It wasn't the best of starts for Chickasha in 2014, but a busy schedule in their first week of games for the year means they'll have time to make up for losses away to Piedmont on Tuesday.
The Lady Chicks were without 6' 4" sophomore Taylor Sylvester in their 53-42 defeat. Senior Alex Stewart led the way with 17 points, while highly rated sophomore Dominique Golightly finished with 10 points. Head coach Christy Edelen said with Sylvester out and other players returning from the holiday with limited practice time, it was going to take an extra effort to be competitive with Piedmont.
"We definitely had some kids step up," Edelen said.
Stewart and Golightly also got some work done down low, with seven and eight rebounds, respectively. Hannah Ferguson came away with seven rebounds, five of them on the offensive end.
But after the loss, Chickasha has to rebound quickly as they head into their home tournament schedule starting with Douglass tonight at 7 p.m. The teams have already played each other once. The Lady Chicks won emphatically 59-21 in their first game of the season, and Edelen hopes to have the towering Sylvester cleared to play soon.
"Hopefully at some point in the tournament, she'll be back in the lineup," Edelen said. "We've been practicing since Dec. 27, trying to do everything to prepare because we knew we had four games to start things off. We're excited to start the tournament and excited to play at home."
The boys also lost to Piedmont 63-43, with the home side picking up a few late points to take the deficit to 20. Head coach Nathan Pennypacker said he was proud of the effort his players put up against a noticeably taller team.
"They're really well coached, and I think they're smallest guy is about 6' 4"," Pennypacker said. "That was an uphill battle for us. I was proud of the effort. We were getting lose balls, winning charges, and I call those game-winning type of plays. Everyone was positive, upbeat, and communicating really well."
The communication aspect of the game -- something important for teams that must attack quickly and use a lot of movement on offense to overcome lack of size -- is something his team worked on during the winter break, Pennypacker said.
"Last night was the best we've played, we just didn't get the win," he said. "It might be a turning point."
Cole Young led the Fightin' Chicks with 16 points, while freshman point guard Brock Henderson had 10. Sophomore Brandon Shumway scored eight points.
The Fightin' Chicks open their Chickasha Tournament schedule against No. 19 Altus at 8:30 p.m., following the girls' game.