It's a wonder there weren't oxygen tanks at the end of each bench as the Cave City Cavemen and Salem Greyhounds hooked up Nov. 21 for a non-conference clash at The Cave.
This was most definitely a high-octane, pedal-to-the-metal, leave-you-breathless kind of affair, a true run-and-gun game if there ever was one.
In the end, the Cavemen had a little too much juice in their tanks, as they ran past the Hounds 87-70.
Earlier in the evening, the Cavewomen pushed past the Lady Greyhounds 58-33.
The boys' contest used every square inch of hardwood in the Cave City gym, with both squads playing with abandon.
Salem (2-1) would hold the lead just once in the game, 2-0, thanks to Dusty York's (10 points) opening bucket in the paint.
Brandon West got the Cavemen (6-0) going with the first of his five triples on the night on his way to a 22-point, seven-steal effort. Both teams gave up several layups in the first period of play, as the pace hit breakneck speed, never to slow.
The game was locked at 9-all midway into the first when Cave City went on a 17-10 run to close the first period with a 26-19 lead.
Cave City's lead continued to increase in the second period, as West dropped in back-to-back 3-balls that pushed the Cavemen in front 40-27 at the 3:05 mark.
The Hounds drew a bit closer right before intermission thanks to a triple from Chad Willett (11 points), but Cave City remained in control with a 45-36 advantage at halftime.
Less than two minutes into the third period, the Cavemen had stretched this margin further with a 9-1 run that boosted their lead to 54-37.
Justin Barr tossed in seven of his team-high 23 points for Cave City in the third, as it looked like the Cavemen might close the book on the Hounds. Barr also grabbed five boards and dished out five assists for Cave City.
However, at the point of the game where they could either fight back or pack up and go home, the Greyhounds chose the former and used a nice offensive flurry near the end of the third to play themselves back into contention.
The Hounds sprinted out on a 14-2 run that started with a putback by Wes James (four points). Derek Estes was also active during this two-minute span that closed the third. Estes constantly attacked the rim and came up with six big points during Salem's run. Estes led all scorers with 24 points on the night.
With the dust settled at the end of the third, Salem found itself down by just nine points after trailing by as many as 21 in the frame.
After expending so much energy just to close within single digits, the Greyhounds may have been a little low on fuel to start the final period.
West opened the fourth with six straight points for Cave City, and Jonathan Fowler (five points) added a 3-pointer as the Cavemen built their lead to 74-58 early in the stanza.
Cave City's lead once again reached 20 points late in the fourth, as they went on to cap an entertaining game with an 87-70 victory.
Dustin Davidson finished with 14 points for Cave City, while Aaron Holley and Dilon Willmuth added eight points each. Jared Harris added four, and Jordan Smith two for the Cavemen.
Lance Powell had seven points for Salem, with Cody Erby adding six. Seth Lindbloom and Devon Bozeman logged four points apiece for the Hounds.
In the girls' tilt, Cave City used a fast start to lead the game wire-to-wire, forcing the Lady Hounds to play catch-me-if-you-can all night.
Jordan Witt (13 points) set the tone for the game by knocking in a 3-ball for the Cavewomen (5-1), the first of nine shots beyond the arc for Cave City, to help her squad jump out to an 8-0 lead early in the first.
It took Salem a while to get its feet wet, but the Lady Greyhounds reeled off eight unanswered points to lock the game at 8-all.
Just as quickly, back-to-back triples from Witt pushed Cave City back on top by six, before Bailey Wagner (five points) closed the frame with a pair of free throws that moved Salem within six, 16-10, after one.
Behind five straight points from Leah Fugett, Cave City extended its lead to 21-10 early in the second. Fugett paced all scorers with 18 points for the game.
The Lady Hounds clicked off another mini-run, this one 6-0, behind four points from Jenny Neal.
Fugett responded with a 5-0 run of her own, and Cave City went to the break with a 29-17 lead.
Larien Hall (nine points) fired in a 3-pointer to start the third for Salem, but that was matched by a 3-ball from Kayla Qualls (12 points).
Cave City refused to budge and led 46-25 after three, en route to the 58-33 non-conference win.
Joanna Anderson had five points for Cave City, while Rachael Lewis and Cassie Bradley had three points each. Whitney Stauffer and Kendra Vickery finished with two points each.
Tori Watkins logged five points for Salem, with Tabitha Hall, Carrie Johnson, Brett Hall, Tiffany Broyles and Megan Cox adding two points each.