It couldn’t have come any easier for B.J. Leach.
In the span of six seconds, Keys tried to put the ball in play and work its way across the midcourt stripe. Both times Leach snagged a wayward inbounds pass and convert a point-blank layup.
The rest of the night played out much the same way.
Class 3A No. 5 Sequoyah forced 33 Keys turnovers and won going away in a 64-31 rout between the two Cherokee County rivals on Tuesday night at The Place Where They Play.
“I thought our defense played hard,” Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin said. “We got whipped up into a frenzy and flew around and I think we produced a lot of turnovers.”
No doubt about it. Sequoyah made life miserable for the Cougars (0-1) when they had the ball, cashing in on 21 Keys turnovers in the first half en route to a 38-9 halftime advantage.
“But we started getting on a roll, we were able to score some points,” said Herrin, whose team led 13-0 before Keys’ Wyatt Hix drained a 3-pointer for the Cougars’ first points with 1:32 left in the opening quarter.
Leading the offensive charge for the Indians was Caisen Green. The senior guard notched 13 points on a six-of-11 performance from the field. Zach Parish chipped in with 11 points — nine of which came in the opening half.
Sequoyah had 11 players score on a night when it shot 45.4 percent (22 of 55) from the field in front 850 spectators. Before a three-of-10 shooting exhibition in the fourth quarter, the Indians were 22 of 48 from the floor.
The Indians were also 12 of 20 (60 percent) from the free-throw line. Not stellar but much better than the 18-percent showing Sequoyah (2-0) had from the foul stripe at Riverside on Saturday.
“It was about us tonight just trying to execute,” Herrin said. “We executed some sets early, which was good. And I thought our defense played well. We didn’t try to show too much; we kind of kept it basic tonight.”
Keys — playing without Chase Girdner, who is the Cougars’ top returning scorer from last season’s team — was led by Colton Cox, who scored nine points. No other Cougar player had more than five.
Next up for Sequoyah will be a home date with 3A No. 7 Spiro on Thursday. Keys will open up at home on Friday against Miami. Both games, though, could be subject to change with dicey weather approaching later in the week.