The Bulldogs led at every quarter break but it wasn’t easy. Breanna Brazier’s 3-point basket with five seconds left in the first quarter pushed Piedmont ahead 12-10 after one quarter.
The Bulldogs trailed 22-17 late in the second quarter. In the final 90 seconds before halftime, Bre Green drove coast-to-coast for a basket, netted a pair of free throws then made a steal and a bucket just before the buzzer sounded and Piedmont led 23-22 at the half.
Piedmont still led 38-36 after three quarters and extended that advantage to 43-36 early in the fourth when Brazier netted a trey and Riesha Thompson grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a put-back basket. The Bulldogs led 45-38 when Thompson scored on a drive with six minutes to play.
Neither team scored for the next four minutes. White Plains got as close as 46-44 with 28 seconds to go when the Wildcats’ Taylor Snellgrove drove for her only points of the game. Thompson and Green each added a free throw to set the final score.
Brazier had four 3-pointers for the game and finished with 15 points. Green scored 13 points and had three assists and three steals. Thompson had 11 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists. Carlie Flowers scored six points, including a 4-for-4 night at the free throw line, and had five rebounds. Jaylen Major finished with three points.
In Friday’s county tournament semifinal game against No. 1 seed Anniston, Piedmont continued to play solid defense but struggled to score. Anniston eventually claimed a 48-16 win. Piedmont had 19 turnovers in the first half but reduced that number to seven in the second half.
Green and Brazier each scored four points for Piedmont. Green also contributed nine rebounds and three steals. Keshauna Jones and Paige Gowens had three points apiece. Thompson ended with two points, four rebounds and two assists.
Thompson and Green were named to the all-tournament team announced Saturday night.
At Sunday’s regular afternoon of free play, Piedmont coach Terrace Ridley said her players were talking more about winning two games to reach the semifinal round than they were about the loss to Anniston.
“They were actually still excited about making it to Friday. … I heard several comments about how they played pretty good defense against Anniston. We just couldn’t get anything going offense-wise,” Ridley said.
“The main thing I see they’re focusing on now is the area tournament. That’s what they did Sunday,” Ridley added.
In Monday’s home game against Ashville, the visiting Bulldogs defeated the home Bulldogs 50-36. Ashville had won 45-16 in Ashville on January 13.
“It just seemed like they didn’t have that fire in their hearts from the time we walked into the locker room … but it was a better game than we played them the last time, a much better game,” Ridley said.
Ashville jumped on Piedmont 15-4 after one quarter but the game was evenly played thereafter. Flowers finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Brazier had nine points, three boards and two steals. Thompson and Gowens each scored six points. Gowens’ points came on a pair of treys. Thompson also grabbed six rebounds and made two steals. Green and Tiffany Prater had two points each.