Sequoyah Coach Andy Pennington was not happy with the way his team approached their Saturday home game with Loudon.

Despite a good start, Sequoyah seemed to stall. The problem for the Chiefs, per Pennington, may have carried over from Friday’s practice, but it didn’t make it to the fourth quarter.

Sequoyah went on a 21-6 run in the fourth quarter — completing the season sweep of Loudon with a 72-54 win.

“We played just like we practiced yesterday — we just went through the motions and we could have easily just gotten our butt beat. I feel like we have gained some respect around the area and in our new district … we have just really done well,” Pennington said. “But (Friday), we did not show up like a good team is supposed to at practice and it carried over to today.”

It took a halftime reminder to help a senior-heavy Chiefs team to refocus. Sequoyah (12-4) may have struggled to shoot the ball — only hitting five three pointers — but still managed to finish above their season scoring average and get four players into double figures.

“I told them at halftime, ‘don’t look surprised or shocked at how you are playing, that is how you practiced yesterday. You have a second half here to fix it’ and they decided to fix it,” Pennington said. “We had a good start, but then we just kind of relaxed like how we practiced and let them hang around longer than they should have. Then we outscored them 21-6 in the fourth quarter and they scored one late.

“We finally decided to play hard and made some shots. Cole Strickland played great in the second half and made some big shots. Dillon (Stakely) started driving it to the basket. Defensively, we were rebounding and we just played better. We got a little urgency about us in the fourth quarter.”

Dillon Stakely led the Chiefs with 18 and is averaging 20 points per game through 15 performances. Cooper Strickland also finished with 18 — above his season average. Cole Strickland hit a trio of three pointers and finished with a season high of 13. Caleb Sloan had 10.

“(Cole) started off the second half with two back-to-back three pointers and then made a big three pointer in the fourth quarter. We did not shoot it very well — we just made five three pointers. And Cole made three of the five,” Pennington said.“We had four guys in double figures, but I thought Cole made some threes at key moments in the second half.”

The Chiefs’ solidification in the fourth quarter came after mixing up defenses throughout the night. After starting in man-to-man, the team moved to zone and settled with mixing the approach.

Either style was fine with Pennington as long as the team found a sense of urgency. The changes were enough to knock Loudon off balance — keeping them to only three field goals in the fourth quarter and turning the guests’ missed chances into transition points.

Sequoyah will return to District 5-3A action on Tuesday with a visit to South-Doyle (11-5, 0-1). The Cherokees’ lone league performance so far came in a 19-point loss at Fulton.

Sequoyah will look to improve on their 2-0 start that features a 70-54 win at Austin-East and a 59-53 win over Lenoir City.

The two programs will be meeting for the first time since South-Doyle beat Sequoyah 63-43 in December of 2007.

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