COALMONT, Tenn. -- Her right foot soaking in a bucket of ice and her eyes cast down at the floor, Chelsey Wiseman looked like anything but a conquering hero.
Grundy County's talented sophomore shooter had struggled for much of the night, but with her team trailing by two points heading into the fourth quarter, Wiseman scored consecutive baskets in a 40-second span, sparking a 14-2 run in the Lady Jackets' 48-39 District 7-AA semifinal victory over Sequatchie County.
Grundy will play Chattanooga Christian in Tuesday's championship game.
"I felt the pressure tonight and didn't really have a very good game," said Wiseman, who seemed surprised when told she had scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and led all scorers with 18. "Really? I just didn't think I hit that many shots."
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, but Sequatchie hit three of its first four second-half shots. The Lady Indians, who had lost both previous meetings this season, grabbed their first lead on a layup by Alyssa Lawson with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. Melanie Barker, who led Sequatchie with 13 points, extended the lead to three with a pair of free throws.
But Wiseman and Haley Coffelt, two of Grundy's nine sophomores, combined to score 18 of their team's 20 fourth-quarter points. Coffelt finished with 13 points.
"Before we went back out to start the fourth quarter, I told the girls I only wanted five who were going to hustle and play together," Lady Jackets coach Kasey Woodlee said. "In a game like this, against a rival who was playing so hard, that was going to be what determined the winner.
"It's so hard to beat a good team, especially a rival, three times in a year. But we finally picked up our intensity. Those two sophomores are basketball smart, and a big thing for them is how much they hate to lose. They really picked us up when we needed it."
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 20 years, starting at the News-Free Press as a 19-year-old reporter. He has been with the Times Free Press since its inception and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation ...