By Evan Grice
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
For the No. 3 Piedmont Wildcats, on a freezing Monday night outside Collett Fieldhouse, they made sure No. 11 Western Heights got a heaping helping of it, along with a solid dose of Cameron Peters.
Peters scored 22 points for the Wildcats as they avenged their first loss of the season with a 72-67 victory over the Jets during the “Pink Out” game.
“I’ve figured out that this game with Western Heights is a rivalry game,” Piedmont coach Ryan Wagner said. “I don’t know if our kids have realized that quite yet. Western Heights doesn’t play that hard or that passionate against anyone else but us. We’ll probably see them in the playoffs. They hit a lot of three’s tonight, and those things are going to happen.”
“If you take away the three’s though, the game isn’t close. Both teams have gotten better since our first meeting earlier this season. We’re both battling to get respect, and those kids have a lot of pride. Our kids out executed them in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter, and I was very proud of that.”
It almost seemed like it was going to be déjà vu for the Wildcats with 5:58 left in the fourth quarter, when the Jets held a 59-55 advantage.
However, a 12-0 run over the next 4:06 gave the Wildcats a 67-59 advantage, and it looked like things were well in control. But, the Jets weren’t finished yet.
WHHS managed to get within two points at 68-66 with 0:58 left in the fourth, but Piedmont iced the game at the free throw line and managed to hold off the late rally attempt.
“Coach Wagner told us to just stay focused and play as a team throughout the game,” senior Adrion Williams said. “We should have won the first game, but we had to make sure we stayed humble to win this one. Our big thing was making sure we played within the system and got the buckets we needed.”
In a tightly contested first quarter, which saw multiple ties and lead changes, the Wildcats claimed a 24-22 advantage going into the second, before taking a 44-35 lead into the halftime break.
Adrion Williams finished the game with 17 points with Kendell Franklin scoring 14 points in the game.
Grant Smith scored seven points, with Dupree Millhouse adding six points.
Western Heights was led by Gerard Giles Kiahree Kerns both with 20 points in the game.