And how. Just because Turkeyfoot (9-15) came so close was testament to the Indians' ability to play well but were still unable to put the opposition away.
Southern Fulton's potent offense suffered through three scoring droughts of at least three minutes in the first half. But the Indians used the play of Bethany Mellott and Jenny Liggett in the paint for a 28-17 halftime lead.
"I thought we would be a little rusty coming in tonight," Mellott said. "I just didn't think it would stay with us for four quarters."
After Jessie Wigfield hit two free throws to give Southern Fulton a 40-22 lead midway through the third quarter, Turkeyfoot's physical zone defense keyed a 14-4 run to bring the Rams back within striking distance.
Samantha Cain gave the Indians some breathing room by hitting three 3s in four minutes, but Turkeyfoot remained close.
That is, until the Rams' fouls began to mount, giving Mellott the scenerio he wanted. Southern Fulton had the opportunity to win the game from the foul line.
"We have been a good foul shooting team," Mellott said. "We don't panic in these situations - it was a matter of doing what we had practiced over and over again."
The Indians hit nine of their last 12 free throws - including six straight by Bethany Mellott in the final minute - to ice the win and advance in the tournament.
"Tonight may have been Bethany's best overall game," Mellott said. "She is a 75 percent free-throw shooter but out there, it only counted what she did in that last minute."
Southern Fulton 60, Turkeyfoot 52
Augustine 17, Prince 7, Smith 4, DeHaven 12, Wheatley 2, Kimmel 10. Totals 21 9-16 52.
SOUTHERN FULTON (60)
Mellott 16, Liggett 8, Watson 5, Bard 12, Cain 16, Wigfield 3. Totals 14 28-43 60.
Turkeyfoot 5 12 11 24 - 52
S. Fulton 13 15 12 20 - 60
Three-point goals - Turkeyfoot 1 (Prince), Southern Fulton 4 (Cain 3, Mellott). Fouled out - Kimmel.