By KOLBY PAXTON
In what amounted to a potential regional finals preview, the host Sequoyah Indians seized control early and never relinquished en route to a dominant 87-69 victory over Henryetta on Thursday.
The Indians pushed the tempo early and often, firing away from long range and crashing the offensive boards. Sequoyah managed 13 second chance points on seven offensive rebounds to compliment a baker’s dozen from long range.
“We let them carve us up a little bit passing through our zone last time, and we were determined not to do that this time,” said Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin. “I thought we crashed the board hards, and any time we can get second chance points its big.”
SHS extended the lead as far as 22 in the third quarter, before giving way to a 15-6 run that trimmed the lead to 11 with just over seven minutes to play in the contest. B.J. Leach returned fire with a three-pointer to stop the bleeding, and the outcome was never again in question.
Caisen Green led the attack early, scoring 12 quick points and finishing with 15. Ryan Helsley forced the issue late, en route to 21.
“Caisen is such a fast athlete with the ball in his hands, when he gets it we want him to push it,” said Herrin. “Ryan, I thought, was disappointed with the way he played last time. He had a poor game and he’d be the first to admit that. Tonight he came out and dominated the game for four quarters. He took it upon himself to make strong moves, get to the free throw line and hit some shots.”
When Green and Helsley weren’t scoring, Leach picked up the slack, dropping 21 of his own in yet another impressive performance for the sophomore.
“B.J. will get seven quicks one and not care if he scores again for five minutes, and then he’ll get five more just like that,” said Herrin. “He’s a dynamic player. We’re looking forward to some good things from that kid.”
Chet Caywood shouldered the scoring load with 26 points before fouling out. Grant Ward and Damon Mouse contributed 16 and 12, respectively.
The win is the seventh in eight contests for Sequoyah who will play its final road contest Friday when the Indians travel to Verdigris.
“Verdigris will be tough,” said Herrin. “We’re a different team the last time we played them and they probably are, too, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Sequoyah (girls) 60, Henryetta 54
Courtney Jones erupted for 22 points, Audrey Ballou added 15, and Sequoyah held off a furious fourth quarter rally to edge the visiting Henryetta Lady Knights 60-54 at The Place Where They Play on Thursday night.
The Lady Indians trailed early, but controlled the pace throughtout, winning the defensive rebound battle 17-4, leading by as many as 20, and entering the fourth quarter with a 47-31 advantage.
The floor caved in on Sequoyah in the final period, however, as Henryetta opened the frame on a 18-2 run to pull within two with just over two minutes remaining.
“Overall we played three good quarters, and then we had 10 turnovers in the fourth quarter,” said head coach Larry Shade. “We got up to a big lead and then we got complacent with what we were doing.”
With less than a minute remaining in regulation, senior guard Megan Trabor pulled the Lady Knights within a point at 55-54 before Feather Pacheco was finally able to stop the bleeding with four consecutive free throws to effectively put the game on ice.
Jones enjoyed one of the most efficient shooting performances of her career, connecting on 8-of-10 field goal attempts, 3-of-6 from deep.
“When Courtney is on it opens up our post game and that’s what we’ve been working on,” said Shade. “We’ve wanted our two post girls to be a little bit more active, because when we get into the playoffs, we’re going to meet some better ball clubs.”
Trabor, Makayla Blackbear and Aleia Murphy combined for 46 to provide the push for Henryetta.
The Lady Indians, winners of eight of their last nine, travel to Verdigris Friday for one more regular season road trip on Friday.
Sequoyah (girls) 60, Henryetta 56
HHS 12 9 10 25 -- 56
SHS 16 18 11 13 -- 60
Henryetta: Blackbear 16, Murphy 15, Tabor 15, Alisaa Taylor 6, Aundrea Hamric 4.
Sequoyah: Jones 22, Ballou 15, Loren Young 11, Pacheco 6, Baylee Ratliff 4, Jakkie Wright 2
Sequoyah (boys) 87, Henryetta 69
HHS: 17 10 28 14 -- 69
SHS: 29 13 28 17 -- 87
HHS: Caywood 26, Ward 16, Mouse 12, Wallace 7, Najera 4, Taylor 4.
Sequoyah: Helsley 21, Leach 21, Green 15, Quinton Johnson 11, TJ Jones 8, Mahli McNac 4, Niko Hammer 3, Trinton Herron 2, Wyatt McClure 2.