SEQUOYAH – A monster in the middle gave Sequoyah problems on Homecoming night.

 Built like a monument at 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds, Wagoner’s Chris Coulter anchored a beefy interior force, propelling the 14th-ranked Bulldogs to a 53-36 victory.

 The Eagles flew out of the starting gate behind the play of sophomore Blake Bedsworth. Bedsworth’s turnaround jumper from the post gave Sequoyah a 6-4 lead, then his drive kept the Eagles’ edge at 8-7 midway through the first quarter. Drake Olari laid one in with 14 seconds left to keep the game tied 12-12 after the first period.   

 Then Coulter and his crew began taking control, moving the Bulldogs to a 23-17 lead at intermission. Coulter finished the game with eight points and a team-leading seven rebounds. Ashton Bartholomew helped with 16 points and Jacob Scroggins managed 11.

 Bedsworth topped the Eagles with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting from two-point range, but got just three points in the second half after Coulter and his cohorts shut down the inside. Wagoner (12-3) took a 29-19 lead on a pair of treys 1:15 into the second half.

 The Eagles pulled to within 32-26 on two foul shots from Zach Perry late in the third, but Coulter’s spinning hoop in the final minute led to Wagoner’s 39-26 spread entering the fourth quarter and there was no coming back from the double-digit deficit.

 WAGONER 45, SEQUOYAH 35 (girls)

Speedy and athletic, Wagoner finally broke open a tight tilt in the third period, allowing the Lady Eagles to convert just one shot in 14 attempts. The game was tied 10-10 after one frame and 19-19 at halftime.

Rebounding played a key for the Lady Bulldogs. Shamaira Virgil compiled 10 points and 10 rebounds in pacing her team to a 43-33 gap on the boards. Sequoyah did not receive many second chances after missed field goals and was just 14-of-51 from the floor. Freshman Sidney Roland came off the bench to lead the Eagles with 12 points.

Down 31-22 going into the final period, Sequoyah never gave up and remained within striking distance until late. Roland’s three-point shot trimmed the Eagles deficit to 37-31 and her floater down the end line kept it at 39-33 at the 2:32 mark.  However, the home team never came closer.