January 10, 2013

Chickasha boys upset Piedmont

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — The Chickasha High School boys basketball team earned what head coach Bryan Merritt called the best win of the season so far Tuesday night, beating the No. 6 Piedmont Wildcats at home.

Led by a 28-point performance from senior point guard E.J. Golightly, the Fightin' Chicks beat No. 6 Piedmont 55-47, advancing to 5-2 this season.

"That's our biggest win of the year; that's bigger than the Anadarko win," Merrit said. "That team was in the state tournament last year in 4A, and returned almost every guy. They were picked second in our league behind Carl Albert. We're really happy to beat them.

"That's probably the biggest win we've had here in about three years," Merrit said.

Piedmont led by five after the first quarter and by one point at halftime, but Chickasha turned the tide in the third quarter by out-scoring the Wildcats 15-8.

The Fightin' Chicks had trouble containing Piedmont's Cameron Peters, who scored 31 points, but were able to limit the production of the rest of Piedmont's lineup. No other Piedmont player was in double figures.

"[Peters and Dupree Millhouse] are really big on the  AAU circuit, both two of probably the top-10 juniors who will be recruited to go play college basketball," Merrit said. "Peters plays on Athletes First, the best AAU team in Oklahoma. Both of them are just great players.

"I remember coming to a game here when T.J. [Filer] and Rashawn [Thomas] were eighth graders, and those two kids were playing against them, and we lost by about 50 and they dunked on us six times. I thought, 'Man, they're going to be really good,'" Merritt said.

Chickasha led by nine points with five minutes left in the game, but over the next two minutes Piedmont would cut the lead down to one point, 46-45.

Chickasha never gave up the lead, however, partially due to having 10 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, seven by Golightly.

Golightly was 4-for-7, Joey Sylvester was 2-for-2 and Datious Dufur was 0-for-1 in the final period from the free throw line.

It was the Chickasha defense that allowed the team to keep its lead, more than anything.

The Fightin' Chicks only allowed two points in the final three minutes of the game.

Chickasha is scheduled to play Altus in the first round of the Chickasha Tournament at 8 p.m.