So close, yet five points away from an All-Rogers County boys’ final in the Jerry Oquin Tournament.
Tahlequah Sequoyah and Inola played right down to the wire Thursday night, with the Indians winning 78-73 in overtime.
With Tahlequah Sequoyah leading 68-64 in the fourth quarter, Inola guard Koltyn Morel came off the bench to drain two of the biggest shots of his basketball career.
Morel’s first three-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation cut the Indians’ lead to 68-67.
After the Indians converted a pair of free throws to make it 70-67 with 11 seconds left, Morel answered once again from long distance.
As time ticked down, Morel caught a pass from Jay Powers in the left corner and immediately fired up his second trey — a buzz-beater — to tie the game at 70 and force the four-minute overtime period.
Morel entered the game with 0:41 left in the fourth quarter as Inola’s Aaron Davis fouled out with 15 points.
Morel’s performance in the final 15 seconds was clutch for the Longhorns.
The Indians took a 72-70 lead in the early stages of overtime on free throw conversions by B.J. Leach.
Powers followed with a 1-of-2 performance at the free throw line to trim the deficit to 72-71.
After Ryan Helsey’s driving layup put the Indians up 74-71 with 1:42 left, Inola’s Taylor Mootry caught a pass in the lane from Powers and knocked down the short-range jumper to cut the deficit to 74-73.
The Indians’ free throw shooting down the stretch, combined with back-to-back turnovers by Inola, sealed the win for Tahlequah Sequoyah.
Leach converted 5 of his 6 free throws in overtime, and Tahlequah Sequoyah was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final four minutes of action.
Inola, who led 20-18 in the first quarter and rallied to make it 30-30 at halftime, carried a 52-49 lead into the fourth quarter.
Davis ignited the Longhorns in the third quarter with three treys and Mootry added six points in the paint.
Tahlequah Sequoyah’s perimeter defense held Inola’s Travis Hall without a field goal for 36 minutes.
Mootry led Inola with 24 points, while Powers finished with 13.
Helsey recorded a game-high 30 points and Leach chipped in 24 to spark the Indians.