The Piedmont High girls basketball team reached the California Interscholastic Federation Division IV Northern regional semifinals for the fourth time in five years with a 46-45 victory over No. 3 seed Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento on March 15.
Piedmont (21-9) trailed 35-30 entering the fourth quarter, but rallied to win. The sixth-seeded Highlanders traveled to face No. 2 Arcata on March 18 in a semifinal game and fell 50-38 to end their season.
In the quarterfinal game, Piedmont was paced by Lauren Seyranian, who scored 20 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and passed for four assists. Teammate JoNae Gonzales added 10 points, and Bailey Thompson grabbed 10 rebounds for the Highlanders.
In the opening round on March 12, Castilleja-Palo Alto didn't have an answer for Seyranian in the first half , and in the second half, it was the Highlanders' defense that carried it to a 48-30 victory.
"We knew it would be a grind-out game and we would have to play D the whole game," said Piedmont coach Bryan Gardere, whose team used a stifling man-to-man defense. "For us, being a little short-handed, we knew we had to really dig in."
The Highlanders (20-9) were missing starting point guard and second-leading scorer Gonzales because of a high ankle sprain. Piedmont had only five regular varsity players available and two junior varsity call-ups.
In the first half, Seyranian was nearly unstoppable. The UC-Davis-bound wing player, who moved to point guard for the game, had 16 of her game-high 20 points in the first 16 minutes as Piedmont held a 30-15 halftime lead over the No. 11 seed.
"I thought everyone really stepped up today," she said. "We were just focusing on playing hard through the horn and not fouling."
Piedmont rebounded well, especially sophomore Cate Selna. The 6-foot-1 center grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds to go along with her 12 points.
The Highlanders hit the offensive boards exceptionally well in the fourth quarter after ending the third with a 38-23 scoring lead.
Piedmont held a slim 7-5 advantage in the first quarter after a 3-pointer by Castilleja's Cate Alder. But a jumper Thompson started a 9-2 run for Piedmont, which led by at least six points in the first half after that.
Berkeley 64, Skyline 40: The visiting Titans were outscored 42-20 in the second half in this CIF Division I Northern regional first-round game on March 12. Safiyyah Yasin scored a team-high 22 points for Skyline, and teammate Darrien Washington added 16 points in the loss.