There was nothing extra tonight, said Gaylesville head coach Alton Leach. We did just enough to win and nothing more.
The Lady Trojans (4-13) looked to be in good shape after Amber Moseleys basket early in the fourth quarter put No. 5 seed Gaylesville up 55-38 over No. 4 seed Cedar Bluff (3-10).
The above 17-point advantage, however, vanished over next six minutes and eight seconds.
Playing with four fouls since 3:33 of the third period, Leigha Blake sank a free throw with 16.5 on the clock.
The senior forwards foul shot finished off a 22-3 Lady Tiger run and tied the game at 59-59.
Another senior on the court, however, also responded to pressure.
Cassandra Waldron was fouled on the next possession, and the Lady Trojan guard knocked down both charity shots to restore the Gaylesville lead at 61-59.
The Lady Trojans had to sweat out the last few seconds when they was whistled for a blocking foul with two ticks on the clock.
Cedar Bluff made only one of two free throw attempts, and Gaylesville advanced in the county tournament for the first time in several years with a 61-60 victory.
We got into some foul trouble late in the game and [Cedar Bluff] did a great job in not quitting and fighting back, said Leach. Cassandras two free throws were huge. Shes good in those situations, so we wanted the ball in her hands when [Cedar Bluff] had to foul us (after Blakes free throw].
Waldron led Gaylesville with 20 points, including 16 in the second half.
Sloane Brewster added 19.
We played very sloppy tonight, and [Gaylesville] handed it to us, said Cedar Bluff head coach Joe Carpenter. We turned the ball over way too many times. We had our chances, but our poor first half really did us in. The bottom line is that we came together way too late for us to determine the outcome.
Blake paced the Lady Tigers with 19 points while coming up with seven steals.
Tanessa Fife scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, while Jessica Brannon contributed eight points and 10 boards.
Cedar Bluff started off the game at 4-0 before a 12-0 run spurred the Lady Trojans to a 14-10 lead after one quarter.
Fifes lay-up brought the Lady Tigers within 23-20 with 48 seconds left in the half, but Brewsters basket at 25.5 and Moseleys buzzer-beating three-pointer gave Gaylesville a 28-21 halftime advantage.
Olivia Matthews basket in the third periods first minute sent the Lady Trojan lead into double digits before Cedar Bluff cut its deficit to 41-34 at 2:09.
Gaylesville quickly regained its cushion, as Waldron accounted for eight points of a 10-2 Lady Trojan spurt that made it 51-36 after 24 minutes.
Early fourth quarter baskets by Brewster and Moseley extended the Gaylesville edge to 17 points at 6:24 of the final frame.
The Lady Tigers finally rose to the challenge shortly thereafter.
With exactly six minutes remaining, Tina Motens field goal ignited Cedar Bluffs comeback bid.
Blake contributed 11 points of the Lady Tigers subsequent 18-4 run, with her free throw in the final moments eventually evening out the score.
Waldrons foul shots short-circuited the Cedar Bluff rally, earning the Lady Trojans a semifinal berth against No. 1 seed Sand Rock on Thursday.
GAYLESVILLE (61): Waldron 20, Brewster 19, Moseley 9, Matthews 8, Nichols 5.
CEDAR BLUFF (60): Blake 19, Fife 18, Brannon 8, Moten 6, Adams 5, Soignet 4