Photo by Jerry Denham, Denham Photography
Sequoyah's Andrew Millsaps (3) prepares to leap to the goal against Brainerd's Orlando Moore (32) in the Region 3-AA tournament opener Saturday at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. Millsaps, a senior, scored 26 points in his last game for the Chiefs. Sequoyah's Taylor Hawkins (35) watches in the background.
|Published: 2:06 PM, 03/05/2013
||Last updated: 2:09 PM, 03/05/2013
Author: Gabriel Garcia
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
CHATTANOOGA - Sequoyah faced a tall task in the quest for its
first win in the Region 3-AA boys basketball tournament since 2005.
Brainerd had not lost a first-round region tourney game in legendary coach Robert Highâs 37-year
tenure, and the Chiefs could not change that Saturday night, falling 74-56 to finish the season at
âWe won 16 games this year, and if you told me before the season weâd have won 16
games, Iâd have laughed in your face and said, âYouâre crazy,ââ said Sequoyah coach Daniel
The Chiefs were able to make the game interesting against the perennial powerhouse
from District 6-AA for a while. After the Panthersâ Marques Tipton opened with two triples to put
his team up 6-0, Taylor Hawkinsâ bucket and Shon Stevensâ 3-pointer energized
Andrew Millsaps continued the Chiefsâ early rally, going coast-to-coast, sprinting
on a fast break and, finally, driving to the hoop and sinking both foul shots to tie the contest at
13-13 midway through the first.
But Brainerd (15-12) took over from there, with six more
points from Tipton - a sophomore who has been scouted by Division I colleges - two authoritative
blocks from Devonte Cooper and Orlando Moore and point guard Jay Besleyâs dribble-driving fueling
the Panthersâ 12-0 run to end the first quarter.
âWe got in the teeth of the defense,â Curtis
said. âWe didnât do as much as I would like. Still a lot of standing around on the perimeter, but
those were young and inexperienced guys we have.â
That Sequoyah found some success attacking
the goal was a sticking point for Brainerdâs High.
âI was happy with the way they played
except for the breakdown on defense,â said High, who has four state championships on his resume, the
last in 1999. âWe backed up like we were in foul trouble, let them drive straight to the basket.
This is not the defense that we play, people, you know.â
Despite three early turnovers in the
second quarter, Sequoyah managed to cut their deficit to 27-17 with two straight putbacks from
Millsaps and Braden Strickland, but Moore energized the home crowd on the other end with a
one-handed dunk, and the Panthers used their athleticism and length advantage to take a 37-21 lead
at the half, highlighted within the last minute by Tyree Stubbsâ block of a Stevens 3-point
Brainerd gradually built its lead to as much as 26 points in the fourth quarter, but
Sequoyah didnât let the Panthers get too comfortable, with Millsaps capping off his 26-point career
finale with a couple of steals and blocks and more drives to the bucket. Stevens sank three
3-pointers in the final stanza, helping the Chiefs at least close the game to a respectable
âMy guys fought hard. Iâm very proud of my guys,â Curtis said. âWe had a lull in the
second quarter. We went down 16 at halftime and wound up losing by 18. We adjusted our style a
little bit, which I will never do again. I wonât adjust my style. If we run, weâll run. I donât care
who they are, weâll run. I felt like we started running in the second half and did much
Millsaps, Stevens, Trevor King and Casey Denham will graduate, but the Chiefs will
still return Hawkins in the post and a host of rising seniors for next season.
it was a display of youthful talent gaining experience and poise at the right time after starting
the season 9-10. The Panthers moved on to face McMinn Central in the second round of the region
tournament Tuesday night.
âFirst half of the season we were young, no question about it,â
High said. âIâve got two seniors, Iâve got two kids that played varsity last year. And it makes a
difference. Theyâve matured a heck of a lot.â
BRAINERD 74, SEQUOYAH 56
13 8 16 19
B 25 12
19 18 - 74
Millsaps 26, Braden Strickland 2, Brett King 3, Casey Denham 2, Shon Stevens 14, Seth Schaffer 2,
Taylor Hawkins 7
BRAINERD: Jay Besley 11, Marques Tipton 25, Dimitri Glenn 2, Daâv Moore 2,
Orlando Moore 18, Devonte Cooper 6, Tyree Stubbs 8, LaDarrius Lee 2
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