CANTON — Sequoyah built a cushion in the first half that helped carry it to a 66-44 victory over Kell in the semifinals of the Region 7AAAAA tournament on Monday.
Sequoyah will now play Osborne today at 6 p.m. for the region title. Kell will face Creekview at 3 p.m. in a game to decide third place.
Kell scored first on Monday, but by the end of the first quarter the Lady Chiefs had rebounded to a 15-7 lead in front of their home fans. Lauren Hartman and Emily Ryan continued to pour in points for Sequoyah. When Megan Marcia netted a 3-pointer at the end of the first half, Sequoyah was up 34-16.
The Lady Chief lead continued to grow in the second half and at one point was as large at 25-points — 43-18 — before the Lady Longhorns tightened their defense and began cutting into the lead.
Kell, which had scored just 16 points in the entire first half, put up 17 in the third quarter. Santavia Grant capped the Lady Longhorns scoring with a 3-pointer to end the period with Kell trailing 48-33.
Sequoyah went to its bench in the fourth quarter but still outscored the Longhorns 18-11 to seal the victory.
Sequoyah coach Derrick Dewitt said he wasn’t able to relax for long as the Lady Longhorns never gave up.
“Our girls are focused and ready to play for a region title,” Dewitt said. “It got a little thick in the second half, but we weathered that storm and just continued to play our defense and unselfish basketball.”
Dewitt said he told his players to continue to box out, and play effective defense until the buzzer sounded.
Twins Kelley Hartman and Lauren Hartman each finished with 15 points to lead Sequoyah. Tori Rogers added 12 points, while Ryan finished with 11.
Onyx Henderson scored 17 points for Kell and went 9-for-16 from the freethrow line. Grant finished with 15 points.