Chattanooga will get its shot at a title.
The Lady Warriors sealed their place in the Class A girls state championship game Friday morning, beating Calumet 60-50 at State Fair Arena.
Chattanooga (26-3) will take on the winner of this afternoon’s game between Okarche and Seiling at 7 p.m. Saturday.
If the Lady Warriors win, it would be the first basketball title for Chattanooga.
“It means a lot to have a chance to win a title and it’s even more special that it could be the first,” Chattanooga’s Ali Brown said. “We want this so bad. We’ve been dreaming about it for so long.”
Chattanooga was ranked No. 1 in Class A for much of the season until Calumet jumped ahead in the final poll of the year.
“That motivated us,” Brown said. “We wanted to play them to show who the real No. 1 was.”
The Lady Warriors jumped out to an 18-point lead by early in the second quarter before Calumet settled in.
Calumet’s fans regularly chanted, “We believe,” even with the Lady Chieftains chances appearing very slim.
But Calumet steadily cut into the lead until a 9-0 run midway through the second quarter not only pulled the Lady Chieftains to within single figures for the first time since early on, but pushed Calumet to within four, 52-48.
Chattanooga proved too much, though, hitting its free throws late to keep Calumet from pulling closer.
Brown, who scored 22 in Chattanooga’s first-round win over Copan, had another outstanding performance in the semifinals.
Brown led the Lady Warriors with 25 and added 10 rebounds.
Ashley Baughman added 13 for Chattanooga, with seven in the first quarter.
Calumet’s deficit in the first half could’ve been much worse without the emergence of junior Mariah Miles. Miles, who scored just five points in the Lady Chieftains first-round win over Fort Cobb-Broxton, scored 11 in the second quarter alone. She finished with a team-high 20.
“They’re just so quick,” Brown said. “They were tough. But we always believed.”
Katelyn Richardson added 10 for the Lady Chieftains.
Megan Snyder led Calumet with 12 rebounds.
Calumet figures to be a contender for a title next season as well. The Lady Chieftains started three juniors and two sophomores Friday and had just one senior on their roster.
High school basketball tournament coverage sponsored by United Supermarkets.