E.A. Sports Today

Making a statement

Girls roundup: Piedmont ‘made a statement’ with its fast start against Weaver, White Plains stages fourth-quarter rally to beat Cleburne County

Piedmont coach Terrace Ridley gets her point across during a timeout. On the cover, White Plains’ Chasity Nelson drives to the basket against Cleburne County. (Cover photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – Anyone who questioned the merits of Piedmont’s No. 4 seeding in the upcoming Calhoun County Girls Basketball Tournament needed to have watched the first quarter Monday evening.

The Lady Bulldogs came out hot, grabbed a 22-6 lead and led by 20 early in the second quarter on the way to a 57-52 victory over Weaver.

Piedmont was installed as the fourth seeded after some spirited discussion in Sunday’s county tournament seeding meeting. It did have the fourth-best overall record and second-best in-county record (now 6-0), but there was a sense it wasn’t the fourth-best team in the 15-team field.

By drawing a top-four seed, the Lady Bulldogs (11-5) won’t play for the first time in the tournament until the third day, likely against fifth-seeded Alexandria.

“We’re proud to have that spot and I’m glad everybody thought enough to vote us into that spot, but I do know there were two or three other teams that should have definitely been ahead of me,” Piedmont coach Terrace Ridley said. “There was a lot of conflict and talk about that, and I told my girls you’ve got that spot, prove that you’re supposed to be in that spot.

“We came out and kind of made a statement there.”

Actually, it wasn’t justifying the seed that got the Lady Bulldogs fired up, rather the impact of a lopsided loss they took against Haralson County (Ga.) the day before the seeding meeting.

They scored the first eight points of the game Monday, were up 29-9 early in the second quarter and led by 14 at halftime.

“Yesterday played a part in it because I think the girls kind of got some words that they didn’t like from what happened,” Ridley said, “but the way we played Saturday was not really well and I got onto them. I told them I don’t expect to see that. When you play bad like that, you better come back the next ballgame and show me the ball team you really are.

“This group of girls have in their heads that when they play bad they expect to come back and do something different. They came in here and showed up early today and knew they wanted to go out and show that, OK, we’re the No. 4 team but we’ve got to play better ball down the stretch. The biggest thing was they knew they had to play well today to prepare for tomorrow (against Glencoe), the biggest game of the season.”

Kayley Kirk led a balanced Piedmont scoring attack with 17 points; she hit five 3-pointers. Kaitlyn Ridley and Pinky Nation each scored 13 and Sydney Prater had 12.

Ridley scored eight in the first quarter, but when the Lady Bulldogs’ most experience player picked up her third foul early in the third quarter and left the game it disrupted her team’s rhythm and Weaver inched its way back. Piedmont never lost the lead, but the Lady Bearcats made it interesting down the stretch.

White Plains 56, Cleburne County 51: Jordan Sabree scored six of her eight points in the fourth quarter and the Lady Wildcats outscored their visitors 22-5 to erase a 12-point deficit and scored what coach Chris Randall called a “much-needed win.”

The Lady Tigers opened a 46-34 lead after three quarters behind Chelsea Parker and Kendall Houston, but the Lady Wildcats shut everyone down in the fourth. Parker scored all 13 of her points in the first three quarters and Houston scored 14 of her 18 in the second and third quarters.

Chasity Nelson and Rian Chandler each had five points during White Plains’ fourth-quarter rally.

White Plains’ Jordan Sabree (11) scored all eight of her points in the second half and six in the fourth quarter to spark the Lady Wildcats’ comeback. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

To see a gallery of photos from the Cleburne County-White Plains game visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

Piedmont 57, Weaver 52
WEAVER (9-9) –
Caleigh Cortez 4 4-8 12, Kaylee Jordan 2 0-0 4, Rayne Beck 6 1-2 13, Emily Reed 2 0-0 5, Abby Gaines 4 1-2 12, Amira Carter 3 0-0 6, Kayleigh Kindsman 0 0-0 0.

PIEDMONT (11-5) – Kayley Kirk 6 0-2 17, Kaitlyn Ridley 4 5-6 13, Pinky Nation 5 1-2 13, Camron Logan 1 0-0 2, Cassidy Jackson 0 0-0 0, Aliyah Teague 0 0-0 0, Sydney Prater 5 2-2 12, Kiara Jackson 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 8-12 57.

Weaver 6 15 18 13 — 52
Piedmont 22 13 16 6 — 57

3-point goals: Weaver 4 (Reed, Gaines 3); Piedmont 7 (Kirk 5, Nation 2). Total fouls: Weaver 9, Piedmont 11. Officials: Miller, Snellgrove, Beard.

White Plains 56, Cleburne County 51
Alisia Person 1 0-0 2, Olivia McDaniel 1 0-2 2, Chelsea Parker 4 5-5 13, Alex Casey 0 3-6 3, Brooklyn McDaniel 3 1-2 7, Haven Freeman 0 0-2 0, Tatiana Ervin 3 0-1 6, Kendall Houston 7 3-7 18, Micha Pentacost 0 0-4 0. Totals 19 12-29 51.

WHITE PLAINS (8-8) – Rian Chandler 1 4-4 7, Hanna Dyar 1 1-2 4, Callyn Martin 1 1-2 4, Jordan Sabree 3 2-4 8, Landry Bussey 0 1-2 1, Chasity Nelson 4 2-2 11, Ary Rosario 2 0-3 4, Lily Ponder 4 2-4 13, Jocelyn Harris 1 0-0 2, Angel Bozarth 0 2-4 2. Totals 17 15-27 56.

Cleburne County 9 18 19 5 — 51
White Plains 12 11 11 22 — 56

3-point goals: Cleburne County 1 (Houston); White Plains 7 (Chandler, Dyar, Martin, Nelson, Ponder 3). Fouled out: Parker. Total fouls: Cleburne County 23, White Plains 19. Officials: Boyd, Ratliff, Meeks.

Cleburne County’s Brooklyn McDaniel (23) and White Plains’ Landry Bussey jockey for position for a rebound. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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