Piedmont girls basketball sweeps through opening tournament

Natalia Martinez dribbles against Salesian (file photo)

Piedmont High School’s girls basketball team opened its season with three easy wins at the Bryan Ayer Classic in Lompoc.

The Highlanders defeated Orcutt Academy in the final on Dec. 2, 63-37. Natalia Martinez led Piedmont with 40 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sam Smith had seven points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. Lindsey Wirgler had five points, five assists and two rebounds. Kat Melian added four points and five rebounds. Shakila Zuberi had seven points and two rebounds and also guarded the top 3-point shooter on Orcutt Academy, according to Highlanders coach Bryan Gardere.

Samantha Smith had a double-double in Piedmont’s opening game at tournament in Lompoc. (File photo)

Elizabeth Johnson had 14 points to lead the Spartans. Ashley Barrientos had 10.

In the semifinals on Dec. 1, Piedmont beat Dos Pueblos-Goleta, 62-44. Martinez again had a huge game, scoring 43 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. She also had four assists. Smith had four points and three rebounds and “played great defense on their best player,” Gardere said. Wirgler had five points and two assists. Melian contributed four points and eight rebounds. Zuberi had six points, four rebounds and two steals.

Piedmont’s Shakila Zuberi guarded a top 3-point shooter in the finals of the Bryan Ayer Classic in Lompoc. (File photo)

Justine Katz led the Chargers with 16 points. Carly Letendre had 13.

In the opening round, Piedmont overwhelmed Fresno Christian, 75-5. Martinez had 33 points, six assists, five rebounds and nine steals. Smith had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Wirgler had 16 points while Melian had 14 points and eight rebounds. Zuberi had nine rebounds.

Piedmont hosts the Paris Twins Classic beginning Dec. 7 at Binks Gymnasium. The tournament concludes on Dec. 9.

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