By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director
SPRING GARDEN – The Cedar Bluff Tiger basketball teams both had a flair for the dramatic on Tuesday against Jacksonville Christian in the Class 1A, Area 12 basketball tournament at Spring Garden.
The Lady Tigers lost an eight-point fourth-quarter lead, but rallied back to take a 54-52 decision in the closing seconds.
Caley Bruce put the Lady Tigers back out in front with a basket with 15 seconds to go. Kylie Vadon added a crucial free throw with 2.9 seconds remaining, and Za’Niya Kyle came up with a game-ending steal as time expired.
Vadon led the Lady Tigers (12-14) with 17 points. Bruce came away with nine points. Ciana Smith added eight points. Rylie Walker had seven points and Kindal Grace finished with five points.
Kara Grace topped the Thunder with 16 points. Erin Prater posted 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Rebekah Carter came away with 10 points and Addy Lee finished with eight points.
The two teams were tied at 13 after one. Jacksonville Christian held a 30-28 advantage heading into halftime, but Cedar Bluff surged out to a 40-34 edge after three quarters.
The Lady Tigers advance to take on Spring Garden for the area championship on Thursday at 5 p.m. Spring Garden blasted Coosa Christian 72-16 in other tournament action on Tuesday.
In the boys game, Cedar Bluff rallied from nine down in the third quarter to take a 51-48 victory.
MJ Adams tied the game at 46 with 3:05 to go in the fourth quarter on a basket, then Bucky Leek gave the Tigers the lead for good on a layup with 1:49 to go. Cedar Bluff held on down the stretch for the final.
Adams tossed in 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Tigers (15-12). Leek contributed seven points, three steals and an assist. Caleb Tucker tallied six points and five boards. Eli McFry finished with five points.
Ethan Fair and Braxton Brown led the Thunder with 16 and 15 points respectively. Both players connected on a pair of 3-pointers. Tyler Doggrell delivered eight points.
Cedar Bluff led 15-12 at the end of the first quarter and held a 25-22 advantage heading into the halftime break. The Thunder surged out in front 41-32 after three quarters, but Cedar Bluff outscored Jacksonville Christian 19-7 in the fourth for the final.
The Tigers will take on Spring Garden for the area championship on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Spring Garden downed Gaylesville 72-26 in other tournament action on Tuesday.