When Inola and Claremore Sequoyah meet on the hardwood, it’s definitely one of the hottest tickets in Rogers County.
The Lady Longhorns and Lady Eagles gave fans their monies worth with a nail-biting finish.
Stevie Rutherford’s game-high 15 points — 10 of which came in the first half — lifted the Lady Longhorns to a 47-46 win over the Lady Eagles.
Rutherford’s performance in the first 16 minutes, especially in the second quarter, helped rally Inola to a 25-22 deficit at halftime.
After Inola took the 12-9 lead in the first quarter, the momentum of the game swung in Sequoyah’s favor right before halftime.
Sequoyah, led by Aubyana Matussak’s 14 points and Savannah Mathews’ 12, outscored Inola, 16-10 in the second quarter.
Callie Wangsgard buried a three-pointer in the opening stages of the second quarter to tie the game at 12-12.
Rutherford answered Wangsgard’s three-pointer with a ‘trey’ of her own to return the 15-12 lead to Inola.
After Kylie Rue’s basket in the paint, and another Rutherford trey, Inola stretched their lead to 22-18 with 1:26 left in the second quarter.
The lead, however, would be short-lived as Mathews connected from the perimeter for her first of two three-pointers in the game that helped Sequoyah end the first half on a 7-0 run.
Lynsey Moniz added a short-range jumper and Wangsgard converted the offensive putback to give the Lady Eagles’ a huge momentum lift going into the second half.
Mathews and Matussak combined to score 13 of Sequoyah’s 25 points in the first 16 minutes.
The third-quarter seesawed back-and-forth until Courtney Williamson’s 10-foot jumper put Inola ahead 33-29 with 3:45 remaining.
Another three-pointer by Wangsgard trimmed the Inola lead to 33-32 at the 3:34 mark.
Rutherford, though, continued to be an unstoppable force on the perimeter as the Inola guard drained her third trey to put the Lady Longhorns up 39-32 with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
Courtney Nugent, on the ensuing possession, buried a buzzer-beater 12-foot baseline jumper and Sequoyah trailed 39-34 going into the fourth quarter.
Down the stretch, Mathews carried the Lady Eagles, hitting a three-pointer to tie the game at 39-39 and then adding a layup from Hunter Thompson to knot the game at 44-44 with 4:13 remaining.
But a basket from Lauren McDaniel and a free throw conversion sealed the win for Inola, who improved to 10-8.
McDaniel finished with nine points for Inola.