By Evan Grice
The road to the state tournament is filled with tough games along the way.
For the No. 3 Piedmont Wildcats, they found themselves in the middle of one of those roadblocks Saturday night at Collett Fieldhouse against No. 20 Guthrie.
Ultimately, the Wildcats were saved by the horn as a last gasp three-point attempt by the Blue Jays went in after time expired, giving Piedmont a 44-42 victory, and the regional championship in the process.
It was a far cry from the opening round of the regional tournament, which saw Piedmont run wild over Guymon, winning the game by a score of 80-54.
Piedmont’s reward for winning the regional title is a rematch with No. 4 Carl Albert Friday night Mar. 7 from the Deer Creek PAAC Building with tip-off set for 6:30 p.m.
Piedmont 44 Guthrie 42
After three quarters of play, it looked like the Blue Jays were going to get the last laugh and the regional championship over the Wildcats.
Down 32-28, Guthrie was in command going into the fourth quarter, but Piedmont made sure it was going to have the final word on the night.
“It was a very tough game against Guthrie,” Senior Grant Smith said. “We didn’t shoot the ball very well from the free throw line, which could have been the difference for us. Cameron (Peters) made some shots for us down the stretch which really helped us.”
“This win gave us a lot of confidence,” Smith added “We feel like we can win those close games now, whereas at the beginning of the season we would lose those close games. Now we feel like if we’re put in those situations, we can succeed.”
Through two quarters of play, nothing was settled between these two teams as they were deadlocked at 19-19 going into the halftime break. This came after Piedmont held a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Adrion Williams led the offense with 15 points on the night with Cameron Peters scoring 12 points in the contest.
Grant Smith added nine points with Kendell Franklin scoring five points and Dupree Millhouse scoring three points.
Guthrie was led by L’liott Curry with 18 points to lead all scorers followed by Edgar Balt with eight points.
Piedmont 80 Guymon 54
In the opening round of the playoffs, Piedmont wasted no time in sending a message to the rest of the field.
A 27-8 first quarter run was more than enough cushion for the Wildcats, as they crushed Guymon by 36 points in the regional semi-finals.
There was little doubt as to the outcome of the game going into the halftime break, as PHS held a commanding 43-17 advantage.
Following the third quarter, the Wildcats were on top by a score of 64-38, and in complete control of the matchup.
Adrion Williams led all scorers on the night with 26 points for the Wildcats, while Cameron Peters added 21 points in the contest.
Kendell Franklin scored 10 points against the Tigers, with Dupree Millhouse added seven points and Grant Smith scoring five points.