By BEN JOHNSON
Jay Herrin was frustrated and sent Kyle Sanders to check in. Henryetta won the opening tip at the Place Where They Play, and on Sequoyah's opening defensive sequence Caisen Green was in the wrong defensive alignment.
That's when Sanders went to takes Green's spot on the floor — only seconds into Friday night's contest.
Green sauntered to the Sequoyah bench, knowing all the while why he was coming out.
"During the shootaround this afternoon, I asked you if you knew what defense we were going to be in," Herrin, Sequoyah's coach, shouted as Green sat in stoic silence.
Perhaps Green was pondering his defensive lapse. Or, maybe he was building up rage to release upon Class 3A No. 9 Henryetta when he checked back in.
Either way, his brief stint as a spectator propelled him to a 26-point, 10-rebound performance as 3A No. 5 Sequoyah dominated late en route to an 81-64 trouncing of the Knights in front 550 in attendance.
"I guess I got confused at first," Green said of his brief removal from the game in the first quarter. "We've been running defense after defense, and I thought we were in one defense and (Herrin) was telling us we were in another. I just started off in the wrong defense."
Green checked back in at the 7:07 mark of the first quarter and put on a shooting clinic for the duration of the game. The 6-foot-2 senior guard finished nine-of-12 from the field and three-of-four from the free-throw line.
Green's teammates followed his lead and torched the nets, as well. The Indians finished by making 65.2 percent (30-of-46) of their field-goal attempts.
Yet, that paled in comparison to Henryetta's first-quarter effort from the floor. The Knights (9-2) drained 10-of-12 field-goal attempts to claim a 28-25 lead after eight minutes of play.
"I told the kids after the first quarter, 'we're going to score 100 points tonight; too bad we're going to get beat by 12,'" Herrin said. "The last shootout we were in like that was with Fort Gibson, and it was 29-all at the end of the first quarter and we lost a tight game. We were just losing people in transition defense, and I was disappointed, defensively."
The Indians managed to tighten the screws on defense in the final 24 minutes. Henryetta ended up shooting 26-of-60 (43.3 percent) from the field in the game and 33.3 percent (16-of-48) after the first period.
Sequoyah went from trailing 28-25 at the end of the first period to owning a 48-38 advantage at halftime. But Henryetta would stay close in the third quarter, cutting the Indians' edge to 58-53 with one quarter to play.
Sequoyah (9-2) followed by putting the game on ice.
The Indians opened the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run to stretch their lead to 69-53. The outcome was never in doubt from that point on.
"We felt pretty good after the second quarter, because we didn't play a lick of defense in the first quarter," Herrin said. "...We wanted to extend our lead in the third quarter, but low and beyond, we got beat by five and they beat us in the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter, I thought we locked them down pretty good and made it harder for them to score. We also made some shots."
Replicating Henryetta's first-quarter shooting performance, the Indians closed the game by going 10-of-12 from the floor in the fourth quarter.
Coming off a third-place finish in the Large School bracket of the Shrine Classic and with the Tri-State Classic in Jay ahead on Thursday, the Indians' rout against a top-10 team in 3A helped validate their place in the polls while also making a statement.
"It was a good win for us," said Green, who received help on the offensive end from B.J. Leach (21 points), Zach Parish (10 points) and Quinton Johnston (eight points, five assists).
"It's Henryetta, I mean, they've always been good as long as I've been here. And being a top-nine team, that was a good win for us."
Pacing Henryetta on the offensive end was Chet Caywood with 26 points. The senior guard started the game four-of-four from the field but finished 11-of-23.
Riley Berry was the Knights' only other scorer in double figures with 14 points.
Sequoyah's next game will be against Locust Grove's junior varsity at 3 p.m. on Thursday. Henryetta continues on the road tonight at 3A No. 1 Okemah.
Girls: Sequoyah 62, Henryetta 30
Loren Young scored 15 points as Class 3A No. 4 Sequoyah controlled throughout. Cenia Hayes and Jhonett Cookson both added 10 points apiece for Sequoyah (10-1).
Henryetta led 3-0 in the first quarter on Hanna Gouge's 3-pointer from the right wing, but Sequoyah responded with a 9-0 run and never looked back.
Henryetta finished with more turnovers (32) than points. The Lady Knights (3-8) finished without a player scoring in double figures.
Sequoyah will have a quick turnaround with a game in Tulsa on Saturday. At noon, the Lady Indians will take on Jay at the BOK Center.
Boys: Sequoyah 81, Henryetta 64
Hen 28 10 15 11 - 64
Seq 25 23 10 23 - 81
Henryetta (9-2): Chet Caywood 26, Riley Berry 14, T. Johnson 9, Konsure 6, K. Johnson 6, Blackbear 3.
Sequoyah (9-2): Caisen Green 26, B.J. Leach 21, Zach Parish 10, Quinton Johnston 8, Tucker 6, Sanders 6, Kingfisher 4.
Girls: Sequoyah (62), Henryetta 30
Hen 8 3 6 13 - 30
Seq 16 12 19 15 - 62
Henryetta: Hanna Gouge, Hamric 8, Ellis 7, Wallace 2, Najera 2, Billie 2.
Sequoyah: Loren Young 15, Cenia Hayes 10, Jhonett Cookson 10, Polk 8, Ballou 6, Leach 5, Spottedbird 3, Galvin 2, Barr 1.