, Muskogee, OK

January 8, 2014

Sequoyah rushes past McAlester

By Nick Hampton
Phoenix Correspondent

— This time it wasn’t close.

Using a big third quarter surge, the Sequoyah Indians blew past the McAlester Buffaloes 65-43 in the opening round game in the Large School Boys bracket of the Bedouin Shrine Classic at the Muskogee Civic Center Tuesday night.

The Indians had defeated the Buffs in an overtime contest just before the holiday break but in its defense, McAlester played without point guard Jalen Erving, who scored 30 points in the first meeting. But despite that, Indians coach Jay Herrin was pleased with his teams’ victory.

“I think it took us a while to realize they were short some players and we played a little tentative in the first half,” said Herrin. “The second half we played smarter and defended better and took better shots.”

On top 20-16 at the half, the 3A No. 5 Indians outscored the Buffaloes 21-10 to open a 15 point margin, 41-26, after three quarters. The Indians were paced in the quarter by Caisen Green who scored eight of his team-high 16 points.

“I just moved around more tonight than last time and kept in motion instead of just standing around,” said the senior guard. “We just played better defense than last time. We knew who their shooters were this time and that helped us defend better.”

The game gave Sequoyah (7-1) an opportunity to test their man-to-man defense which, according to Herrin, they don’t use very often.

“We’re playing more man this year because we’re not as deep as we have been. We basically played man all night and pressed some to help open things up,” said Herrin. “I was really pleased with the kids being able to play a defense that we’re not used to playing.”

 In addition to Green, Nick Kingfisher and Zach Parish posted double figures with 10 points each. For McAlester (4-4), Todd Dawkins had a game-high 23 points despite missing about half of the second quarter with an injury.

 Sequoyah will face Jenks in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday night at the Civic Center while McAlester falls into the consolation bracket where they’ll take on Checotah, also at 6 p.m. at Muskogee High School.