By KOLBY PAXTON
Niko Hammer recaptured some of the form that allowed him to emerge as an impact player a season ago, leading Sequoyah with 12 points and four assists en route to a gritty 38-32 victory over Metro Christian on Tuesday.
The Indians led by as many as 12, but failed to blow the game open on a night when the long range shots refused to fall.
"We didnt' shoot the ball like we want to," Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin said. "When people zone us, it opens up the three and that's usually a strength of ours, but we just didn't have a good shooting night. I'm proud of my kids and the way that they played, and we'll be back at full strength for the next game."
The Patriots appeared to be on the verge of falling victim to a blowout, but managed to fight back just enough to keep the game within reach for much of the night.
"Give a lot of credit to them," said Herrin. "Those kids played hard. It just wasn't pretty. We had a chance to extend our lead when we got up 10-12 points and we just didn't hit the gas like we usually do. We were a steal away or a three away from getting up 15-17 points. Then maybe the game changes. But the way we finished the half carried into the third quarter. It was a good defensive game, the offense just wasn't very good."
Metro pulled within one-point before Hammer buried a three-point bucket to push the lead back to two possessions with just over three minutes to play.
"That's the best that Niko has played," said Herrin. "He's just maybe now getting into the flow of it. Ryan (Helsley) had an off night and Niko picked him up. That's what seniors do."
Despite the off night, Helsley added 10 points for SHS. B.J. Leach and Trinton Herron contributed six points a piece.
Metro Christian forward Cole Petrich led all scorers with 14.
Next up for Sequoyah is a Jan. 5 home date with Cascia Hall, during which the Indians will welcome Caisen Green and Zachary Parish back into the lineup.
Sequoyah 38, Metro Christian 32
MC 8 7 12 5 -- 32
SEQ 15 7 7 9 -- 38
Metro Christian (3-5): Petrich 14, Freese 7, Canady 5, Woolslayer 4, Strickland 2.
Sequoyah (4-3): Hammer 12, Helsley 10, Leach 6, Herron 6, Johnston 4.
Sequoyah 51, Metro Christian 42 (girls)
Freshman Jakkie Wright scored a career-high 12 points to help lead Sequoyah to a 51-42 victory over the visiting Metro Christian Patriots on Tuesday.
"Jakkie stepped up and played really well," said head coach Larry Shade. "Especially for a freshman. She's got a good ball sense."
The short-handed Indians were without the services of Baylee Ratliff, Kelsey Leach and Loren Young for an assortment of reasons ranging from illness to disciplinary.
No matter, Sequoyah jumped out to a 22-8 lead and never looked back, holding off a late Patriot surge to notch to its fifth victory of the season. The Lady Indians got big minutes from sophomore Sierra Polk, filling in for Young, who contributed 7 points and 13 rebounds.
Metro Christian cut the margin to 35-34 with 6:52 remaining, but could draw no closer.
"We kind of got passive," said Shade. "Plus, with just eight players we got a little bit winded, and we tried to play conservative, but we got stuck in conservative mode, too much."
Senior Courtney Jones led all scorers with 15 points – nine of it coming in the final period.
Shay Stegmann set the pace with 14 points for the Patriots, who drop to 1-7 with the loss.
Sequoyah will now have an opportunity to return to full strength, with an 18-day lay-off before its next contest versus Cascia Hall.
Sequoyah 51, Metro Christian 42
MC 8 10 12 12 -- 42
Seq 22 4 7 18 -- 51
Metro Christian: Stegmann 15, Gibbons 13, Burn 10, Steer 2, Walley 2.
Sequoyah: Jones 14, Wright 12, Bacheco 9, Polk 7, Owl 5, Hooper 2, Walker 2.