Staff Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press Grundy County's Emily Grimes, No. 15, goes up while keeping an eye on the basket Tuesday. Grundy County played against Chattanooga Christian School at CCS.
After the Grundy County and Chattanooga Christian girls’ basketball game Tuesday at CCS, both coaches commented on how their team’s performance was a reflection of the previous day’s practice. Unfortunately for the host Lady Chargers, theirs was closer to a walk-through.
The Lady Yellow Jackets siezed control early and cruised to a 67-43 District 7-AA victory.
Grundy County (7-2, 3-0) scored the first six points on the way to a 23-6 lead after one quarter. During that period, forward Haley Coffelt made a 3-pointer from the right corner and an 18-foot jumper from out front. Those were the only field goals of the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 28 in the game that were more than six feet from the basket.
Grundy County first-year coach Leon Woodlee said getting the ball inside was something he stressed during his team’s preparation. Coffelt ended up with 25 points and fellow post player Chelsey Wiseman led with 27.
“Getting the ball to our two post girls was what we practiced on yesterday,” Woodlee said. “They did a good job, but it was a team effort. Our guards and wings got the ball inside.
“We’ve got a purple, white and gold team, with the gold being the starters. We had the purple and white teams pressure the gold team because that’s what we were expecting to see. I had a good feeling coming in here because of the way we’d practiced.”
Conversely, Lady Chargers coach Pam Hindman said that with a senior-laden team she thought she could lessen the intensity of her team’s practice the day before a key game. Brandis Dyer led CCS (4-1, 0-1) with 14 points, and Presley Watson added 12.
“I take full responsibility. We had an easy practice yesterday. I thought we could just work on tactical things,” Hindman said. “I was thinking I didn’t want to push them to the max when they had to perform the next day. I learned a valuable lesson. You practice hard; you play hard.
“I’ve been coaching 18 years and thought I had a team with enough leadership and maturity that we could do that. We just didn’t show up.”
Woodlee’s halftime speech, with his team leading by 21, lasted less than two minutes. After the Lady Yellow Jackets gave up the first two points of the third quarter, they went on an 11-2 run and owned their largest lead at 48-20.
“We’ve been here before, been up 20 and end up losing,” the former Grundy assistant said. “We came in at halftime and all I told them was ‘Let’s go out and play camp-style ball. Relax and have fun.’”
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.