HIAWASSEE -- Kellsie Cowart ended a roller-coaster battle with a last-second basket to hand the Towns County girls basketball team a 45-43 victory over Claxton on Tuesday in Hiawassee.
The win clinched a state semifinal berth for the Lady Indians (26-4), who will travel to Peach County on Friday to face Gordon-Lee at 4 p.m. at Fort Valley State in the Class A public "Final Four."
That wasn't always a given on Tuesday after Towns County fell behind early. Yet the Lady Indians fought back to knot the score at 25-25 at halftime and took the lead in the third quarter before Claxton clawed back to tie the score late.
Cowart responded to the pressure, however, sinking two free throws to break one tie and then hitting the winning basket to cap a 10-point effort.
Eryn Cochran put up 16 to lead the Lady Indians, while Stephanie Patton also scored 10.
"It wasn't the best performance from our team, but they did what they had to do down the stretch," Towns County coach Jim Melton said. "And I'll take an ugly win over pretty losses any time."
The Lady Indians will be making their third trip to the semifinals, the last coming in 2008.