Ben Jordan ended 12 months of Chelsea frustration Tuesday night by slamming the door in the face of the Sequoyah Eagles.
The 5-10 junior found the slightest of openings among a quorum of taller defenders and hit a 10-foot jump shot that beat the overtime buzzer — and the Eagles — 46-44 in the second half of a riveting high school basketball doubleheader at Olan Graham Field House.
The girls did not require an overtime period to produce an exciting outcome. They just squared off and took turns jabbing and counter-punching for three quarters, back and forth, before Chelsea floored the Lady Eagles with a defensive haymaker and emerged with a 38-31 decision.
As tense and dramatic as the girls game was, it ultimately proved to be little more than a warm-up act for the showstopper that was to follow.
Sequoyah’s Blake Breshears threw in a three-point shot at the end of regulation to catch Chelsea and force the overtime.
Like the girls game before, his shot was just a preview of the drama to follow.
Sequoyah and Chelsea were deadlocked after three quarters, and the score was tied two more times before Breshears made his presence known.
Sequoyah never led in the game until an Alex Haynes basket at 2:15 of the third period.
In the fourth, Alvin Marsh broke a tie and gave Sequoyah a 37-35 lead with 3:12 left.
Jordan came back for Chelsea, scoring on a layup to tie at 1:19, and, although he was fouled, he could not convert the free throw.
Sequoyah missed a shot, and sophomore Calub Hull rebounded for Chelsea. He was fouled, yet could only connect on one free throw. His second shot was rebounded by Haynes, but the Eagles quickly committed a turnover.
Eric Paul sank two free throws for a three-point Chelsea lead with 57 seconds left.
Over the next 56 seconds, Breshears missed a pair of threes, and Sequoyah kept regaining possession.
On Sequoyah’s third attempt, Marsh rebounded, and he passed outside to Breshears. With time and hope quickly fading, Breshears responded with the shot of the night — up to that point.
His basket knotted the score and gave Sequoyah the momentum going into the extra period.
Last season, Sequoyah defeated Chelsea twice, once by a point, and once by 19 points.
Two weeks ago, in the semifinals of the Adair tournament, Sequoyah handed the Green Dragons a 62-44 loss.
Chelsea was not to be denied this time around.
In the overtime, Paul put Chelsea on top with a quick basket, but then seconds later had to leave the game with his fifth foul.
Haynes used that foul to tie the game on free throws.
In a stretch of 70 seconds, Sequoyah missed four field goal attempts and a free throw before Chelsea gained control with 1:09 left.
Chelsea missed a pair of free throws, and Sequoyah lost possession driving for basket.
With 22 seconds left, junior Ryan Terry slipped inside to give Chelsea a 44-42 advantage.
Breshears countered 10 seconds later with a tying bucket from 15 feet.
Chelsea did not slow down on the ensuing possession, until an official heard coach James Fleming call time with two seconds showing.
He gave the ball to sophomore Tyler Captain out of bounds and told him to find Jordan.
Jordan was dwarfed by the taller Eagle defenders, but somehow he managed to move from the baseline toward the Captain in-bounds pass. Jordan caught it in a crowd, dribbled once, and launched the biggest shot of his career.
“It felt great,” Jordan said. “It’s the first time we’ve beaten them in a while.
“I was coming off a double screen, and I was kind of covered, but it worked out for the best, I guess.
“It was kind of a prayer.”
His prayer was answered, as was the prayer of his coach.
“It was the best Christmas present I could have,” said Fleming, who took over a program this fall that won only one game last season and had won only one game in eight starts this season before Tuesday night. His team had lost its seventh game on Monday night at Dewey.
“We were overdue,” he said.
Sequoyah outrebounded the Green Dragons, 37-30, with Levy Adcock and Marsh leading the way with eight and seven, respectively. Hull had seven for Chelsea.
In regulation, Sequoyah made good on 15 of 43 field goal attempts, while Chelsea hit 16 of 43. In the overtime, Sequoyah was one for five, and Chelsea was three for four.
In the first half, there were six ties and five lead exchanges, and the widest margin separating the two teams was three points.
Sequoyah held the upper hand through the third period, leading by as much as five, but there were two more deadlocks.
Chelsea finally regained the lead, 27-26, when Bree Winters opened the final period with a three-pointer. Sequoyah could not challenge after that because of seven turnovers in the period, and 0-for-12 shooting from the field.
Winters and Sierra McSpadden scored 12 points each for Chelsea, with all 24 points coming in the final three periods.
In the fourth, McSpadden hit a basket and two free throws in a span of 34 seconds to open a 34-28 cushion at 3:48.
Sequoyah put together three free throws over the next minute, but would not score again.
Sequoyah’s 6-0 sophomore center Megan Fuller led all rebounders with 13.
Winters, McSpadden, Rachel Green and Hanna Morrison had six each for Chelsea.
On Monday night, Chelsea lost a faster-paced game, 73-58, at Dewey.
On Tuesday night, Chelsea was tied at halftime at 13, and trailed by 24-26 at the end of three periods.
“At halftime, I asked my assistant, Jamie Quigley, ‘Did we use up all our points last night, or what?’” Chelsea head coach Charlie Hadley said, smiling.
“We’re proud of our kids. We played Dewey last night, and it was up and down the floor. And then tonight, a rivalry with Sequoyah, as it always is, we just stayed hooked up.”
Chelsea dropped both meetings with Sequoyah last season, one in overtime.
With five straight wins, Chelsea heads into the holiday schedule break at 6-3. Sequoyah is 5-2.
CHELSEA 46, SEQUOYAH 44
Chelsea 17 8 6 9 6 — 46
Sequoyah 12 9 10 9 4 — 44
Chelsea — Paul 17, Terry 15, Jordan 8, Hull 4, Captain 2, Rice 0, Morrison 0.
Sequoyah — Breshears 11, Haynes 11, Marsh 9, Miller 5, D.Smith 3, Mitchell 3, Adcock 2, Perry 0.
CHELSEA 38, SEQUOYAH 31
Chelsea 4 9 11 14 — 38
Sequoyah 6 7 13 5 — 31
Chelsea — Winters 12, McSpadden 12, Kolb 7, James 6, Green 1, Morrison 0.
Sequoyah — Fuller 7, Morris 6, Weast 5, Conger 5, Goad 4, May 4.