Sequoyah’s Lady Chiefs missed some wide open layups on Thursday night, but it turned out that they were accurate when it mattered the most. The Lady Chiefs finished the game going 8-for-8 from the free throw stripe to separate from Polk County and take a 46-34 win to advance to the district semifinals against Meigs County on Friday.
Rylee Jo Hale got Polk County on the board first, and Courtney Farr added back-to-back 3-pointers as the Wildkittens raced out to an 8-4 lead. Sequoyah responded with consecutive treys from Abbey Borden and Hanna Carroll to take the lead at 10-8. Emily Casteel tied the score moments later on a layup, but a jump shot by Borden answered and concluded the first quarter with Sequoyah on top 12-10.
A second Carroll trey and four straight points from Mallorie Harrell gave the Lady Chiefs a lead at 19-12, but layups by Tori Hardin and Mackenzie Maxwell cut into the lead and made the game a one-possession affair again. Sequoyah responded with baskets from Harrell, Borden, and Grace Wiggins to pull ahead just before the half, 25-17.
Polk County made up some ground in the third quarter thanks to the two teams trading baskets. Wiggins, Borden, and Jesse Weese made shots for Sequoyah while Sydney Bowman and Hale made shots for Polk. The Wildkittens got the last points, though, on Katie Lowe free throws, to cut the Sequoyah lead to 31-25 headed to the fourth quarter.
Harrell scored five straight points and Borden added a jumper to start the fourth quarter as the Lady Chiefs raced out to their biggest lead of the game at 38-28. Makayla Howard led the comeback for Polk County with a 3-pointer and an old fashioned 3-point play and Casteel added a free throw, but the Wildkittens were forced to foul in the closing minutes as the score was a two-possession game with two minutes left. From the stripe, Harrell and Lauren Belcher each knocked down four free throws to seal the win for the Lady Chiefs, who survive to advance to the district semifinals and secure a spot in regionals next week.
Mallorie Harrell led Sequoyah with 17 and Abbey Borden added 13. No Wildkitten made it to double figures.