By CEDRIQUE FLEMMING
The Sequoyah girls’ basketball team used a late push to defeat upset-minded Haskell 68-56 Friday night in an Area 1, District 7 playoff game held at Sequoyah Center.
The Lady Indians (17-7) will now play Beggs at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Beggs. The Lady Haymakers (10-14) will meet Pawhuska at 1:30 p.m. earlier that day.
“We were a little overconfident tonight, and we let them hang around after we got up early,” Sequoyah coach Larry Shade said. “Haskell has three guards that can really play, and they did a good of staying active against us.”
Sequoyah held a narrow 18-15 edge after the first eight minutes of action, and the home side led 31-24 at intermission. A jumper by Sequoyah’s Loren Young coming out of the locker room put the Lady Indians on top by nine, but a quick 11-2 run notched proceedings at 35-35 midway through the third.
The home team pushed ahead and went on to lead 46-43 after three frames, but Haskell kept the game tight and trailed by just four with 3:15 to play. The visitors simply ran out of gas late as Sequoyah was able to close the contest on a 10-2 run.
Four Lady Haymakers never stepped off the floor, and Haskell’s fifth starter, Nicki Bolding, played all but three minutes. Sherrell McHenry led the road team with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Tashay Love added 15.
“Everybody thought coming in that we were the great underdogs and we would get blown away, but we stayed with them for most of the game,” Haskell coach Rick Kirkhart said. “We knew they were pretty good shooters, but we thought the key to their success was (Audrey Ballou).”
Ballou came off the bench to lead Sequoyah with 18 points. Courtney Jones recorded 16 points and eight assists, and Loren Young posted 13 points and 12 boards.
Sequoyah shot 48 percent (27-for-56) from the field and 47 percent (7-for-15) behind the three-point line. Haskell shot just 37 percent (22-for-59) and 19 percent (3-for-16) from distance.
The visitors led in rebounding (37-33) and second-chance points (17-12), but the Lady Indians held decisive advantages in assists (21-9) and bench points (23-3).
Sequoyah (boys) 87, Haskell 53
The Sequoyah boys showed up and took care of business in an 87-53 win over Haskell in the first round of the Area 1, District 7 playoffs.
The Indians (16-8) will now face Beggs at 8 p.m. Feb. 21 in Beggs. The Haymakers (9-15) will take on the Pawhuska at 3 p.m. earlier that day.
Sequoyah held a paltry 14-10 lead following the opening frame, but a 32-9 second-quarter explosion put away any doubts of who would be the victor in this affair.
T.J. Jones and Caisen Green put away back-to-back layups early in the quarter, which ignited a 16-0 run that blew the game wide open.
“That was the best quarter of basketball we have played all season,” Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin said. “We’re proud of how we executed. We felt we had them controlled defensively, and we were able to take off on the offensive end.”
Midway through the run, the Haymakers did everything but lay down for Sequoyah. The visitors stopped taking care of the ball, turning it over at midcourt on several occasions for easy fast-break layups on the other end. Haskell’s offense also began to mold into a heavy dose of lackadaisical three-point shots with little attempt at the rebound from anyone in the blue road unis.
The second half proved to be nothing more than a formality of minutes that needed to run off the clock, filled with uninspired play and the always-fun bench clearing for the winning side.
In all, 14 Indians saw the court for at least four minutes. Green paced the home team with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Jones poured in 16 and Ryan Helsley added 11 points, five assists and five steals. Elijah Tucker earned the starting nod and responded with a nine-point, seven-rebound effort, and Trinton Herron contributed eight points and seven boards off the bench.
Trigger-happy Alex Wheeland led all scorers with 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Michael Love was virtually a non-factor for Haskell despite his towering 6-foot-6 frame, but he was able to find 10 rebounds.