The new calendar year started off in the wrong direction for Sequoyah at home Thursday night as both high school basketball teams dropped a doubleheader to Collinsville.
Except for the Eagle boys scoring the first basket, each contest saw the visitors take quick leads and remain ahead all the way.
Collinsville's boys turned back a late Eagle rally to take a 55-48 triumph. In the girls' contest, Collinsville rolled to an impressive 71-43 win.
A sparse crowd was on hand at the Olan Graham Field House. Each team was playing for the first time since the holiday break. For Sequoyah it was the first of two back-to-back home games. The Eagles will host Inola Friday night in a Will Rogers Conference and Rogers County rivalry.
What started as an apparent blowout for the Cardinals turned into a dog fight by the time the fourth quarter was played.
Sequoyah, behind from early in the opening quarter, pulled to within four points with 1:12 to play. Alvin Marsh hit a pair of free throws for a 46-42 score. The gallant bid was denied, however, as Collinsville used the foul line for its final nine points.
Blake Breshears netted a three-pointer for the home side right before the final buzzer. It was Sequoyah's second trey of the night.
Collinsville's Kevin Phillips topped all scorers with 21 points. The majority of his scoring came on five treys, shooting from behind the arc 11 times. He also nailed his final three points on free throws after being fouled on another attempt.
Backing Phillips for the Cardinals was Tyler Chronister with 10 points. Tyler is the son of Collinsville coach Ken Chronister, who saw his team improve to 6-2.
It was a sweet homecoming for the elder Chronister, an Adair graduate now in his ninth season at Collinsville. From 1979 until 1985, he served as an assistant football coach at Sequoyah, along with Steve Johnson. Johnson is Sequoyah's current high school principal.
The Eagles, 3-5, received 12 points from Nick Miller. Levy Adcock, playing tough under the boards, finished with 10.
Sequoyah's Daniel Smith scored the game's first basket, but Collinsville answered with the next 10 points. This allowed the Cardinals to jump to a 14-6 first-quarter edge. The Eagles started to right the boat in the second period. Even so, they lost ground by two points and trailed 27-17 at half.
There must be something in the Collinsville drinking water. The girls basketball team always seems to come up with a six-footer to fill the middle of its defense.
This year, it is 6-2 senior Katie Sullivan. She accounted for only four points, but prevented a possible 18 points for the Lady Eagles. Sullivan blocked nine Sequoyah shooting attempts.
Add Sullivan to the starting Collinsville lineup that included three other players over 6-0.
This height disadvantage (Sequoyah's tallest player was 5-11 Megan Fuller) proved costly for the Lady Eagles. It was usually one shot and out for the home team. This and the inability to cash in on free throws were more than Sequoyah could handle. Sequoyah hit 15 of 29 free throws.
Kaycee Donelson, a 6-1 senior guard, led Collinsville with 30 points. The lone "shorty" among the starting five, caught fire in the third quarter. Cassie Sallee, listed at 5-3, pumped in three straight treys and added two regular buckets for 13 of her 17 points.
It was in the third quarter that Collinsville put the game in the freezer. Up by eight at the midway point, the visitors took the period with a 27-13 blitz.
Both teams entered the contest with 5-2 records.
COLLINSVILLE 55, SEQUOYAH 48
Collinsville 14 13 8 20 — 55
Sequoyah 6 11 11 20 — 48
Collinsville — Phillips 21, Chronister 10, Chester 9, Smith 8, Harrell 3, Riley 2, Isam 2, Guest 0.
Sequoyah — Miller 12, Adcock 10, D.Smith 9, Breashers 9, Marsh 4, Haynes 4, Golden 0, C.Smith 0, Mitchell 0.
COLLINSVILLE 71, SEQUOYAH 43
Collinsville 14 17 27 13 — 71
Sequoyah 11 12 13 7 — 43
Collinsville — Donelson 30, Sallee 17, West 8, Koscheski 4, McElroy 4, Sullivan 4, Smith 2, Castleberry 2, Bryant 0, Nelson 0.
Sequoyah — Fuller 13, Weast 10, Conger 7, Goad 5, May 3, Bryant 3, Hughes 2, Morose 0, Harrison 0, Morris 0.