Piedmont girls basketball goes 1-3 against top competition

Piedmont High School’s girls basketball team suffered its first losses of the season Dec. 27-30 at the SoCal Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego.

Playing in the NCAA Gold Division, the third of 11 divisions in the tournament, the Highlanders lost to Oak Park, defeated Scripps Ranch-San Diego, lost to Victory Christian-Chula Vista, and fell to Sherwood (Ore.).

On Dec. 27, Oak Park defeated Piedmont, 42-35. The Highlanders trailed 20-15 after one, 27-24 at halftime and 35-29 after three.

Natalia Martinez was held to a season-low 11 points, making just one of nine 3-point attempts. She had six rebounds and four assists. Martinez also suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter. Lindsey Wirgler scored 12 points. Shakila Zuberi had eight points and five rebounds.

Piedmont coach Bryan Gardere was happy Wirgler got three baskets inside.

“Need more of that,” he said.

On Dec. 28, the Highlanders defeated Scripps Ranch, 75-58. Martinez rebounded from the injury and poor shooting night with 52 points including making 17 of 19 free throws. She also had six rebounds and five steals. Zuberi added 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Samantha Smith had 11 rebounds to go along with three points and two blocked shots. Wirgler handed out six assists.

Piedmont blew open a close game late, having led 35-33 at halftime and 53-47 entering the fourth quarter.

On December 29, the Highlanders lost to Victory Christian, 68-63. Wirgler missed the game with a nose injury and Piedmont played with five players. Martinez had 35 points, four rebounds and three assists. Zuberi had eight points, eight rebounds and three assists. Smith had eight points while Kat Melian had seven rebounds and six points.

The Highlanders had 17 turnovers in the game.

On Dec. 30, Sherwood beat Piedmont, 49-44, with Wirgler out again. The Highlanders fell behind 15-3 before outscoring Sherwood 16-5 in the second quarter to trail 20-19 at halftime. Sherwood pushed the lead to 36-30 after three and held on. Piedmont, again playing with five, had 19 turnovers.

Martinez scored 30 points and had six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Zuberi had eight points and four rebounds.

Piedmont is now 9-3 on the season. It next plays Jan. 10 at home against Bishop O’Dowd in the West Alameda County Conference opener.

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