Grundy girls, Irish guys reign in 7-AA

Grundy girls, Irish guys reign in 7-AA

February 20th, 2011 by Gene Henley in Sports

Grundy County coach Leon Woodlee said his girls' basketball team can handle pressure.

Good thing, because in the District 7-AA tournament championship game Saturday night at Notre Dame, Chattanooga Christian threw plenty of it at the Lady Yellow Jackets.

The Lady Jackets overcame a swarming CCS defense in the second half, and Chelsey Wiseman had a game-clinching steal in the final moments as Grundy County held on for a 51-46 victory.

In the boys' final, Notre Dame overcame a nine-point halftime deficit and defeated Sequatchie County 41-35 behind 21 points from Stedman Ford.

Wiseman led Grundy with 14 points, while Haley Coffelt added 13 before fouling out. The two posts' contributions were expected, but the team also received 10 points from Courtney Stiefel and nine from Haley Meeks.

Woodlee noted that aside from the balanced scoring, defense is what ultimately produced the victory.

"We were able to switch our defenses at the right time," he said. "Chattanooga Christian did a good job of pounding us -- in a good way."

The game was tied at 40 with 3:29 remaining, but five Grundy free throws stretched the lead. CCS clawed back, cutting the lead to 48-46 on a pair of free throws by Chelsea Jones with 7.6 seconds to go. Wiseman was then fouled and hit one of two free throws but came up with a steal on a play designed for Watson with 3.6 seconds to go.

CCS's Brandis Dyer had 16 points to lead all scorers.

"We set a goal at the beginning of the year, and it took a lot of hard work for us to get here, but we finally made it," Woodlee said.

In the boys' final, Sequatchie County led 25-16 at halftime, and Notre Dame coach Brad Harris was wondering what to do.

"We had to get back to doing what got us here," Harris said. "We needed to get back to contesting shots and, in the second half, we were much better."

Ford was better, too, for the Irish, scoring 16 of his 21 points in the final 16 minutes. He and teammate Nick Ellis hit 3s to trim a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to 29-28, and then Ford's floater in the lane gave Notre Dame a 34-32 lead -- its first since 5-4 in the first quarter.

The two combined to hit five free throws in the final 20.8 seconds to secure the victory.

"Stedman was huge for us," Harris said. "He's the smallest player on the court but has the most fight."

Ellis added 10 points for Notre Dame (16-12). Daniel Cartwright had 15 points to lead Sequatchie.

"We're still a work in progress," Harris said. "We've gone through four offenses and four defenses to get where we are now, but all the credit goes to these kids -- especially the seniors. They've led us since day one."

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