Piedmont played a tough schedule in coach Amanda Tims' first season at the helm.
Five of the Wildcats' seven losses this season came to state tournament teams — Carl Albert (5A), Shawnee (5A), Anadarko (4A), Millwood (3A) and Okarche (A).
The other two teams that beat Piedmont — Harrah and Deer Creek — weren't far from state berths.
But the Wildcats (21-7) fought through the tough slate to earn their first trip to the girls' state tournament since 2002, and only their second in the last 30 years.
It doesn't get any easier for Piedmont, though. Tims' team opens with No. 1 Fort Gibson, the defending champion, at 3:30 Thursday.
“It's anybody's game,” Tims said. “It's the state tournament; you're at 0-0 on your record.”
Fort Gibson (26-1) starts five guards and is led in scoring by senior Jodi Glover, who averages 12 points per game. This is Fort Gibson's eighth straight trip to the state tournament.
ROCKETS ‘STILL ON CLOUD NINE'
Mount St. Mary (20-6) qualified for its first-ever girls' basketball state tournament Friday, and the excitement still hasn't worn off, coach Rory Hamilton said.
“We're still on Cloud Nine,” Hamilton said. “I told my girls we're going to enjoy every minute of it. The girls are so excited to be here and have this opportunity.”
Sophomore guard Kaely Bond is the Rockets' leading scorer, averaging 13.7 points per game. Freshman Adrienne Berry scores 12.3 a game.
Mount St. Mary opens the state tournament Thursday at 7 p.m. against Perkins-Tryon at Choctaw High School.
ANADARKO, VINITA COULD MEET IN SEMIFINALS
Vinita has beaten Anadarko in the first round of the last three Class 4A state tournaments.
If they play again this year, it'll be in the semifinals Friday.
Anadarko (26-1), ranked No. 2, is led by guard Lakota Beatty, one of the top juniors in the state. She averages 19 points and almost five assists per game. The Warriors open with Douglass on Thursday at 2 p.m.
No. 3 Vinita (24-3) counters with guard Caitlyn Spurgeon, an Arkansas Tech signee who averages 21.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The Hornets play Jay on Thursday at 8:30 p.m..