"We needed a win," assistant coach Darrell Demastus said, "and we got one. We couldn't have drawn it up any better."
The coach said with 7.6 seconds showing and the ball under their own goal, the Canes called a timeout to go over plans for wrapping up the regulation portion of the game.
"We told them we had a tie as long as we kept the ball and we just wanted to make sure we took the last shot," he said.
Cartersville (3-7, 1-2 in their region) pushed the ball quickly across court and Cochran worked his magic, the ball swishing through the net and Gilmer County barely getting the ball inbounds before the buzzer sounded.
The conclusion was a fitting end to a rather wild game that saw Cartersville jump to a wide lead then fail to hold it.
The Canes, starting the game aggressively, were up 18-2 at the end of the first quarter, but Gilmer came roaring back in the second period, closing to 27-25. Gilmer, 3-9 and 0-1, pressed their visitors and the effort paid big dividends.
That two-point margin held up through the third quarter, as well, with Dennis Godfrey's charges up 43-41 to start the final period.
"We played probably our best defensive ball game in a while," Demastus said. "We're still trying to work on our rotation and get ready for the region tournament."
He noted the Canes had played Murray County (losing 79-64) the night before.
Demastus said coaches were pleased with the team effort.
"We seem to be playing a little better as a team," he said. "That's what we need. We have to play good team basketball. Everyone has to contribute and not worry about how much time they play or don't play. That's what we stress to our players."
Cochran led the Canes with 18 points and Devin O'Connor tossed in 14. Ryan Lowery led the way for Gilmer with 24 points, followed by Ben Cole with 12.
Cartersville plays next Friday, when it visits Pickens County.