From Staff reports
CHECOTAH — Sequoyah entered this weekend with only one loss. The Class 3A No. 5 Lady Indians suffered a 10-point loss to Inola way back in early December.
Then came Friday night when Sequoyah dropped a double-digit loss to Verdigris in the Area IV finals. That meant if Sequoyah's loss total tripled in two days, its season would be done.
Cenia Hayes and Co. made sure that didn't happen. The Sequoyah freshman scored a game-high 24 points, including a couple of late free throws to ice the game, as the Lady Indians posted a 58-53 victory over 10th-ranked Vian on Saturday night at the Checotah Event Center.
The victory secured Sequoyah's spot in the state tournament. It's the second year in a row that the Lady Indians have won the area tournament consolation crown to make the state tournament.
"It was one of those years, where I put a lot of pressure on myself," Sequoyah coach Larry Callison said. "If we hadn't of made it, I would have been disappointed in myself."
No need to worry about that now.
Sequoyah (25-2) heads to the Oklahoma City area, where it'll likely take on No. 9 Heritage Hall in the opening round of the state tournament.
"We'll have our hands full with them," Callison said.
Then it'll be no different than the challenge that Vian presented. Erica Casey led Vian (22-4) with 21 points, and Nese Walters chipped in with 14 points, including a 3-pointer late in regulation to tie the game up and send it to overtime tied at 49.
In the extra period, Sequoyah outscored Vian, 9-4.
Jhonett Cookson added 12 points in the winning effort, and Loren Young added 11.
Class 3A Area IV playoffs
(At Checotah High School)
Game 1: Vian 47, Wilburton 32
Game 2: Metro Christian 41, Holdenville 37
Game 3: Vian 41, Metro Christian 39
Game 4: Verdigris 53, Sequoyah 40 (winner advances to state)
Game 5: Sequoyah 58, Vian 53, OT (winner advances to state)