The senior leadership of Inola’s Kristen Mootry and Lexi Williams paid off down the stretch Tuesday evening as the Lady Longhorns topped Tahlequah Sequoyah, 51-41 in the first round of the Jerry Oquin Tournament.
Mootry and Williams tallied 17 and 13 points to lead Inola into the semifinals.
Inola opened with a sluggish first quarter and maintained a 10-9 lead on Mootry’s five points and a three-pointer by Williams.
Mootry, who doesn’t mind dialing long-distance from the perimeter, scored 10 points in the first half to pace Inola to a 29-23 halftime lead.
Inola’s tenacious defense, led by Williams, held Tahlequah Sequoyah to six field goals in the first 16 minutes.
Tahlequah Sequoyah clawed back into the game with 4:49 left in the third quarter on Loren Young’s jumper that narrowed Inola’s lead to 31-29.
Both teams traded baskets in the paint, and Inola got five big points on Mootry’s three-pointer and baseline jumper to extend the margin to 38-31 with 2:15 left in the third quarter.
Down the stretch of the third and midway through the fourth quarter, Tahlequah Sequoyah stayed on the heels of Inola and took a 41-40 lead on Kelsey Leach’s transition layup and free throw conversion with 4:16 remaining in the game.
From that point on, though, Inola outscored Tahlequah Sequoyah, 10-1, to secure the hard-earned victory.
Along with Mootry and Williams, Kylie Rue contributed with nine points in the paint and Lindsey Byfield added eight.
Courtney Williamson also had three points and Carli Jones converted a free throw for a point.
Cenia Hayes led Tahlequah Sequoyah with 10 points, while Amy Tiger and Leach added seven each.