Whether it was because it was Friday the 13th, a full moon, or the fact that it was Greyhounds vs. Greyhounds, Salem and Sloan-Hendrix put on quite a show at the Dawg Palace in Imboden Jan. 13 in a battle of two senior girls' teams that are both hungry for the 2AA-North crown.
Hungry is a fitting term as both squads fought tooth-and-nail before Sloan-Hendrix ultimately pulled away in overtime to win 72-68.
Later in the evening, Sloan-Hendrix made it a sweep with a 75-50 victory over Salem.
In the girls' tilt, Salem managed to leap on top 7-0 to start the game and held the lead for most of the night until Sloan-Hendrix rallied late in the final frame.
Salem held a 50-45 lead early in the fourth period thanks to a 3-ball from Lairen Hall (11 points), her third trey of the night.
Sloan-Hendrix kept chipping away until a layup from Tamrin Collins tied the game at 58-all with 1:00 left on the clock.
A potential 3-pointer that would have given Salem the lead back rimmed out the next time downcourt, and Tessa Blansett was fouled for Sloan-Hendrix.
Blansett canned two free throws to give Sloan-Hendrix a 60-58 lead at the 33-second mark, just its second lead of the first four periods of play.
Salem again missed a shot that would have squared things on its next possession, but Jenny Neal grabbed the rebound for Salem. She was fouled and calmly tossed in two free throws with 20 ticks showing on the clock, locking the game at 60-all. Neal had a huge night for Salem with 20 points.
After a couple of timeouts, Sloan-Hendrix inbounded the ball looking for the go-ahead bucket.
Samantha Corsaut (12 points) then came up big for Salem by forcing a jump-ball at the four-second mark, giving her team one last opportunity to unlock the contest.
With not much time to act, Lairen Hall heaved a long triple at the buzzer that missed the mark, sending the game into an extra column squared at 60-all.
Salem moved in front 64-60 in overtime on back-to-back hoops by Neal and Tori Watkins (nine points).
Neal later added a pair of nice baseline moves that kept Salem ahead by four, 68-64, with 1:13 left.
This also proved to be the last time Salem would score on the night, as Sloan-Hendrix went on an 8-0 run, including six free throws, to end the game with a four-point win.
The first period saw plenty of basketballs filling the air in Imboden, with each team canning a pair of triples in the frame. Lairen Hall and Corsaut hit one each for Salem in the first.
Neal also played a big role in getting Salem on solid footing in the first, as she sparked her squad with four points off the bench late to keep Salem in front 18-14 after one.
Sloan-Hendrix opened the second with a 6-2 run that tied the game at 20-all.
Corsaut jacked back-to-back 3-balls that pushed Salem in front 26-24 at the 4:16 mark, and then, with the score knotted at 31-all, she hit a triple at the halftime buzzer that pushed Salem on top 34-31 at intermission.
Sloan-Hendrix managed to swipe the lead, 39-36, early in the third before Salem caught fire and ended the frame with a flurry.
Lairen Hall started an 11-zip burst with a 3-pointer, and Neal chipped in with six straight points. Carrie Johnson (six points) ended the sprint with a layup that saw Salem holding serve by seven, 47-40, after three.
The fourth period started off in good fashion for Salem before Sloan-Hendrix stitched together a gritty effort that tied the game late, sending it to an extra period, a period in which it outscored Salem 12-8 to gain a hard-fought win.
Bailey Wagner finished with eight points for Salem, while Tabitha Hall added two points.
In boys' action, a sluggish third-period outing cost Salem a chance to hand Sloan-Hendrix its first 2AA-North loss of the year.
Sloan-Hendrix outslugged Salem 25-6 in the third, turning a tight game into a runaway victory.
Cody Erby (seven points) was big inside for Salem early in the first, tossing in his team's first five points of the game.
Sloan-Hendrix held a 12-7 lead late in the first when Derek Estes (six points) and Lance Powell (nine points) hit back-to-back hoops to pull Salem within one, 12-11.
Trailing 14-11 after one, Salem kept its wheels churning forward and caught up with Sloan-Hendrix late in the second period.
Wes James (six points) shook free for a couple of buckets on the low block, while Dusty York (four points) added a hoop, as did Powell, to give Salem a 25-20 lead with 1:50 left until intermission.
Sloan-Hendrix answered this 8-0 run by Salem with a 7-0 burst of its own.
Royce Pace hit a mid-range jumper and trey, while Mitchell Wilson closed the book on the first half of play with a putback at the buzzer, giving Sloan-Hendrix a 27-25 advantage at the half.
Chad Willett (nine points) opened the third with a jumper that tied the game at 27-all, and Seth Lindbloom (seven points) posted an early hoop, but after that it was basically all Sloan-Hendrix in the third.
Running off 12 unanswered points, part of a deadly 21-2 run the last five minutes of the third, Sloan-Hendrix stopped Salem in its tracks, leading 52-31 after three en route to a big win.