By BEN JOHNSON
Jay Herrin went with an all-senior lineup to start against Broken Arrow’s junior varsity on Thursday night. He knew there might be some pitfalls early.
“We started all of our seniors and those guys deserved it,” said Herrin, Sequoyah’s coach. “It just wasn’t good matchups for us covering their 3 shooters, and they went off in the first quarter.”
The Indians withstood a barrage of shots from Broken Arrow in the first period and dominated the rest of the way en route to an 82-63 victory on Senior Night at The Place Where They Play.
Caisen Green led Sequoyah with 19 points as the Class 3A No. 5 Indians (17-3) took full control in the second quarter.
“They went off in the first quarter,” Herrin said of the Tigers, who made 10 of their 15 shots from the field in the opening eight minutes. “But once we played man on them in the second quarter, we held them to eight.”
Once the Indians clamped down on defense, Broken Arrow went six-of-30 from the field in the second and third quarters before making nine of 17 shots in the fourth quarter.
By then, though, the game was well in hand for the Indians. Credit for that goes to a 21-4 run in the second quarter, which all started when Green and Broken Arrow’s Jordan Blackmon had a heated exchange that prompted a brief discussion with the officials.
From there, it was all Indians.
With the game tied at 31, Sequoyah tallied the next 21 of 24 points in the quarter. The back-breaker occurred when Sequoyah’s Quinton Johnson was fouled while draining a 3-pointer from the left corner. That was coupled with a technical foul on Broken Arrow assistant coach Teri Long.
Johnston made the free throw to cap off his four-point play, and he added two more free throws to give the Indians a six-point venture in one trip on the offensive end.
“It’s a JV team but you have to realize its the largest school in the United State’s JV team, so they’ve got players,” said Herrin, whose club shot 25-of-59 (42.4 percent) from the field. “Plus, it’s a scary game because we couldn’t really scout them, and we didn’t know anything about them.”
The Indians were introduced quickly to Broken Arrow, which led 26-19 after one quarter. Frankie Gump scored 11 of his team-high 13 points for the Tigers in the first period.
“I told (our team), ‘they’re not going to shoot like that every quarter,” Herrin said. “They were on pace to score 100 points on us, and I didn’t think there was any way we’d give up 100 points on our home court.”
Another factor in Sequoyah taking over was Nick Kingfisher’s 14-point, 13-rebound effort. The senior forward finished six-of-eight from the field.
“He rebounded well and he’s just an athlete,” Herrin said of Kingfisher. “It’s hurt him not playing basketball the last couple of years, but he’s a good athlete you can bring off the bench and he’s going to give you the ability to score in the paint.”
Up next for Sequoyah is a quick turnaround against Metro Christian in Tulsa tonight.
“Metro is a scary team,” Herrin said. “We’re to have to go there and play well. They’re hard to beat at their place.”
Girls: Sequoyah 41, Broken Arrow JV 36
Being able to read hurt Sequoyah before tip off against Broken Arrow’s junior varsity.
“I think (our players) looked at ‘JV’ and thought ‘it’s going to be a blowout,” Sequoyah coach Larry Callison said. “It’s just hard to convince kids that anyone can beat you. It’s the biggest school in the state, so they’re going to send some pretty good players.”
Yet, somehow Class 3A No. 5 Sequoyah did just enough to survive against a Broken Arrow team with a slimmed-down roster.
Without a single player scoring in double figures, Loren Young led the Lady Indians with nine points — seven of which came in the first quarter. No other Sequoyah player had more than six points as the Lady Indians (19-1) managed to ward off their second loss of the season.
“We looked like we were a little bit — I don’t even know the word to describe it,” Callison said. “We just didn’t come ready to play.”
With scoring coming at a premium throughout the game, Sequoyah took advantage of a 5-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter to take full control.
With just under five minutes left in the final period, Sequoyah’s Cenia Hayes broke a 34-34 tie with a 3-pointer from the left wing to provide the final lead change — the 14th — of the game. The Lady Indians would cap the contest with a 7-2 run.
Taylor Jones, on a 10-of-17 shooting effort from the floor, scored a game-high 22 points for Broken Arrow.
The win for Sequoyah comes a little more than a week before the playoffs start. The Lady Indians will host Keys in district play a week from Saturday.
“We’ve had some ugly games, and you’re going to have some,” Callison said, “but if we play that way in the playoffs, we won’t be around long.”
Boys: Sequoyah 82, Broken Arrow JV 63
BA 26 8 9 20 - 63
Seq 19 33 17 11 - 82
BA: Frankie Gump 13, Aaron Brown 10, Crider 9, Knutson 9, Blackmon 8, Davis 7, Baggs 5. Cook 2.
Sequoyah (17-3): Caisen Green 19, Nick Kingfisher 14, Johnston 9, Sanders 9, Parish 8, Leach 7, Tucker 6, Collins 3, Wear 2, Nofire 2, McClure 1.
Girls: Sequoyah 41, Broken Arrow JV 36
BA 14 9 9 4 - 36
Seq 12 8 11 10 - 41
BA: Taylor Jones 22, Williams 5, Ti. Jones 5, Dennis 2, Booth 2.
Sequoyah (19-1): Young 9, Hayes 6, Cookson 6, Ballou 6, Leach 5, Polk 5, Pacheco 4.