In a heated county rivalry between Sequoyah and Tellico Plains, anything can happen on the basketball court. Earlier in the season, the Lady Chiefs handed the Lady Bears their second loss of the year and the Bears took the Chiefs to overtime in the Chop House. The second meeting between the two teams in the Bears’ Den Thursday night once again produced an overtime game between the girls and then saw the Chiefs break away from the Bears for the road win.
No. 7 TELLICO PLAINS LADY BEARS 52, SEQUOYAH LADY CHIEFS 41, Overtime
Tellico Plains avoided the upset bid on Thursday, and showed improvement from last week in getting revenge on the Lady Chiefs. Tellico has two losses on the season, but turned around and beat both of those teams- Loudon and Sequoyah- in a second meeting.
“I thought our team defense was better tonight,” Tellico Plains coach Gary Tucker said. “I thought we rebounded better tonight. Of course, I had some girls step up and make some shots that were big, and that has to happen.”
For the second time this season, the two teams were fairly even in the early goings. Tellico scored on a layup by Callie Kirkpatrick and two shots by Chloe Yearwood, but Sequoyah answered back every time, getting 5 points from Bailee Lane and a jump shot by Abbey Borden. A Madison Miner free throw proved to be the difference in the first quarter, as the Lady Chiefs took an 8-7 lead at the first break.
“Battling, fighting, and scrapping,” Sequoyah coach Spencer Beaty said. “I told them we were in for a boxing match tonight, we knew that, and we just continued to show some resilience and some perseverance. We had freshmen make a big shot, but we had to be there for her to make that big shot and we just hung around.”
Kirkpatrick nailed a 3-pointer to open the second quarter and Samantha Russell added a jump shot to help Tellico Plains pull ahead. However, a Lane 3-pointer cut that Lady Bear lead back to 1 point. Tellico responded with 3-pointers from Yearwood and Russell though, and the Lady Bears clung to a tenuous 18-15 lead at intermission.
Jaden Hollinghead hit a shot out of the break, but Sequoyah got a layup from Grace Wiggins and a 3-pointer from Mallorie Harrell that tied the game at 20. Tellico got some separation again with baskets by Russell and Kirkpatrick, but again Harrell sank a long trey and cut the margin to 1. After a Yearwood free throw, a Lane basket tied the score and the Chiefs went ahead on a Borden layup to end the third period with a 27-25 advantage.
Kirkpatrick, Tellico Plains’ captain, put the game on her shoulders in the fourth quarter, scoring the Lady Bears’ first 7 points in the period. Her second layup tied the score and Yearwood’s 3-pointer put the Lady Bears ahead.
“Athletically, (Kirkpatrick) can do it,” Tucker said. “I thought she was determined, and it took her as a senior to do it, so I’m proud of her.”
Harrell responded with a trey for Sequoyah to tie the game again. Three straight fouls on Sequoyah set up Tellico Plains at the line, and the Lady Bears made three of their first four free throws. When Russell stepped to the line for the third attempt with 45 seconds left and a 3-point lead, she had the chance to ice the game. However, she missed the front end of a one-and-one and gave Sequoyah a chance.
The Lady Chiefs took it. With 21 seconds left in the game, Hanna Carroll sent a 3-pointer from the right corner through the net to force overtime in the Bears’ den.
Yearwood opened the extra period with a 3-pointer and Alayna Hensley added a 3-point play to put the Lady Bears ahead. The lead forced Sequoyah to begin to foul, and the Lady Chiefs sent Tellico Plains to the free throw line six straight times. Tellico made the most of the opportunities, turning free throws into an 8-0 run to close the game and take the payback win over Sequoyah.
“When you’ve got a lead and you put yourself at the free throw line, you’ve got to make them,” Tucker said. “You’ve just got to make them.”
Yearwood led the Lady Bears with 23 points, including nine free throws, and Kirkpatrick added 16. For the Lady Chiefs, Lane had 12 and Harrell had 10.
SEQUOYAH CHIEFS 60, TELLICO PLAINS BEARS 37
Tellico Plains stayed close early, using a Dakota Shaw layup and a Dale Rinehart trey to keep the game tied at 6-6. A John-Douglas Wiggins layup broke the tie and from there, the Chiefs would never trail. A Cade Self putback capped the first quarter and cemented a 16-10 lead for Sequoyah.
“I feel like the boys came out and competed,” Sequoyah coach Josh Graves said. “They wanted to prove a point and leave no doubt. I was proud of their effort. I probably held the foot on the pedal a little too long- I didn’t mean to be disrespectful or anything- but I knew with our history of giving up leads, I didn’t want that to happen. But, man, I was proud of them. Everybody contributed and we did a much better job of moving the ball in the zone and taking care of the ball.”
A Matthew Jump layup and a Wiggins dunk to open the second quarter pushed the Sequoyah lead over 10, and the Chiefs’ defense went to work as well.
The Chiefs gave up just two baskets- both to Piper Carter- in the quarter and defensively throttled the Bears. On the offensive end, Sequoyah took advantage of the Tellico drought and reeled off a 13-0 run behind a trey by Gavin McKee and baskets by Joe Grant, Jump, Hank Harrell, and Randy Kile. A basket by Wiggins completed the surge and set the halftime margin at 36-14 for the Chiefs.
Right out of halftime, David Crace tallied a steal-and-score for Tellico Plains but then picked up his fourth personal foul less than a minute into the second half. Grant responded with two layups for Sequoyah and though Carter, Shaw, and Jesse Lambert all scored for Tellico, it was just a matter of trading baskets with Self, Wiggins, and Grant. Rinehart ended the period with a 3-pointer but Wiggins beat the buzzer with a layup on the other end and the Chiefs led 52-29 through three.
A Jump basket and a second dunk by Wiggins opened the fourth quarter and put Sequoyah even further ahead. Evan Harris added a 3-pointer and Carter added a layup, but it was too little too late for the Bears as the Chiefs took the rivalry win and season sweep of Tellico Plains.
Shaw was the only Bear in double figures with 10, while Wiggins led Sequoyah with 16. Grant added 11 and Jump poured in 10 for the Chiefs.