PIEDMONT — Glencoe beat Piedmont at its own game to win the Class 3A, Area 10 girls basketball tournament championship.
Aggressive pressure defense, scrambling for loose balls, creating turnovers and converting them into easy breakaway baskets – the Yellow Jackets did it all Thursday night on Piedmont’s home court. The result was a 52-34 Glencoe victory.
“All I could see was we looked like we were glued to the floor the whole ballgame and that’s just not the defense we normally play. … We just did not try to get after loose balls like we normally try to get after it,” Piedmont head Terrace Ridley said.
Piedmont (10-16) travels to Wellborn on Monday in sub-regional play. The Panthers defeated Weaver 52-49 in the Class 3A, Area 9 title game. Glencoe (17-14) will host Weaver on Monday.
Thursday’s start couldn’t have been much better for Piedmont. On the opening possession, an offensive rebound led to an inside basket by Lulu Jackson. Glencoe’s first shot was an air ball. The second time the Bulldogs got the ball, Sydney Prater scored on an inbounds play to make it 4-0. It took almost four minutes for Piedmont to score again. That basket, also by Prater, ended a 9-0 run by the Yellow Jackets. Tournament MVP Anna Beth Giles’ 3-pointer just before the buzzer upped Glencoe’s lead to 14-7 after one quarter.
The Yellow Jackets also had depth, something Piedmont hasn’t had all season.
“One of our strengths is we’ve got numbers,” said first-year Glencoe coach Daniel Cook, who coached the Ohatchee boys from two seasons between 2008 and 2010. “We’ve got a number of quality girls that can play basketball. That helps us wear teams down.”
While Glencoe substituted 10 deep early in the game, two Piedmont starters picked up two fouls quickly. By halftime, the Yellow Jacket led 28-12. In the second half, 14 points was Glencoe’s smallest lead.
Giles led all scorers with 20 points. Ashley Morgan had 12 points and Breia Little eight for Glencoe. As usual, eight players scored for the Yellow Jackets. Jackson and Rebecca Smart each scored eight points for Piedmont.
Now Piedmont turns its attention to Wellborn.
“My defense, if we don’t get that back to where we had it we might be in trouble,” Ridley said. “We’ve got to get some stops. We’ve got to be able to play aggressive defense.”