DUNLAP, Tenn. -- Despite the giant Indians mascot painted on one wall and the big block letters spelling out "Sequatchie County" at midcourt, the Grundy County girls' basketball team owns the gym here.
The two rivals split the regular-season series, with Grundy County rolling to a 30-point win at Sequatchie County, and the Lady Yellow Jackets proved that was no fluke Saturday night by dominating the Lady Indians 59-36 for the District 7-AA tournament championship.
"To win the tournament is a big deal for us, but to beat them in their home gym like this makes it even better," said Grundy County post Chelsey Wiseman, who led all scorers with 20 points.
Sequatchie County's boys whipped Signal Mountain 67-43 to claim that title.
Wiseman stepped up early in the second quarter, taking much of the scoring load onto her shoulders when fellow all-district teammate Haley Coffelt left with an ankle injury. With Coffelt sitting for more than five minutes of the quarter, Wiseman put Grundy County ahead for good, breaking a 15-15 tie with a free throw, then scoring six of her team's next eight points to help build an eight-point halftime lead.
The Lady Yellow Jackets continued to pull away in the third quarter, not allowing a field goal until 1:30 remained in the period, then put it away with a 12-0 run to begin the fourth. While Grundy County scored on each of its first five fourth-quarter possessions, including two 3-pointers and a three-point play, the Lady Indians turned the ball over four times and missed a shot before finally ending the scoring run.
Sequatchie County managed just three second-half field goals.
"I'm not sure how to explain it, but for some reason we have played a lot better on the road all year, and especially in this gym," said Grundy's first-year head coach Julie Blomquist. "Both our district losses in the regular season were at home, but when we've played on the road, we've been pretty tough.
"I was really proud of the way Chelsey stepped up when Haley went out. That's what you expect a leader to do."
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having 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, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...