By BEN JOHNSON, Tahlequah Daily Press
Stigler’s Brooke Hurst inadvertently challenged Sequoyah’s Courtney Jones to a 3-point shooting contest Friday night.
That didn’t turn out too well for Hurst — or Stigler.
Jones seemed to drain every shot she threw up at The Place Where They Play, scoring a career high 31 points in a 53-22 trouncing by Sequoyah, who claimed the Class 3A Area IV District 2 title in front of 1,000 fans.
Not bad for a 5-foot-6 junior that was hampered by the flu all week.
“The doctor said I have strep throat, so yeah, I’m sick right now,” said Jones, who finished 11 of 18 from the floor, including nine of her 14 3-point attempts. “…I missed practice on Wednesday and came back Thursday and practiced. I’ve been coughing on and on, but I just had to tough it out for my team.”
With limited offensive support in the first half, Jones almost single-handedly carried the 3A No. 9 Lady Indians (18-6) to a 25-15 halftime advantage. In fact, Jones’ second 3 of the second period spearheaded a 12-3 run to head into intermission.
“Hopefully we don’t have to have 31 put up by (Jones) every night,” Sequoyah coach Bill Nobles said of Jones, who had 17 points in the opening 16 minutes. “We’re counting on other people.”
In the third quarter, Jones picked up right where she left off, making all three of her treys to spark an 18-0 run and give Sequoyah a 43-15 edge.
From there, the rout was on.
All Jones was wanting to do was make up for lost time after being forced to sit out and rest in the Lady Indians’ season finale at Cascia Hall on Tuesday night.
“I think I just felt comfortable tonight,” said Jones, who tallied 11 points before sitting out the entire second half at Cascia Hall. “I got in my zone, and I was ready to play.”
All Stigler coach Jeff Walker — and his club — could do was admire Jones’ marksmanship after a while. Although, early on, Walker was wondering how Jones got open so frequently.
“We knew No. 2 (Jones) could shoot,” said Stigler coach Jeff Walker, whose team was 8 of 29 from the floor in the game, including 0 of 7 in the fourth quarter. “It was just being young and getting caught up in the environment of the game. We would blow an assignment, and there she was open again. How many times do you have to leave her before you realize she can hit (open shots)?”
The one constant for Sequoyah all night was its pressure defense. The Lady Indians forced 22 turnovers, which they finally started converting into points in the second half.
“We talk about it a ton. If we’re going to get turnovers, we need to turn them into points,” said Nobles, whose team finished 21 of 47 (44.7 percent) from the field and only had five turnovers in the first three quarters. “Otherwise, we’re pressuring other people for nothing.”
Mackenzie Maxwell led Stigler (10-12) with nine points, and Hurst — who made two 3s in the opening quarter — finished with six.
But with only a six-player rotation — due to injuries, academics and everything in between — Stigler just couldn’t keep up Sequoyah’s regular eight- to nine-player rotation.
“They only had nine, but they’re nine are pretty good,” Walker said of Sequoyah. “…For us, we’re not getting any of our players back, so we’ll have six next week. We can either find a way to get it done or go home.”
Other than Jones outscoring Stigler on her own, Sequoyah’s other sources on offense were Feather Pacheco, Baylee Ratliff and Loren Young, who led all rebounders with 10. The trio combined for 19 points, including Pacheco’s seven all in the second half.
Rhanda Walker was the only Sequoyah player to score off the bench, knocking down a trey in the third period.
“We’ve got to have somebody else score,” Nobles said. “We’ve got to start thinking about the next level and the next game. We’ve got to have the scoring more spread out, because we can’t have Courtney scoring 31 every night. We’re not going to have success like that.”
story from TDP @ http://tahlequahdailypress.com/sports/x1265288086/Jones-goes-off