Piedmont has been shooting nearly lights out for the past few weeks.
So when the shots weren't falling Friday against No. 3-ranked Carl Albert, the Wildcats were forced to focus on other areas.
Turns out, they can play defense, too.
The seventh-ranked Wildcats used a 1-3-1 zone in the second half to near perfection to rally from an eight-point deficit and pull off a 46-43 upset for their ninth straight victory.
It's that kind of play Piedmont first-year girls basketball coach Jamie Hill hoped to see from her team in the final tuneup before next week's playoffs.
“Shots aren't going to fall every night of the week,” she said. “If they did, Duke would have beaten North Carolina last night. If you rely on your shooting too much, that can put you in danger.
“What the girls proved tonight is even when we're down, we're still going to play with some intensity and we're still going to turn up that defense and get some offense out of that.”
Carl Albert was dominant in the first half, jumping to a 14-6 lead early and leading 25-19 at the break.
Piedmont was just 5 of 21 shooting in the first half, but that didn't upset Hill. Instead, she remained positive at halftime and made the defensive adjustment.
“We're a pretty fast team, and defense is something we really rely on,” said Piedmont junior Hayden Priddy, who finished with 11 points. “Whether your offense is working or not, defense is always going to be there. That's something we really focused on tonight.”
The Wildcats then went on a 14-3 run to open the third quarter. Priddy later hit the go-ahead layup with 1:50 remaining and delivered a nice, but risky, bounce pass to Mina Iyaye for an easy basket for a 44-41 lead with 1:05 remaining.
Two free throws from junior Bre Reid with 16 seconds remaining sealed the victory.
Carl Albert senior Jordan Gilbert, who finished with 10 points, missed the tying 3-pointer as time expired.
BETHANY PULLS OUT DISTRICT WIN AT TUTTLE
Playing in honor of a teacher who lost her husband this week, Bethany pulled out a 45-42 district playoff victory at Tuttle with a few clutch plays in the final minute.
Trailing 42-40, Bethany took the lead with a 3-pointer by Lexi Smith, and got a defensive stop when Riley Brown blocked a Tuttle shot. After a pair of free throws by Bethany's Brooklyn Judkins, Brown came up with another blocked shot on Tuttle's potential game-tying 3-pointer as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
“When I called the last timeout, I reminded the girls that we were playing for Mrs. (Michelle) Ayers,” Bethany coach Carol Beall said. “After that, they really dug it out hard. The girls found it in their heart and came through.
“Tuttle played a different defense on us than we had ever seen, so we had to isolate some girls. It was almost like some 3-on-3 type basketball.”
Bethany jumped to a commanding lead early, allowing only four points in the first 12 minutes. Tuttle charged back with the help of eight 3-pointers, ultimately pulling ahead 42-37 in the closing minutes.
But Bethany scored the final eight points to seal the win.
MOORE UPSETS NORMAN IN OT
Amanda Patterson did as much as she could to ensure Moore would pull off an upset.
She set up teammate Allison Rogers for the game-tying basket that forced overtime and then scored nine points in the extra period to lead the unranked Lions to a 71-63 upset of No. 20 Norman.
Patterson finished with 25 points, while Rogers grabbed an impressive 20 rebounds.
Moore is just 6-16 heading into regionals next week against Midwest City.
Norman's Taylor Ely scored 27 points, including five 3-pointers.
MUSTANG UPSETS PC NORTH AT BUZZER
Mustang's Tori Shockley hit a jumper at the buzzer to help the Broncos knock off No. 11 Putnam North 58-57 to end the regular season on a high note.
This came just minutes after she tied the game at 53-all with a 3-pointer.
Mustang, which plays Lawton Eisenhower next week in regionals, has now won two straight.
Madison Maxwell led the Broncos with 15 points, while Brooke Irwin scored 15 and Shockley added 13.
Morgan Palmer and Courtney Edmonds each scored 15 points to lead Class 3A No. 6 Meeker to a 64-40 win over Chandler in a district playoff victory to remain one of the few undefeated teams this season. ... Oklahoma signee LaNesia Williams scored 23 points to lead Northeast to a 36-32 win against Community Christian in the Class 2A playoffs. ... Haley Woodard and Bri Kuestersteffen scored 24 and 22 points apiece to guide Norman North past Del City 69-56. ... Jasauen Beard scored 14 points, while Asia Davis and Briana Jones each scored 13 to lift Midwest City past Southmoore 69-64, overcoming a 30-point outburst by Serithia Hawkins.