By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
TAHLEQUAH — Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin calls it the best quarter for his boys basketball team this season. No one is going to argue that.
The Indians romped to a 32-9 edge in the second period against Haskell in rolling over the Haymakers 87-53 in Class 3A, District 7 playoff action at The Place Where they Play on Friday night.
“I felt we had them controlled defensively and we wanted to take off on offense in the second quarter,” Herrin said. “That’s a big quarter. Thirty points in high school basketball is a lot of points. We’re proud of the way we executed.”
Ranked No. 9 in the Okrankings.com Class 3A poll this week, Sequoyah led 46-19 at halftime.
Haskell coach Jay Dixon said his team struggled against the Indians’ pressing defense, especially in that second period.
“It finally got to us,” he said. “We were staying with them until that point. We had some turnovers and they got some layups. We had a hard time recovering from that.”
The Indians’ had a 16-0 scoring run in that second quarter to break open its 14-10 lead after the first period to 30-10 with 4:32 left in the half.
T.J. Jones had six points and Caisen Green scored five during the run. Niko Hammer and Elijah Tucker had the other points for the Indians in the run.
Jones, a 6-foot-2 senior, got the start as B.J. Leach was having back problems.
“Defense was the big key for us in that second quarter,” Jones, who finished with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, said. “I had to step up and play.”
Green, hitting 9 of 14 shots, led the Indians with 23 points. Ryan Helsley added 11 as the Indians improved to 16-8 for the season.
Alex Wheeland topped the Haymakers (9-15) with 25 points on 9 of 19 shooting from the floor. Six-foot-6 Michael Love had 10 rebounds.
Both Sequoyah teams play the Beggs-Pawhuska winners next Thursday at Beggs. Haskell’s teams face the Beggs-Pawhuska losers in the consolation side of the bracket.
Sequoyah 68, Haskell 56
Loren Young scored six of her team’s 14 points in the final five minutes of the game to push the 3A No. 9 Lady Indians (17-7) past the Lady Haymakers (10-14).
Sequoyah clung to a 54-51 lead before taking over in those final minutes.
“I started off slow and I picked up my game,” the 6-foot junior said. “We started playing together like we can in the fourth quarter and that made a difference. They were physical, but we started getting tougher inside.”
Young finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Audrey Ballou had 18 points, while Courtney Jones added 16. Jones and Feather Pacheco had eight assists each for the Lady Indians.
“The kids stepped up well,” Sequoyah coach Larry Shade said. “Loren did a good job rebounding for us in that fourth quarter.”
Sherrell McHenry, a Connors State commit, had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Haskell. Tashay Love added 15 points. Coach Rick Kirkhart knew the latter stage of the fourth period was the difference.
“We got in a press and left them open and it probably cost us six points on the back end of the press,” he said. “We thought we were a little quicker than they were. We knew they were good shooters. My girls have fought all year long and coming in here, everybody thought we were the great underdogs. We stayed with them for most of the game.”