By Evan Grice
While the Deer Creek festival started out on a sour note for the No. 4 Piedmont Lady Wildcats, it did end on a high note.
After taking a tough loss to the No. 3 ranked Mount Saint Mary’s Lady Rockets from Class 4A, Piedmont responded with a convincing victory over the No. 17 Bishop McGuinness Lady Irish.
Piedmont 51 Bishop McGuinness 27
At the end of the third quarter against Bishop McGuinness, Piedmont coach Jamie Hill had a clear message for her team going into the fourth quarter.
Dictate the pace of the game and take control.
Coach Hill’s words seemed to light a fire with her team, as the Lady Wildcats blew open a 32-20 lead in the fourth to claim a 51-27 victory, putting them at 2-1 on the season.
“I guess I was pretty loud myself at that point,” Hill said about her third quarter speech. “That was the key to the game though. We should have been dominating and we were having a letdown. It worked though because all of our girls decided to come alive. What we showed in the fourth quarter is the type of team we are capable of being when we play that hard all the time.”
Bishop McGuinness almost cashed in on the Lady Wildcats mistakes in the third quarter, when the Lady Irish closed to within nine points at 27-18 with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Piedmont though kept its composure and maintained a 12-point advantage going into the fourth quarter, after taking an 11-point lead into the locker room at 25-14 going into the halftime break.
The Lady Wildcats led 14-7 after the first quarter.
“I have to remember myself, that this is our third game with me as the head coach and a new group of kids,” Hill said. “Some of these other teams have had five or six games at this point in the season. It’s all about gelling as a team right now. Anytime you go into a break you want to go in on a good note.”
“I’m proud of the way the girls played today,” Hill added. “Anytime you play two games in a row without any practice time, it’s a tough thing to deal with. We’re just going to try and get better over this break and make adjustments.”
Hayden Priddy led the Lady Wildcats offense with 18 points to lead all scorers on the day. Kayden Carver and Alex Hall both put in nine points in the contest, with Bre Reid scoring eight points.
Sydney Morrison scored four points, with Mina Iyaye adding two points.
Gabby Grubb and Ashli Brown paced Bishop McGuinness with six points each.
Mount Saint Mary’s 58 Piedmont 42
Facing their second top-five ranked opponent of the season, the Lady Wildcats started out on fire against the Lady Rockets.
Unfortunately, when the shooting cooled off, the Lady Rockets turned up the pace.
MSM overturned a 17-15 first quarter deficit to claim the 58-42 victory over the Lady Wildcats Friday afternoon.
“I think the biggest thing the girls were lacking was the intensity we had against Deer Creek,” Hill said. “We can’t just rely on a big crowd, or a big type of showcase event to get motivated. No matter the type of game or the time of day, we need to play well. Very few teams go undefeated and what we need to do is figure out what we can do to get better.”
While things went smoothly for the Lady Wildcats in the first quarter, the second quarter saw the Lady Rockets come to life and take the lead at 18-17 with 5:42 left before halftime.
Piedmont did manage to get to within one point at 22-21 with 3:11 left, but a 7-0 run gave the Lady Rockets a 29-21 lead with 1:26 left in the second.
MSM led by five points at 31-26 going into the halftime break before increasing the advantage to 43-35 at the end of the third quarter.
Hayden Priddy led the Lady Wildcats with 11 points followed by Bre Reid and Kayden Carver each with nine points. Sydney Morrison scored six points while Alex Hall put in four points.
The Lady Wildcats will be off until Jan. 7 when they will play host to Chickasha before participating in the Bethany tournament starting just two days later and running until Jan. 11.
Jan. 14 will see the Lady Wildcats back at Collett Fieldhouse taking on Guthrie before traveling to perennial power Shawnee for a matchup against the Lady Wolves on Jan 17.