By Evan Grice
What does a team do after they reach the state quarterfinals and are eliminated?
Simple, they reload and hit the ground running for next season.
That’s exactly what the Piedmont Lady Wildcats basketball team has been doing this summer, playing in games all across the state in addition to numerous team camps as well.
Second year head coach Jamie Hill is returning most of her starters from last season, which include seniors to be Hayden Priddy, Kayden Carver, Bre Reid, and Mina Iyaye.
However, there are some talented underclassmen which have been showing signs they will more than fit in this season with McKenna Kirkpatrick, Keli Patterson, Hannah Reasoner and Callie Post getting significant playing time.
“We played really well throughout the summer,” Lady Wildcat senior Kayden Carver said. “This group has a really good bond on and off the court. These games allowed us to see what we need to improve on and this summer was a good start to all of that.”
Piedmont’s girls at one time endured a grueling schedule which included 20 games in a span of less than five days in Weatherford and Edmond North.
In addition to those, the Lady Wildcats took part in the Tulsa University team camp at the home of the Golden Hurricane.
At Edmond North, the Lady Wildcats took on some 6A schools which included state champion Edmond Santa Fe, along with the host Lady Huskies from Edmond North. Piedmont also got a crack at Enid and many other schools in the process.
Lady Wildcat Bre Reid had nothing but high praise for the way the underclassmen stepped in and played this summer including one player in particular.
“I would like to say that Callie Post is coming along tremendously as a player by the way she is shooting the ball when we need it and when she is wide open,” she said. “All of the girls who are underclassmen are filling up their roles fantastically. That’s going to be extremely important when the season starts.”
“We had some struggles some days due to playing multiple games out there,” Reid added. “But, this team is working more as a unit. Every time we step out on the court, we are looking to run the floor more smoothly and are looking for the open girls to score out there.”
Speaking of Post, she said that she’s very excited for what’s to come this season with her teammates.
“I think over the course of the summer games, we each got better as players individually, but even more importantly grew as a team,” she said. “We worked together and figured out what we needed to do to get through some tough situations causing us to grow as players and as a team. The games were a great growing experience for us! Can’t wait for the season to start to see what all we can accomplish all together.”
Teammate Hayden Priddy also had positive things to say about the underclassmen girls, and added that this seasons Lady Wildcats squad is just as athletic as the team fans saw last year.
“McKenna (Kirkpatrick) and Callie (Post) really shot the ball well out there, and just did what they were told to do,” she said. “Keli (Patterson) stepped up and hit some shots along with playing really good defense out there. They are doing what we need them to do right now, and that’s going to pay off during the season.”
“Last year’s team was athletic, but this year’s team is more skilled,” Priddy added. “We’re still pretty athletic, but have a lot more skills I believe. This team is just one big family, and we all look to one another as sisters and family. Team chemistry is a big thing with us and we have a lot of that right now.”