Coosa gave them all they could handle, but the Chattooga boys eventually emerged from Wednesday night’s Region 7-AA semifinal with a tight 58-52 win.
The win propels the fourth-ranked team in the state to a matchup with region foe Model in Thursday’s championship game at 8:30 p.m. Chattooga won the two regular-season games against the Blue Devils by a combined four points.
To get to Thursday, Chattooga (17-2) had to survive a scare from the underdog Eagles (13-11), who used a blistering three-point attack to go punch-for-punch with the heavy favorite.
After a deep three from Bryson Thacker and a bucket from Sam Richardson, Coosa grabbed a 49-48 lead with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
However, according to Chattooga coach Jared Groce, comeback wins orchestrated late in games have been nothing new for these Indians.
“Coosa is a very good team and I’m proud of our boys for finding a way to win yet another game where we were trailing in the fourth quarter,” Groce said. “I think that’s now seven region games where we’ve been down in the fourth quarter and come back to win.”
In all, Coosa hit 10 3’s, with three of them coming from star big man Jaquze Morgan, who ended his night with a team-high 19 points. Thacker added 15 and Richardson had 11 points.
Jaylen Johnson poured in 26 points for Chattooga, and Damien Smith added 10.
Coosa will play Dade County in Thursday’s consolation game. The winner will earn the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Class AA state tournament.