By Evan Grice
One might have to forgive Piedmont basketball fans for doing a double take Friday night during the Lady Wildcats homecoming game against El Reno.
This was because the Lady Wildcats didn’t show the relaxation of a team who had just won its first tournament title the following week in Kingfisher.
Instead, the No. 6 Lady Wildcats came out with an offensive flurry against the then No. 7 Lady Indians, draining seven three pointers in the process of a coast-to-coast victory on Homecoming night by a score of 59-49.
“We knew El Reno was going to be a very tough and athletic team,” Piedmont coach Jamie Hill said. “But, we’re also tough and athletic. Our big thing was we wanted to show we can play hard-nosed defense against some very good post players. Against El Reno, whoever is the toughest is going to win the game. I’m very proud of how scrappy our girls were out there.”
It wasn’t until the second quarter that Piedmont started to establish itself and really pull away from the Lady Indians.
Fueled by a capacity crowd, including a standing room only student section cheering them on, the Lady Wildcats took what was a 16-14 game, and broke it open to a 38-25 advantage going into the halftime break.
El Reno never took the lead in the contest, but did managed to fight back from being 9-2 down with 4:33 left in the first quarter to tying the game at 16-16 with 7:47 left before halftime.
“It’s funny because I’m always saying that we’re always continuing to get better,” Hill said. “It might sound cliché but it’s true. Our basketball IQ is improving. Make no mistake about it El Reno is a great team and they got a big win over Deer Creek earlier this season, which shows how good of a team they are. I’m just so proud of the way our girls are constantly improving.”
Alex Hall finished with a career high for the Lady Wildcats at 19 points, as she was one of three Piedmont players in double figures on the night. Hall scored 10 points in the first half while managing to go 5-of-6 from the field.
Hayden Priddy and Kayden Carver both added 11 points in the contest for the Lady Wildcats.
Bre Reid scored eight points, with Keli Patterson and Mina Iyaye both putting in three points. Sydney Morrison, who was later, crowned Homecoming Queen put in two points.
“We talk about having a balanced attack on offense and defense,” Hill said. “At some point during the season we’ve had Hayden, Kayden, Mina and others are the leading scorer. Tonight, it just happened to be Alex who led the offense for us. We’re learning when to help, when to go for steals and just improving all the time. As we look for different options on the court, we’ll eventually find that person who is on and we’re going to keep going back to them.”
Piedmont’s regularly scheduled contest against Noble Tuesday night was canceled due to the weather. The next time the Lady Wildcats are scheduled to be in action is Friday night Feb. 7 in a rematch against No. 4 Deer Creek at Collett Fieldhouse.
PHS defeated Deer Creek on opening night this season by a score of 46-39. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.