Loudon's boys are off to their best start through nine games, 7-2, since 2002, when the Redskins started 8-1. They finished the 2002-2003 season with a 23-7 record.
The team faced a tall task Tuesday, though, as two starters, Jordan Belvin and Ty Hairston, were unable to play due to injury.
Loudon's boys were able to take a lead into the half and hold off a late push, winning 56-53. Down 15-13 after the first quarter, point guard Hayden Webb caught fire, scoring 15 points in the second with.
Webb hit five consecutive shots, including three from behind the arc, as he led the Redskins to a 32-23 lead at the half.
“Once I hit that first three I knew I could keep going,” Webb said. “Andrew Hendrix and Bryston (Hardy) made it a whole lot easier because you've got to respect them, you've got to clear out and make space for them. You've got to account for them so it made it a lot easier to score.”
Webb finished with 17 in the first half and 25 for the game, despite cooling down in the second half. “He obviously had his best offensive game,” Loudon head coach Trae Watkins said. “At the end of the second half he might have run out of gas a little bit, but he saved us tonight, especially with Andrew being in foul trouble.”
Next man up was the theme for the game. With Belvin and Hairston out, and Hendrix picking up two quick fouls in the first half and another in the third quarter.
Sequoyah would not go away quietly, though, and made a strong push in the fourth quarter. With two minutes left in the game Loudon led by two. But a with two quick buckets off of Redskins turnovers and offensive rebounds, the Chiefs cut the lead to 50-48.
A tie ball gave possession back to Sequoyah with 1:21 remaining, but Tyler Ferguson atoned for a turnover two possessions before with a steal.
A quick pass to Webb and a foul by Sequoyah's JJ Harmon put Loudon at the free throw line. Webb knocked down both shots to push the lead back to four points, 52-48.
Shon Stevens hit a three for Sequoyah and Loudon's Chris Chenault was fouled with 42.6 on the clock.
Chenault hit both shots and Loudon called for time out. Stevens scored on a lay up out of the time out to make it a one-point game once again with about 30 seconds left. Loudon in bounded the ball and ran over half the clock time off before Sequoyah finally fouled to put Webb at the line with 12.6 left to play.
Webb hit both shots, and as time expired Sequoyah's Andrew Millsaps missed a contested three-point shot over as Hardy defended.
Despite foul trouble, Hendrix finished the game with 11 points to compliment Webb's 25. Hardy picked up the slack rebounding with 15 in the game.
“Jordan Belvin makes us a district contender and a region contender, and Ty Hairston makes us a district contender and a region contender,” Webb said. “But we showed we can play when it's just us. We can play as a team.”
After the game, Watkins said his team still has a long way to go and that Sequoyah's late run showed that.
“The guys still don't know how to win,” he said. “We're just not very smart right now. There's no reason that we should have played the last four minutes of that game the way we did. We just don't know how to win in close games yet. It's just something we'll have to keep working on.”
Watkins also played off the absences of two starters as a reason for the late run.
“They knew that those guys weren't going to be able to play before the game, so we won't make any excuses,” he said. “It's next man up. Somebody's going to get hurt, somebody's going to get sick. They practice just as hard as those guys and they're expected to be able to do what those guys do.” The girls were not able to come away with a win, falling 54-32.
As a team, the Lady Redskins shot just 10 for 46, 21.7 percent, from the field. They failed to hit on 18 attempts from beyond the arc.
With the loss, the Loudon girls drop to 5-4 on the season. The Redskins next game is 6 p.m. Monday at Wartburg.