Sequoyah boys 73, Forsyth Central 69
Sequoyah 12 19 24 18_73
Forsyth Central 14 18 20 17_69
Sequoyah: Usher 26, Miller 15, Hillhouse 12, Biddy 10.
Forsyth Central: Brown 23, Jackson 13, McDonald 10, Hodges 8.
By now, down-to-the-wire games are old hat for the Forsyth Central boys.
The Bulldogs have been to overtime on three occasions in this young season, and won each time.
When Hunter McDonald capped off a 12-4 run with an acrobatic layup at the 1:16 mark of the fourth quarter that tied the game, Central was on track for more late drama. The Bulldogs had a chance to tie or win in the waning moments, but Sequoyah’s Levi Biddy stole a Central pass with five seconds remaining to seal the Chiefs’ 73-69 win at The Arena on Monday night.
“We didn’t coach well enough down the stretch,” Central coach Greg Dirst said. “Give credit to Sequoyah. They made the play at the end and we didn’t.”
Eli Brown had a team-high 23 points for Central; Cale Jackson and McDonald added 13 and 10, respectively. Jordan Usher led Sequoyah with 26, including 14 in the third quarter.
Central led, 32-31, at halftime, despite shooting 1-for-11 from three-point range. Dirst’s team out-rebounded Sequoyah, 23-16, and committed just three turnovers in the first two periods.
Usher signaled his intent to get Sequoyah’s offense going early in the second half with the first points of the third quarter. Brody Hodges’ and Parker Biederer’s back-to-back threes gave Central a six-point lead midway through the third, and that’s when Usher truly took over.
The 6-foot-6 sophomore, who averages 23.9 points per game, scored Sequoyah’s next 12 points to give the Chiefs a narrow lead through three.
“[Usher] still had 26. You try to stay in front of him and slow him down,” Dirst said. “He took over the ball—he wasn’t going to pass it—and he started making shots.”
Sequoyah opened up an eight-point fourth quarter lead through Cody Miller (15 points), Mitchell Peters and Biddy (10 points), but Central chipped away.
Jackson knocked down a three from the left wing with 2:33 left that brought Central within two. With 1:16 to play, McDonald scooped a layup underneath a would-be shot blocker to tie the game at 68, but at the other end, Peters was fouled on a drive to the rim with one minute remaining and made both free throws.
Sequoyah hit five of six free throws in the final minute, but it wasn’t settled until Biddy’s heady defensive play to prevent Central from getting one final shot up.
“I hate it for our guys,” Dirst said. “We’re trying to build something here, and they’ve done a good job winning some of these close games. This one was tough. Sequoyah is one of the best teams in our region, and to get this close and not get it done, it hurts.”
Sequoyah girls 50, Forsyth Central 18
Sequoyah’s swarming defense forced 24 Central turnovers as the Lady Chiefs eased to a 50-18 road win in a Region 7-AAAAA crossover game on Monday night.
Ten different players scored for Sequoyah. Julie Richards had 11 of Central’s 18 points.
Sequoyah (9-1 overall) opened on a 7-0 run, but the Lady Bulldogs (4-5 overall) answered well and trailed by only four after one quarter.
Central’s only points of the decisive second quarter came on Richards’ two free throws.
Sequoyah led by 14 at half, extended the lead to 19 after three quarters and poured it on with three consecutive 3-pointers to open the fourth.