Tahlequah Daily Press

January 11, 2014

Lady Indians claim Shrine championship

Local basketball roundup


Sequoyah coach Larry Callison was spot on.

“Coach said they were a really good rebounding team, and he said if we could control the boards we could win,” said Audrey Ballou about the Lady Indians’ battle with defending Small School  Girls champion Spiro in the Bedouin Shrine Classic on Saturday.

“And I think we did a really good job of that.”

Callison’s squad controlled the boards with 17 defensive rebounds and the Indians’ spectacular shooting would help take advantage of those as Sequoyah (9-1) would cruise to a 70-56 victory over the Lady Bulldogs at the Muskogee Civic Center.

Sequoyah’s shooting performance was a huge part of the Lady Indians championship win, going 18-of-23 in the first half in moving to 9-1 on the year.

Jhonett Cookson did not miss a shot in her 10-point first half. Cookson led Sequoyah in scoring with 18. Cenia Hayes was also perfect in the first half with 10 points. She finished perfect as she did not shoot in the second half.

“We’ve shot the ball well all year. We have good shooters that are pretty deceiving. Our big girls shot the ball really well,” said Callison. “We shot well inside and outside. Really nice performance for us.”

The Indians won every period of the game with the shooting and also with the help of senior duo of Ballou and Loren Young.

“Audrey and Loren are special kids. They stepped up in a big game and that is what seniors are supposed to do,” said Callison. “Those two played really big.”

Ballou finished with 17 points. Young had 10. Both Young and Ballou made the Shrine All-Tournament Team.

In the second half, Spiro (6-3) got as close as 7 after Bailey Cox knocked down a 3 to start the second half. Sequoyah hushed the Spiro crowd with a 14-3 run to go up 17.

The Lady Bulldogs kept stayed within striking distance to the Lady Indians with the assistance of their senior duo, Philicea Mack and Sarika Willis but to no avail the Lady Indians continued to hold their lead.

“We played with a great tempo. We kept them off the boards.” said Young. “I’m really proud of my team.”

Mack led Spiro in scoring with 16. Willis finished with 10.

Sophomore Carleigha Thompson who finished with 12 for the Bulldogs made the All Tournament team as well, along with teammate Philecea Mack, a three-time recipient of the honor.

Also making the team was Jaylie Roper of Oktaha.

Other area scores:
- Sequoyah boys 58, Coweta 44: Sequoyah defeated Coweta 58-44. Caisen Green and B.J. Leach each had 20 points for the Indians (8-2). Cagney Robertson had 13 for Coweta (6-4). No other information on the game was provided by the coaching staff.
- Hulbert boys 73, Oktaha 59: Parker Taylor led three Riders (6-3) in double figures with 24 points. Mason Fielden had 19 and Spencer West added 12. Oktaha (2-6) got a game-high 25 from Dustin Leach and 11 from Will Copelan.
- Keys girls 56, Fort Gibson junior varsity 47: Morgan Drywater led Keys with 19 points. The Lady Cougars outscored Fort Gibson 27-18 in the fourth quarter to take contral.
- Salina 65, Keys boys 53: Salina senior Cale Backward scored 22 points to lead Salina past Keys, 65-53, in the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational consolation title game Saturday at Pirate Arena.

Wildcat big men Colton Burgess and Tyler Underwood combined for 25 points in support of Backward, who was left off of the All-Tournament roster despite averaging 26.5 points per game during the weekend.

Chris Stayathome notched a game-best 24 points for the Cougars. Colton Cox added a baker's dozen and Wyatt Hix pitched in nine.

Salina (5-4) surged above .500 for the first time this season with the victory.