “They’ve really hung tight and bonded together toward the end of games, which is what’s won us games like these.”

This one looked like it might be El Reno’s, though.

Hayden Freeman hit a 3-pointer to give the Indians their first lead of the second half with 31.3 to play in the fourth quarter after El Reno trailed by as many as nine in the final period. Freeman followed up the 3-pointer with a basket off a steal with 0:10 remaining. She finished with 13 points.

On Piedmont’s final possession, its designed play didn’t go as planned, so Chandler, a senior, improvised with a desperation shot from the top of the key that hit glass and rattled home.

“That’s exactly what we drew up,” Stark said sarcastically.

There was some question at the time as to whether or not Chandler was behind the 3-point line, but Stark said it was clear after watching the game tape that it was a 3-pointer. Chandler knew then was ‘clearly’ behind the line.

“I would never have even gotten close,” she said. “My whole question was could I make it? There was no question in my mind that I pulled up from behind the line.”

It was the second clutch shot in as many postseason games from Piedmont (22-3), which got a last-second game-winner from Maddie Sperle to upend Lawton MacArthur a game earlier in the regional finals.

Sperle scored a game-high 19 points Thursday with 14 coming in the second half and overtime. Maci Attalla had 14 and Hannah Reasoner scored 11. Massey Beard scored 13 for El Reno (16-10).

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