By KOLBY PAXTON
Loren Young bounced back from a quiet performance vs. Oologah to score 17 points — including a run of seven straight — as the Sequoyah Lady Indians held off Metro Christian by a count of 51-36 on Friday.
The trio of Young, Courtney Jones and Baylee Ratliff combined for all but seven of Sequoyah’s points, leading SHS to multiple double-digit leads.
The Lady Indians began the contest on an 11-0 run, sparked by four consecutive buckets by Jones and Young. Victory Christian answered with a mini-spurt of its own to cut the lead to six at the end of the first frame.
And so went the primary pace of the contest.
“We started quick and then we got a little passive and a little careless with the ball,” said Sequoyah coach Larry Shade. “We had a few turnovers and not covering the shooter, which put them back in the ball game. But once we settled down it turned around. We kind of stayed neck and neck for a while, until we started looking for our inside game.”
For Young, the performance was arguably her best of the young season; a stirring level of play considering the fact that she is just eight months removed from a serious knee injury.
“Loren did a good job,” said Shade. “She’s coming around. She’s been out of action off and on since April when she tore her ACL. She’s supposed to be limited in time, but we’re using her as much as she’ll let us know. It’s entirely up to her. She looked really good tonight.”
As for Jones, the senior overcame a tough shooting night to post 12 of her 14 points in the first half, pushing the Lady Indians to a four-point advantage at the break.
“Courtney is our lone senior, and she is our leader,” said Shade. “We ask her at times to make sure she leads us. Her leadership and her experience help out a lot. There’s time when she puts somebody in position and I can’t see it.”
Ratliff found herself in foul trouble early, but exploded in the second half, pacing Sequoyah with tenacious defense and a high energy level.
“Baylee can go,” said Shade. “She can be a little feisty. Baylee’s the fastest one on the court. When she slows down and lets the game come to her, she can play.”
The Lady Indians will host Metro Christian at The Place Where They Play on Dec. 18, followed by a two-week lay-off over the winter break.”
Victory Christian 66, Sequoyah 46 (boys)
Victory Christian guard Chris Crawford exploded for 20 points and four steals, leading the Conquerors to a 66-46 blowout victory over host Sequoyah on Friday.
Crawford set the tone from the tip, scoring the first seven points of the game, and opening up a margin that VCS would never relinquish.
“Chris had a good performance,” Victory Christian coach Ryan Wakley said. “He’s is getting better and better every day. Just an outstanding young man that works hard and is just starting to realize his potential.”
Ryan Helsley responded with five quick points of his own to draw the Indians within five at the close of the opening stanza. The highlights for Helsley ended there, however, as the senior would misfire on his next six attempts.
Still, Sequoyah hung within single-digits for most of the first half, before Damion Parker canned a 3-point bucket at the buzzer, extending the Victory Christian lead back to 10.
“I felt like in the middle of the first, second quarter we fell into a lull, settled a little too much, and we lost our rhythm offensively,” said Wakley. “We still continued to play good defense and we’re able to hold our lead. Damion hit a big shot at the end of the second quarter and gets us back up 10.”
The teams traded blows early in the third quarter, before the Conquerors slammed the door with a 19-3 run to close the period.
“We had a nice run in the third quarter,” said Wakley. “We really sort of put it away there.”
Jake Freeman chipped in 13 for VCS on 5-of-5 shooting, while Parker added 10 of his own.
“Jake has been shooting the ball outstanding the last three games,” said Wakley. “He’s found his rhythm, and worked extremely hard at it. He’s doing a good job getting set up, and we’ve done a good job of finding him.”
The putrid shooting night for the Indians was evident in the box score. Only Helsley, on an off night, managed to reach double figures. Senior T.J. Jones added nine.
The silver lining for Sequoyah may be the impending return of Caisen Green and Zachary Parish, who are expected to return following the winter break.
Next up for the Indians is a home date with Metro Christian at The Place Where They Play.