Kayla Bess said the message was simple when her Madison High girls’ basketball team trailed by three points after coughing up a nine-point halftime lead Tuesday night against Waynflete.

“The coaches told us we’ve got good shooters. Don’t slow down,” Bess said.

Over the final five minutes, the 10th-seeded Bulldogs shot well and pushed the pace en route to a 48-41 victory in a Western Class C prelim.

Madison (10-9) will meet No. 2 Boothbay Region (17-1) at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Bess led the Bulldogs with 17 points, including an opportune basket after an offensive rebound that started a game-ending 14-4 run.

The seventh-ranked Flyers (12-6) shot just 3 of 18 in the fourth quarter and committed three straight turnovers after Julianna Harwood made two free throws to cut Madison’s lead to 40-39 with 2:50 to play.

“We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” Waynflete Coach Brandon Salway said. “We had chances and we just turned it over too much, which was kind of a bugaboo all year. And we missed a ton of close-range shots. Games like this you have to finish and (Madison) did.”

It was the final game for two Flyers who were key contributors to the 2013 championship team: Helen Gray-Bauer (team-high 16 points with six steals) and Harwood (13 points). Senior Dana Peirce (4 points) was also on that team.

“Our three seniors put everything into this game and that sums up their careers,” Salway said.

Gray-Bauer keyed the comeback with seven points in a 13-4 run that extended into the fourth quarter, with help from Harwood and Lydia Giguere (8 points).

Giguere’s jumper off a dribble gave the Flyers a 37-34 lead with 5:43 left. That’s when Madison retook control.

“We played just better man-to-man defense,” Madison Coach Al Veneziano said. “We just dug in and didn’t allow them to have a couple of shots at the basket every time. We got rebounds.”

After Bess cut the lead to one with her offensive putback, Madeline Wood popped free on the left wing and didn’t hesitate, knocking down a 14-footer.

Erin Whalen and Aly LeBlanc (12 points) scored on inside scramble plays, Whalen after a Bulldog miss, LeBlanc after catching a blocked shot as she was going to the basket looking for a rebound for a 42-39 lead.

“We got a couple rebounds down,” Veneziano said. “We talked about going to the boards and rebounding at the offensive end and I thought we did that.”

Wood then found Whalen inside and helped secure the win when she blocked a Giguere shot.

Bess closed the Flyers out with four straight free throws in the final 15 seconds.