The Bulldogs lost, won and lost in their initial action under first-year varsity head coach Terrace Ridley.
“We have more guards than we have post players. We have a lot of speed but not a lot of height. Right now we’re having to try to adjust to a lot of things they’re not used to,” Ridley said Tuesday. “As far as the way we’ve played, we started out that first game and we played as well as I expected for the first time playing together except for too many turnovers. Right now we’re just turning the ball over much too much.”
The Bulldogs lost four of five starters and their first player off the bench to graduation at the end of last season. Junior Bre Green is the lone returning starter. Classmates Carlie Flowers, Paige Gowens, Ashlynne Rivers and Riesha Thompson all got playing experience at the varsity level last year. Tiffany Prater, injured last year, returns for her senior season.
The younger players include Breanna Brazier, Keshauna Jones, Jaylen Major, Jakeiyah Mitchell and Gena Prater.
The Bulldogs drew eventual tournament runner-up Brindlee Mountain to open the tournament on Tuesday of last week and fell 65-38. Brazier, a freshman, tallied 10 points. Flowers had nine points and added four rebounds and five steals. Gowens scored eight points and Thompson had six points. Tiffany Prater had three points. Green scored two points and added two steals. Jones grabbed four rebounds.
The following day, Piedmont edged Gaston 31-29. Flowers led the way with 11 points and seven rebounds. Brazier and Green each scored seven points and Green added three assists. Gowens had six points. Thompson and Jones had four steals apiece and Thompson also handed out three assists.
On Friday, Cherokee County slipped past Piedmont 32-28. Gowens netted four 3-point baskets and finished with 12 points. She also had four rebounds. Flowers had six points and eight boards. Thompson contributed five points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Brazier scored three points. Jones had two points and four rebounds. Green and Mitchell each had two steals.
“Every last one of the girls that I put in the ball game is playing hard and giving it all they’ve got. … It’s unreal how they get after it at practice and they get after it in the games,” Ridley said. “They don’t give up. They don’t ever give up. The drive is there. It’s just going to take time for it all to come together.”
Piedmont was to meet Cherokee County in a road game at Centre last night. More travel follows with games at Wellborn Thursday, at Woodland Monday and at Weaver Tuesday.