Tahlequah Daily Press

TDP Sports Blog

March 14, 2014

Indians falter late, lose to Okemah in 3A semifinals for 2nd straight season

OKLAHOMA CITY — The script was virtually the same. The venue, the start time, the opponent — all were close to mirror images of 2013.

However, this year's morning matchup between Sequoyah and Okemah wasn't a blowout with the game already in hand before the fourth quarter ever started.

But outcome was still a tough pill to swallow for the Indians.

Leading by eight early in the fourth quarter, No. 5 Sequoyah let its advantage slip away as No. 1 Okemah scored 18 of the game's final 23 points to get past the Indians, 59-54, at State Fair Arena on Friday morning.

"We played well and built a nice lead and played good defense," Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin said. "We got some shots in the fourth quarter that didn't fall. They hit some tough shots."

John Wingfield led the Panthers (28-1) with 25 points on an 11-of-18 shooting effort from the floor.

"The Wingfield kid really hurt us," Herrin said. "They're role guys hurt us in the fourth quarter."

The final period is where it all fell apart for the Indians.

Sequoyah logged only seven points in the fourth quarter while going three-of-12 from the field. The Indians also threw up three 3-point attempts without converting on any of them.

Caisen Green, who had 35 points in a quarterfinal win over Sperry on Thursday, scored only three of his 10 points in the final eight minutes. The senior guard was one-of-three from the field with a turnover and one rebound to close out the contest.

"We ran plays for him," Herrin said of Green, who finished four-of-10 from the field. "They had some good defenders and they took him out of the game."

Trailing by three (57-54) with 19 seconds left, Okemah's Austin Guinn missed a free throw to try and extend the Panthers' lead. Sequoyah grabbed the rebound, but B.J. Leach turned the ball over when Gus Klutts came up with a game-deciding steal.

Klutts went on to make two free throws with six seconds left, and the Panthers celebrated a return trip to the finals, where they'll take on either Centennial or Verdigris on Saturday at 12:15.

The Indians finish the season 24-4.

"I told the guys that I'm really proud of them," Herrin said of his postgame speech. "We have nothing to hang our heads about. We had some missed execution, but overall I was pleased."

Okemah 59, Sequoyah 54

Seq     17     16     14     7     -      54

Oke     12     17     12     18     -     59

Sequoyah (24-4): B.J. Leach 11, Caisen Green 10, Elijah Tucker 10, Parish 8, Sanders 6, Johnston 5, Kingfisher 4.

Okemah (28-1): John Wingfield 25, Gus Klutts 10, Titsworth 7, Guinn 6, Dunson 4, Webb 4, Custar 3.

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TDP Sports Blog

Ben Johnson has been the sports editor at the Tahlequah Daily Press since 2009. He's a Broken Arrow native and a graduate of Oklahoma State University. He's also an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.

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