By Evan Grice
If you’re going to go into the playoffs with some momentum, you might as well do it on a 10-game winning streak.
That’s what the No. 7 Piedmont Lady Wildcats will be doing this weekend, after they finished off their regular season finale Tuesday night at Jenks Simmons Fieldhouse in El Reno with a convincing 57-48 victory over the No. 8 Lady Indians.
With the win, the Lady Wildcats finished off a season sweep of El Reno and improved to 15-4 on the season. Piedmont will be hosting Guymon (7-14) on Thursday night Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. in the first round of the regional tournament.
There was also the small matter of the loss to the Lady Wildcats being the first one the Lady Indians had suffered at Jenks Simmons Fieldhouse all season.
“I definitely thought a winning streak before the playoffs was possible,” Piedmont coach Jamie Hill said. “It was just going to depend on the teamwork and how well the girls play together. Luckily for me, I have a group of girls that come ready to play every night and a group that doesn’t give up.”
“We’ve talked about how Thursday night starts a new season for us,” Hill added. “If all goes according to plan then we’ve got six more games to go.”
El Reno didn’t provide much of a threat after taking an initial 2-0 lead in the first quarter, as the Lady Wildcats went on a 20-8 run to finish off the first quarter.
PHS turned up the pressure in the second quarter as the Lady Wildcats held the normally high-powered Lady Indians to just six points going into the halftime break as Piedmont led 32-18.
A big reason the Lady Wildcats were able to maintain the advantage was the play off the bench from several players, including freshman Maddie Sperle, who finished with nine points on the evening, and was a constant threat on the defensive end and on the boards.
“I just went out there and did what I needed to do for my team,” Sperle said. “Luckily, they called some fouls and I was able to get some points. It feels good getting to contribute for my team. We’re pretty confident right now as a team, we just know we need to always come out and play our best.”
Coach Hill added Sperle will continue to improve the more she plays on the court.
“We’ve wanted Sperle to stand out as a sixth-man type player this season,” she said. “Tonight was definitely her best overall game this season. With more game time and more experience, I feel very confident saying she will improve. She went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, and I’m very proud of the way she played tonight.”
As a team the Lady Wildcats finished 14-of-18 from the free throw line on the night.
Bre Reid and Abbie Hall led the Lady Wildcats with 11 points on the night, with Hayden Priddy scoring eight points.
Kayden Carver put in seven points with Sydney Morrison and Kailey Oliver both putting in four points. Mina Iyaye added three points.
El Reno was led by Taleigh Davis with 12 points and Sheridan Gray with 10 points.