SEQUOYAH — It was for only a few minutes, but Kyra Crenshaw’s absence certainly had an irreversible impact.
Sequoyah coach Richie Burks considers the 5-foot-7 sophomore the Lady Eagles’ catalyst on defense, and that spark was lost when she picked up her third foul in the second quarter.
She missed about five minutes of action, but that was all the time Kansas needed to put together a game-winning run.
The Lady Comets (2-1) used a 29-point second quarter to cruise to a 78-48 win at Olan Graham Field House on Tuesday night. Sequoyah played Kansas within 7 points in every other frame, allowing no more than 17 points.
One player doesn’t make a team, but it gave the Lady Eagles (1-4) a greater understanding of how important Crenshaw is to the team’s success.
She finished with only 4 points and no rebounds.
“The biggest difference was Kyra got in foul trouble,” Burks said. “She’s really our glue and our catalyst on defense, and we seemed to lose our mojo when that happened.
“When she’s out of the game, it hurts us defensively big time. She’s a big communicator, and she tries to get them in the right spot.”
Although the second quarter was the most lopsided, Sequoyah struggled on the boards for the entirety of the contest.
Kansas had more offensive rebounds (19) than the Lady Eagles had total (18), snaring 39 boards in all.
Sequoyah junior Halee Wallin topped all rebounders with eight, but the Comets tallied seven players with at least four rebounds, led by Fallyn Tarin with six.
“That’s a big part of it,” Burks said. “They attacked the glass, and I didn’t feel like we did a good job in that second quarter on the boards.”
If the offensive rebounds weren’t enough, the Lady Eagles also gave Kansas plenty of additional possessions with 24 turnovers, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter.
Kyleigh Ortiz scored 22 points for the Lady Comets, while Lainie Payton added 18 points and five rebounds. In addition to her six rebounds, Tarin managed 10 points.
Ortiz and Payton combined for six of Kansas’ eight 3-pointers.
“It’s tough to defend them, but they didn’t run anything that we hadn’t gone over in practice,” Burks said. “We just didn’t execute our defensive plan.”
Despite Sequoyah’s struggles on both ends, sophomore Sidney Roland provided plenty of offensive excitement for the home crowd.
Roland notched 22 points, including five 3-balls. Her long-range shooting gave the Lady Eagles two leads in the first quarter (3-2 and 7-5).
However, she was held to only 2 points during the Kansas run in the second quarter after tallying 9 in the first. She responded with 11 points in the second half.
Abby Pennington and Brittney Valdez came close to joining Roland in double figures, finishing with 9 and 8 points, respectively.
“She got it rolling,” Burks said of Roland. “She struggled the last game we played, so it was good to see her come back and shoot the ball better than she had been. She likes to dominate shooting the basketball, and that’s a shooter’s mentality.”