MIDWEST CITY – This time it was different.
Piedmont made all the plays down the stretch and pulled away for a 66-52 win at seventh-ranked Carl Albert Tuesday night behind a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds from Maddie Sperle. The win helped PHS rebound from a home loss to fourth-ranked Shawnee in another early season Top 10 matchup.
The No. 8 Lady Wildcats improved to 3-1 overall and scored a major early season road victory against a traditional Class 5A power. They did it with execution down the stretch on both ends.
“They followed the gameplan, they ran the plays, they finished their shots and if they got fouled they made their free throws,” head coach Jordan Stark said. “That, to me, was the difference in the game.”
Piedmont led by nine at half, 31-22, but a quick spurt from Carl Albert led by a 3-point barrage from Charissa Price pulled the Titans even at 38 with 2:22 to play in the third quarter. The Lady Wildcats scored the final four points of the quarter capped by a Taylor Clowers hoop in the lane and never lost the lead again.
Mostly because Carl Albert never found a way to slow down Sperle. The SWOSU signee hit three 3-pointers, made 11 free throws – including five clutch makes in the final minutes – scored off the dribble and in the paint. Sperle and senior guard Hannah Reasoner each hit 3-pointers in a 14-5 Piedmont run that spanned from late in the third to early in the fourth.
“That’s the beauty of our team. We have girls that can pretty much do anything,” Stark said. “We’re extremely versatile and we want to use that to our advantage.”
Reasoner chipped in with 15 and Kish Chandler, Piedmont’s steady senior point guard, added 12. Price scored 15 for Carl Albert (4-3).
After Piedmont’s 44-40 home loss to No. 4 Shawnee, in which PHS didn’t make the plays when it counted, Stark was pleased to see her team’s turnaround in the fourth quarter Tuesday.
“I think the weaknesses we showed against Shawnee, we overcame those tonight,” Stark said.
Carl Albert 81, Piedmont 57
Piedmont hung with top-ranked Carl Albert for a half, trailing just 31-19 at the break, but the Titans pulled away in the second half to keep the Wildcats winless on the year.
Trey Hopkins scored 25 points for CAHS to lead all scorers. Mason Harrell added 21 for the Titans, who improved to 4-0 with the win.
Hunter Oden scored 11 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to pace Piedmont. Sophomore Rylan McDaniel had 10.
Piedmont trailed 22-7 after a quarter, but sliced into Carl Albert’s lead in the second period and was behind by only 12 at intermission. Carl Albert answered by outscoring Piedmont 30-11 to start the second half, though and led by as many as 33. PHS continued the back and forth by winning the fourth quarter, 27-21.