One thing is beginning to look like a given on this young basketball season.
When the Couch Lady Indians get a lead late in a ballgame, they know how to hang onto it.
Despite trailing Thayer for a good portion of the first three periods of play, Couch found a way to edge ahead late, and then stay ahead, en route to a 55-44 victory over the Lady Bobcats Dec. 7 at Thayer.
The Bobcats made it a split later in the evening as they ran past the Indians 73-45 in the nightcap.
In the girls' clash, the Lady Indians made their move in the third period.
A backdoor layup by Thayer's Hope Hunt (three points) had given the Lady Cats a 30-23 lead before Couch finally came to life in the frame.
Lorra Wicker (seven points) started a 7-0 run for the Lady Indians with a couple of charity tosses.
Then Tara Combs (21 points) added a hoop in the paint and Whitney Mills (10 points) completed the charge with a 3-ball that knotted the game at 30-all with 4:02 left in the third.
With the contest locked at 34-all, Combs stepped up big-time.
Or maybe stepped out is a better description of her work late in the third.
Combs nailed three consecutive 3-pointers in the last two minutes of the third to give the Lady Indians a 40-36 advantage heading into the fourth period.
And just like they had done the previous weekend in the championship game of the Lady Dawg Classic, the Lady Indians spread the floor and turned that lead into a victory.
Couch worked time off the clock early in the final frame and used a 7-2 burst to open a 47-38 lead.
Thayer just couldn't come up with the baskets it needed to chip away at this Couch advantage and the Lady Indians ended the evening with a 55-44 win, their second win in a week over the Lady Bobcats.
Micah Stevens (20 points) came out firing early for Thayer, as she tossed in 11 of the Lady Cats' first 14 points of the night in the first period.
The Lady Bobcats jumped in front 8-1 before Couch regrouped with a 7-1 run to lock the game at 8-all.
With Couch in front 14-12 late in the first, a Stevens layup squared the action at 14-all heading into the second period.
The Lady Indians suffered through a major dry spell in the second.
Sadee Risner (four points) opened the second with a jumper for Couch, but Stevens quickly answered with a trey for Thayer.
Taylor Hanser canned a hoop for Couch at the 5:08 point of the second, pushing the Lady Indians in front 19-17.
But this was also Couch's last points of the first half.
Stevens, Chelsey Cabrales (nine points) and Kristen Earls (seven points) all hit free throws down the stretch to send the teams to the half with Thayer on top 24-19.
The Lady Cats extended this advantage to seven points in the third before Couch pulled in front for good.
Kassi Burr finished with six points for the Lady Indians, with Jessica Jones adding five.
Samantha Oakes tallied five points for Thayer.
In the gents' contest, it was obvious that both teams wanted to hit the court running, turning the game into a full-court, scrambling free-for-all.
And while both sides did get up and down the court, it was the Bobcats who had the most success at putting the ball into the hoop early, as Thayer jumped in front 24-7 after the first period of play.
Blake Martin (14 points) logged all of Couch's points in the first period, while Blake Horton (22 points) racked up seven in the frame for Thayer, and Lance Schneider (14 points) added five in that span for the Bobcats.
Couch opened the second with a 6-2 push, keyed by three points from Zain Hopper (six points), but just as quickly, Thayer ripped off six straight points.
The Bobcats took a 43-19 lead to the half and added to this lead with a big opening salvo in the third.
Schneider jacked a triple to open the second half, followed by back-to-back hoops from Horton that pushed Thayer in front 50-19.
Cody Roberts (18 points) nailed a 3-ball to stop Thayer's run, but by that point, the Indians just had too much ground to makeup and Thayer had no plans on easing the tempo, taking a 57-29 lead into the last period of play, on its way to a 73-45 victory.
Michael Lowther logged 10 points for the Bobcats, with Jacob Eckman adding eight. Garrett Smith and Matt Kojdecki had six points apiece, while Luke Martin ended the game with three and Ryan Tate two.
Brad Hopper posted six points for Couch, with Eddie Meier adding one.