But two-time All-Stater Breanna Doyle's layup at the buzzer in overtime rolled helplessly off the rim, allowing the Mammoth Spring Lady Bears to open 1A-2 North Conference play with a thrilling 60-58 win over the Hillcrest Lady Screamin' Eagles Nov. 4 at Mammoth Spring.
Later in the evening, the homestanding Bears made it a sweep over Hillcrest, as Mammoth Spring topped the Screamin' Eagles 69-52.
In the girls' game, the Lady Bears opened the game with a 2-0 lead, and that was the last time they would hold the lead until late in the fourth period.
Trailing 48-47 with 1:39 left to play in the game, Amy Young (10 points) sank a jumper to give Mammoth Spring a 49-48 lead, its first since the opening bucket of the night.
Shelby Frey (nine points) chipped in with three big free throws in the last minute of regulation to give the Lady Bears a 52-50 advantage.
But with 13 ticks showing on the clock, Doyle did her part for Hillcrest by draining a pair of charity tosses that locked the contest at 52-all and sent the game to an extra frame.
In that extra frame, Jessy Jo Vest came to life for the Lady Bears.
She started things off with an old-fashioned 3-point play that gave Mammoth Spring a 55-52 lead, a lead it would not let go. Vest tossed in five of her team-high 17 points in overtime.
A layup by Doyle (20 points) with 26 seconds left in OT pulled the Lady Screamin' Eagles within one, 59-58, and Hillcrest had a chance to pull ahead when Mammoth Spring turned the ball over with 19 seconds on the clock.
But turnabout is fair play, and on the Lady Screamin' Eagles' next trip down court, Vest jumped in front of a pass intended for Amber Glenn, giving Mammoth Spring possession of the ball.
Bianca Paige (13 points) was fouled and hit one free throw to edge Mammoth Spring in front by two, 60-58, with seven seconds left.
That was enough time for Doyle to get a good head of steam and sprint to the bucket with a chance to tie the game.
But her layup at the buzzer would not go down, and the Lady Bears were able to celebrate a hard-earned 60-58 victory to open conference play.
Had Hillcrest been a little more accurate from the free throw line in the first half of the game, there might not have been a need for overtime. The Lady Screamin' Eagles shot just four-for-14 from the charity stripe in the first half, leaving the door open for Mammoth Spring.
The Lady Screamin' Eagles led 15-7 after the first period of play, thanks in part to an 8-0, period-closing run.
Paige had a nice second period for the Lady Bears by tossing in five points in the frame.
And despite Hillcrest's struggles from the free throw line, the Lady Screamin' Eagles missed four straight to end the half, the visitors were still on top 22-19 at intermission.
Mammoth Spring made up ground in the third period by racking up a couple of triples from Paige, along with one from Frey that sparked an 8-0 Lady Bear run.
Hillcrest managed to shake off Mammoth Spring's run in the third to take a 37-35 lead to the final frame.
Sierra Smoot finished with five points for Mammoth Spring, while Leigha Presley had four and Brianna Trivitt two.
In the boys' contest, Trevor Vincent put on quite a show for the home crowd.
Vincent racked up 29 points and pulled down 13 boards to lead the Bears (4-1, 1-0) to a 69-52 1A-2 North rout of the Screamin' Eagles in a game that was not as close as the score might indicate.
Wes Davis did most of his damage early in the first period, by firing in six of his eight points in the game within the contest's first four minutes. Davis also grabbed 10 rebounds for Mammoth Spring, before being saddled with foul problems in the second half.
Up by a single point late in the first period, Mammoth Spring opened some breathing room with an 8-1 run to close the frame.
Vincent started the burst with a layup, followed by a putback from Colton Goetting (five points) and a pair of charity tosses by Seth Godwin (17 points, seven assists). Finishing what he started, Vincent then tossed in a jumper at the buzzer to give the Bears a 19-13 cushion after one.
The Bears continued to pour it on in the second period, turning their six-point lead after one into a 12-point lead, 37-25, at intermission.
While Hillcrest struggled to get good looks at the basket in the second half, the Bears kept pounding the ball on the low blocks to Vincent, and he kept responding.
Vincent scored Mammoth Spring's first eight points in the fourth period to put the game on ice.
Caleb Brown tallied eight points for the Bears, while Jonathan Marler added two points.
Jordan Hunter paced Hillcrest with 20 points.