NOBLE — It’s been a long, sometimes frustrating season for Piedmont’s girls basketball team.
But Friday night in Noble, the Lady Wildcats were all smiles on their way to a, 55-42, win over the Lady Bears in a game that Piedmont led by as many as 24 in the second half.
“Finally,” said leading scorer Maddie Sperle afterwards. “We’ve had such a long, hard season. It’s been exhausting, but it was nice to go out there and get a big win.”
Piedmont (5-15) tied its season-high for points in a game with 57 Friday, which it’s done three times previously. PHS shot just under 50 percent (13 of 27) in the first half and made 4 of 11 from 3-point range. The ‘Lady Cats moved the ball as well as they have all season.
“We’ve decided just to come together finally as a team,” Sperle said.
The ‘Cats led by 9, 18-9, after a quarter, by 16 at half and by 23 after three quarters. Piedmont held Noble (8-12) to 7 of 30 shooting in the first half, including 1 of 9 from beyond the arc and found easy baskets in transition off Lady Bears turnovers.
“That’s what we’ve been trying to do all season,” Sperle said of scoring in transition.
Piedmont has one regular season game remaining at Shawnee Tuesday before traveling to fifth-ranked Woodward for the opening round of the playoffs Thursday. It hopes to carry momentum into the postseason, where the Wildcats regular season record won’t matter.
“We need to take care of business against Shawnee and go into Woodward knowing we can win and we’ll be fine,” Sperle said.
Noble 57, Piedmont 41
No. 13 Noble led wire-to-wire against Piedmont in both teams second to last regular season game of the year Friday night.
The Bears (13-8) were led by three players in double figures. Jalal Gondal and Christian Robinson each scored 12, while Zach Coffey put in 11.
Piedmont was led by Adokiye Iyaye, its leading scorer on the season, who finished with 10. No other Wildcat reached double figures.
“Turnovers, we didn’t finish particularly well inside and we can’t guard,” head coach Troy Lallemand said of what went wrong. “We’ve got too many one-way players. We’ve got guys that can play offense, but can’t defend and guys that can defend, but can’t play offense. We can’t find the right mix.”
The Wildcats made just six shots from the field in the first half while building a 13-point deficit by half. An Iyaye 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer brought Piedmont back within 10, 45-35 and the ‘Cats cut Noble’s lead to six in the final quarter, but the Bears pulled away down the stretch.
“They just made momentum plays,” Lallemand said. “When you get behind like that, you just spend so much energy getting back. And the other thing is, you have to extend your defense and there are just too many gaps.”
Piedmont will play 18th-ranked Northwest Classen Friday at Carl Albert in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.