DISTRICT 7-AA TOURNAMENT
(All times Eastern)
• Monday: Notre Dame girls at Bledsoe County, 6:30 p.m.; Bledsoe boys at Chattanooga Christian, 7.
• Tuesday: Notre Dame-Bledsoe girls' winner at Chattanooga Christian, 7; Sequatchie County girls at Grundy County, 7.
• Thursday: Bledsoe-CCS boys' winner at Notre Dame, 7; Grundy boys at Sequatchie, 8.
• Saturday (at Notre Dame): Girls' consolation, 4; boys' consolation, 5:30; girls' championship, 7; boys' championship, 8:30.
Haley Coffelt has been a key contributor this basketball season for Grundy County, which hosts Sequatchie County in a District 7-AA semifinal Tuesday.
Grundy County's Lady Yellow Jackets enter this week's District 7-AA high school basketball tournament as the No. 2-seeded girls' team. One reason they're not No. 1 can be traced to Jan. 28.
A 40-37 loss at Sequatchie County proved costly for Grundy County, which gets the chance to host the third-seeded Lady Indians at 7 p.m. EST in one of Tuesday's semifinals.
The tournament starts Monday with the fifth-seeded girls' and boys' teams playing at the fourth-seeded teams in elimination games. It concludes Saturday with consolation games and finals at Notre Dame.
The other TSSAA district tournaments involving Chattanooga-area teams don't begin until Wednesday or Thursday.
Grundy's girls (18-7, 6-2) were 5-1 in the district standings when they made the trip to Dunlap.
"They just outplayed us," Grundy coach Leon Woodlee said. "No ifs, ands or buts about it. They got after us and we didn't meet the challenge."
The Lady Yellow Jackets had won 57-47 when they hosted the Lady Indians on Dec. 3.
"We couldn't mesh at the first part of the season," said Sequatchie coach Anita Barker, whose team started 2-8 and is now four games better than .500. "We scrapped and worked real hard; it just didn't fall for us. The game at Grundy we missed too many layups. I think it was a little bit of immaturity.
"When we played Grundy at our place, we knew we really had to stop their two post players. Basically, we won because of great defense on our part."
Those Grundy post players are junior scoring leaders Chelsey Wiseman (20.5 points per game) and Haley Coffelt (16.5 ppg). Wiseman also leads the team with 12.3 rebounds per game, and Coffelt averages dishing four assists per game.
The Lady Jackets would've also been top-seeded if not for a 42-40 home loss Jan. 4 against Chattanooga Christian (19-6, 7-1), which ended up with the No. 1 seeding. Grundy still owned all the tiebreakers heading to the road game against Sequatchie, thanks in large part to its 67-43 road victory Dec. 7 over the Lady Chargers.
The Lady Indians are led by coach's daughter and junior Melanie Barker's averages of 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals per game. They lost their two games against CCS, including in overtime last Thursday, but those are their only setbacks in their last 14 games.
Conversely, Woodlee said he's a little concerned his Lady Jackets have lost four of their last seven. He is, at least, thankful to be playing at home Tuesday.
"After playing Chattanooga Christian, I think we kind of hit cruise control," Woodlee said of his team's early-season thumping. "Hopefully what we had was a midseason slump. Hopefully we can pick it up in the tournament."
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.