Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

December 19, 2012

Indians grind out win over Metro Christian

Short-handed Sequoyah girls knock off Patriots.

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.

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