E.A. Sports Today

Piedmont girls clinch share

UPDATED with coin toss results

Lady Bulldogs hold on to edge Weaver, share area lead, await coin toss with PV to determine area tournament host

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER – The Piedmont girls upheld their end of the deal, now they just have to wait on the coin toss.

The Lady Bulldogs clinched a share of the Class 3A Area 12 title Monday night by holding on to beat Weaver 32-31.

A short while later, Pleasant Valley joined them at the top with its come-from-behind victory over Wellborn. Since each team beat the other and swept through the rest of the area it’ll take the luck of the draw to decide who will host the area girls tournament.

“I’m so glad and happy just to be able to get back to this point,” Piedmont coach Terrace Ridley said. “Losing what I lost from last year and having to come back and regroup, (plus) two injuries with ACLs who are my scorers, just being back in this spot is great for these girls. It’s great and it’s exciting.”

The Lady Bulldogs were in the same situation last year and, of course, are hoping for the same result. They won the coin toss and hosted the area tournament.

“We already prepared ourselves for a coin toss anyway,” Ridley said after learning the PV result. “We’d love to know for sure we have it at home, but knowing we still have that opportunity is great.”

The result of the coin toss was not so favorable this time. Pleasant Valley won it, meaning the Lady Raiders will host and play No. 4 Weaver. Piedmont will play Wellborn in the other semifinal.

Piedmont got off to a fast start against Weaver. The Lady Bearcats scored the first basket of the game, but then missed 19 straight shots while the Lady Bulldogs ripped off 17 straight points to take a seemingly safe 20-5 halftime lead.

But Weaver scored the last 10 points of the third quarter to cut its deficit to 24-17. The Lady Bearcats trailed by nine with just under three minutes to play, but got within one on Caleigh Cortez’ putback with 22 seconds to play.

Cortez blocked Brooke Perry’s shot to give Weaver the ball with six seconds left. The Lady Bearcats called timeout with 1.8 seconds left to set up a potential winning basket, but the inbounds pass bounced off Rayne Beck and out of bounds to Piedmont.

Weaver’s Cortez and Emily Reed were the only players on either team to score in double figures; they both had 10. Kaitlyn Ridley had nine and Samirra Braswell eight for Piedmont. Braswell scored the Lady Bulldogs’ first six points in that 17-0 run.

“They came back on us because we got girls right now who are young and can’t understand how to handle pressure,” Ridley said. “The more they grow, the more things are going to change for these girls. They are going through a learning process and I’m just proud of them for sticking it out and never giving up. That’s the biggest part about these girls — they don’t let up.”

On the cover: Piedmont girls coach Terrace Ridley looks over the stats after her team edged Weaver 32-31 to clinch a share of the area title.

Piedmont 32, Weaver 31

PIEDMONT – Jakieya Mitchell 1 0-0 3, Samirra Braswell 4 0-0 8, Brooke Perry 3 0-0 6, Keshauna Jones 1 0-0 3, Kaitlyn Ridley 3 2-2 9, Lulu Jackson 1 2-4 4, Madison Tyree 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Smart 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 4-6 32.

WEAVER – Caleigh Cortez 4 2-5 10, Tayanna Perry 0 1-2 1, Rayne Beck 1 2-2 4, Emily Reed 4 0-0 10, Anna Howell 0 0-0 0, Mariah Thompson 3 0-0 6, Abby Gaines 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 5-9 31.

Piedmont 10 10 4 8 — 32
Weaver 2 3 12 14 — 31

3-point goals: Piedmont 2 (Mitchell, Ridley); Weaver 2 (Reed 2). Total fouls: Piedmont 5, Weaver 8. Officials: Stubbs, Wilson, Kadle.

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