WHITWELL, Tenn.–When you surprise in a tournament, the bracket is your worst enemy, but as it turns out, sometimes it’s the opponents themselves.
That was the case Friday afternoon as the Yellow Jackets found themselves cross-court from rival and district foe Sequatchie County in a 3rd place matchup for Whitwell Christmas Tournament. Davis and crew would march out with the 64-20 win, holding Grundy County to its lowest scoring total of the season.
“We played pretty well against them tonight,” Lady Indians head coach Ronnie Davis said. “Grundy beat us up at their place about a month ago, but we played better defense tonight. Ireland got 20 rebounds and Jenifer got nine, and we just did a lot better job down low.”
Gracie Tate hit four three-pointer and accumulating 21 points with a lot of fastbreak and outside play while Ireland Burch picked up 18 points down in the paint. But the scoring margin can be attributed more to Grundy County’s lack of made field goals down the stretch.
The Indians hopped up to a sizeable 12-point lead at the end of the first before slowing down their scoring and play defense in the 2nd quarter. Burch dug six points out of the period, but the Yellow Jackets couldn’t get a shot to fall until a minute and a half left in quarter. In fact, Grundy County barley pulled double digits in the first half, scoring as many points in the last minute and a half as they did in the entire first quarter.
That wasn’t the end of the defense, though, as Jackets only mustered up six points in the first half and only two in the 3rd quarter of play. Burch would end the night with more points than the entire Grundy County offense as the Indians coasted late with young talent in the 4th quarter, 64-20.
Neither team, though, was too excited about the pairing in a midseason tournament with an large district slate coming up.
“I didn’t really want to play Grundy County here because we play them again,” Davis said. “I think that will help to give us a lot of confidence going into the Bledsoe County game. We’ll just have to play good in that game. Bledsoe County with Brittany Singleton is pretty good.”
The Lady Indians also picked up 3rd place after losing to Lenoir City Thursday in a 54-48 bout. The Jackets fell to Heritage after beating Whitwell to move to the winner’s bracket.
“I tell the girls that if we go to a tournament, we’re just as well to win it,” Davis said. “Of course we didn’t do it, but third place is nice.”
The Indians move to 8-4 on the season while the Yellow Jackets are pulling 4-11 out of a brutal schedule thus far. Sequatchie County takes on Bledsoe County in Pikeville to renew the Battle for the Stump on the hardwood next Friday night while Grundy County prepares for a highly-touted Chattanooga Christian squad.
SCHS — 19 | 11 | 19 | 15 || 64
GCHS — 7 | 7 | 2 | 4 || 20
SCHS (64) — Gracie Tate (21), Ireland Burch (18), Jordan Smith (9), Allie Condra (6), Jenifer Tholken (4), Abbie McGowan (2), Emma Bradford (2), Rileigh Belk (2)
GCHS (20) — Teah Bosio (6), Kristin Weaver (5), Lacy Nunley (4), Haylee Northcutt (3), Emily Rhea (2)