Sequoyah overcomes slow start to beat Holland Hall

Stephanie Hair | Daily Press

Sequoyah guard Smalls Goudeau goes up for a contested layup Friday night against Holland Hall.

The Class 3A No. 1 Sequoyah Lady Indians continued their winning ways on Friday night, as they overcame a slow start to beat Holland Hall 81-43 at Sequoyah's The Place Where They Play. Senior guard Lexy Keys led all scorers with 23 points. Jordan Gann had 16 points while Bailey Davis and Smalls Goodeau both had 11.

"It was a little bit of a slow start," Sequoyah head coach Justin Brown said. "Our kids were resilient, they hooked up and got after it and we did some things that we've been doing well."

It was a slow start for the Class 3A top-ranked Lady Indians, who win their 17th straight and improve to 21-1 on the season. They fell behind 5-0 early as Johnna Orange hit a pair of free throws, then after Daryl Hooper missed a three, Joci Lake drained a three. Sequoyah got on the board with 5:47 left in the quarter when Keys hit a free throw. That sparked a run, as the next time down the floor Hooper hit a three to make it 5-4.

After Orange and Gann exchanged jumpers, neither team scored again until there was 3:49 left in the quarter when Goodeau hit a jumper. Keys would pull down a rebound and take it all the way for a layup to put Sequoyah up 10-7. The Lady Indians would then score the next seven points, including when Goodeau picked up a steal, then drained a three off a pass from Keys to extend the lead to 10. Holland Hall's Ava Greer would hit a three in the closing seconds to give Sequoyah a 20-13 lead.

"Defensively, we've done some things really well," Brown said. "Offensively we were able to get out in transitions and run a little bit."

The second period was more to what the Lady Indians are used to, as they outscored the Dutch 20-6, including a stretch in the closing seconds where Jessica Mackey drilled a three to make it 39-18. Keys would then get the steal and take it the length of the court to bank a layup giving Sequoyah the 40-19 halftime lead.

The third quarter unfolded in much the same fashion, as Sequoyah outscored the Dutch 23-13. Davis pulled an offensive rebound with 59 seconds left and hit the bucket, then after a Dutch turnover she took the ball and hit a short jumper to extend the lead to 61-31. Goodeau would hit a jumper in the closing seconds to make it 63-32 Lady Indians.

Sequoyah came out in the fourth quarter on fire, as Hooper hit a jumper then after the Dutch missed a three Keys took the ball and made a three. Hooper then picked up a block a short time later, the after drawing a foul she hit both free throws. That spelt the end of any hopes the Dutch had of a comeback.

Davis finished the game shooting 83% from the field while Gann shot 8-11. As a team, Sequoyah shot 56.7% from the field and 31% from behind the arc. They outrebounded the Dutch 28-25 on the night.

"We're in a good position," Brown said. "I think we're starting to peak at the right time and we're getting a little better on the offensive side and defensively we've been doing a great job for the last few weeks. If we continue doing what we've been doing, I think we're gonna be ok."

Indians fall to Dutch: The Sequoyah Indians were unable to complete a late rally on Friday night, as they fell to the Holland Hall Dutch 63-46 at Sequoyah's The Place Where They Play. Tomas Herrera led the Indians with 13 points on 4-6 shooting. CJ Soap had 12 points on 5-13 shooting.

"That's the best team we've seen all year," Indians coach Jay Herrin said. "We knew it coming in. There's a reason they're ranked so high. That's a team that has a chance to win a state championship in 4A."

Sequoyah, ranked ninth in 3A, slips to 16-6 and saw its six-game win streak come to an end.

The teams traded buckets in the opening minutes, as Kyle Hook drove to the hoop and hit a jumper to give the Dutch an early lead, but on the other end Soap drilled a three to put Sequoyah in the lead. Holland Hall's Nick Fox made a jumper, which was followed by Brock Davis getting a rebound and feeding Garrett Eaton, who hit the layup. He would then pick up a block and rebound, feeding Davis for the layup and 8-3 lead.

After a Sequoyah timeout, Davis and Fox went back-to-back with jumpers. Soap finally broke the scoring run by taking a pass from Shade Waite and hitting a jumper. After Hook drilled a shot, Levi Williams hit a jumper and drew the foul, hitting the free throw. The Indians got the last laugh of the quarter as Herrera hit a running three right as the buzzer sounded to end the quarter with a 21-12 lead for the Dutch.

Holland Hall opened the second quarter on a run, as Eaton and Davis both hit shots before Yona Gregory made a layup for Sequoyah. The teams would trade buckets for the next couple of minutes, but the Dutch would slowly pull away and take a 20-point lead at the half.

Soap came out of halftime on fire, as he hit a jumper almost immediately, then hit a three a minute later. Williams would hit a jumper with 2:51 left, then feed Herrera for a three to bring the Indians to within 11. Sequoyah would get it down to 10 points, but Eaton hit a bucket in the closing seconds then converted the free throw to make it a 13-point lead.

The fourth quarter got off to a rocky start, as Soap was called for a defensive foul at the 7:19 mark, then got involved in a scrum underneath the basket. When the dust settled, he was assessed a technical foul, then a technical foul was assessed to the Sequoyah bench. Davis would hit all four free throws to kill any momentum that Sequoyah had.

The Dutch would go on to outscore the Indians 13-9 in the final quarter to seal the win. As a team, the Dutch shot an astounding 69% compared to 44% for Sequoyah. The Dutch shot 75% from behind the arc while pulling 21 rebounds.

"I was really proud of our effort in the second half," Herrin said. "For being down 20 we didn't quit, we came out and got the lead down to 10 and fought back."

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