BOYS BASKETBALL: Sequoyah survives fourth-quarter collapse to outlast Ardmore

Mar. 1—HENRYETTA — When Luke Wood pulled up to shoot, he harbored no feelings of existential dread or pressure.

However, the circumstances were as dire as they could get. Wood opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer that gave Sequoyah its largest lead of the game at 17 points, but less than six minutes later, his team was in danger of falling behind itself.

Led by the trio of Taylan Booker, Jakorian Halstied and Emmett Pickens, Ardmore embarked on a timely 15-0 run to cut its deficit to 55-53 with less than three minutes remaining. The Eagles were reeling, their seemingly flawless performance from earlier in the game transforming into a lackadaisical effort filled with turnovers and empty possessions.

A miss from Wood in this situation could have spelled disaster for Sequoyah. Luckily for the 12th-ranked team, its only senior tapped into his bag of experience when needed most.

The shooting guard drained the right-wing 3-pointer with 2:28 remaining, giving the Eagles just enough separation to outlast the unranked Tigers 63-30 in the Class 4A Area III area consolation quarterfinals Thursday night at Henryetta.

Sequoyah advanced to play Classen SAS in the area consolation semifinals Friday afternoon. Coverage from that game and the team's possible area consolation championship appearance will be available this weekend at

"I was just thinking it was like a normal or any other 3-pointer," said Wood, who scored 8 of his 14 points in the fourth period while finishing with 4 rebounds. "I wasn't thinking, 'If I don't make this, then we'll lose.' The only thing that was going through my mind was, 'Make the 3-pointer. Make the shot.'

"We just had to deal with the pressure and just take care of the ball," he added. "That's really about it. And make shots when we had opportunities."

Ardmore's Kendre Grant scored the next 3 points via a layup and a free throw, but the Eagles shot 5-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final 46 seconds to maintain their advantage.

Judah Gibson split a pair, and Wood followed with two makes with 23 seconds remaining to make it 61-56 before Gibson secured the win at the line four seconds after Halstied pulled Ardmore within 3 points once more at the 0:15 mark.

Gibson finished with a game-high 18 points alongside 2 rebounds.

Booker paced the Tigers with 15 points and 2 rebounds, and Halstied had 14 points and 2 boards while Demontre Calvin (11 points/5 rebounds) and Grant (10 points/7 rebounds) also reached double figures.

Halstied scored 9 points in the fourth quarter alone as Ardmore won the frame 22-11.

"We totally dominated for three quarters, but the game got really physical (in the fourth) and they started just attacking us," said Sequoyah coach Tim Bart, whose team committed 5 turnovers in the fourth after surrendering 8 through the first three quarters. "We didn't do a very good job of keeping our composure, and we gotta play through all that. We kind of starting just AAU'ing a little bit. But we made free throws when we needed to, and we played the last minute excellent. I'm just glad we jumped out to a big lead early and played really well."

The nearly fatal late-game collapse overshadowed what was otherwise an effective game plan for Sequoyah.

The Eagles like perimeter shots, making 7 3-pointers in the first half and 10 overall. Gibson, Wood and Kyler Moore had three apiece, and Eestyn Prater made one. Moore finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds while Prater managed 5 points and a game-high 9 boards.

However, they also made use of 6-foot-3 forward Triston Gibson to produce a potent inside game.

The junior made easy work of the Tigers' interior defense, scoring 7 points in the first period as Sequoyah built a 21-9 lead. He got in foul trouble late in the first period, but his impactful presence returned in the second half as he scored the first 4 points of the third to increase the Eagles' edge to 39-24.

Triston Gibson scored one last time midway through the third quarter, finishing with 13 points and 3 rebounds.

"He wanted to play tonight," Bart said. "When we threw it in there a couple of times early and he just dominated like that, our first look was cramming it in to Triston. We went to that for two quarters, but he got in a little foul trouble and we had to take him out. That was our whole goal — just keep feeding him, just keep feeding him.

"He wanted it tonight, and when he plays like that, we're hard to beat."