By Evan Grice
It’s been said that adaptation is the key to survival.
For the No. 7 Piedmont Lady Wildcats, their ability to adapt and adjust kept their recent winning streak alive against No. 3 Carl Albert Friday night at Collett Fieldhouse.
Down 25-19 at halftime, head coach Jamie Hill made the chance to go to a 1-3-1 zone in the second half, which left Carl Albert frustrated, and eventually on the wrong end of a 46-43 upset.
“The biggest thing we talked about was how we needed to play as a team on the court,” Hill said. “If we worked together and played together, we are a better overall team. We made some adjustments offensively and defensively at halftime. I’m very proud of this win for sure.”
Piedmont didn’t put on an offensive clinic in the first half, finishing just 5-of-20 from the field.
However, in the third quarter, the Lady Wildcats opened with a 14-3 run and eventually took a 30-28 lead with 4:09 left in the third, which led to a 35-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.
“I just told the girls, ‘We’re down six points, which is two possessions for us,’” Hill said about her halftime speech. “At the most its three possessions, so it’s no problem at all. We changed our defense with that 1-3-1, which Carl Albert wasn’t ready for. At the same time, we hadn’t really run it much this year, so I was pleasantly surprised at how we ran it. Usually (Jordan) Gilbert is their main offensive threat, but we were able to shut her down tonight.”
Bre Reid hit two clutch free throws with 16 seconds left in the contest, which gave Piedmont a 46-43lead.
Instead, it was Keley Hallmark who was the Lady Titans main offensive threat on the night, as she finished with 15 points on the night.
Gilbert did have her chance to be a hero in the final seconds of the game, but her game-tying three point shot missed the mark and the Lady Wildcats held on.
“This is really special for all of us,” Senior Sydney Morrison said. “We haven’t beaten Carl Albert since I’ve been on varsity. It’s really amazing that this team came together like they did tonight. Coach Hill told us we had to play as a team to beat this team. We have a lot of confidence right now, and we’re picking the right time to play our best basketball.”
Hayden Priddy and Bre Reid both finished with 11 points on the night to lead the Lady Wildcats, with Abbie Hall scoring eight points.
Mina Iyaye added six points with Sydney Morrison and Kayden Carver both putting in four points. Maddie Sperle scored two points.