There's just something about the George Rogers Clark and Mason County girls' basketball rivalry.
They can't seem to decide games in 32 minutes, rather needing an extra four to declare a winner.
That was the case Friday night at The Fieldhouse, where the Lady Cards escaped once again in the extra quarter, 62-61, after Lady Royals' AJ Reed had a runner hit off the back rim at the buzzer.
"We had the shot we wanted, executed what we wanted. AJ was able to break down the defense, got a good look and it didn't go in. That happens, but I'm proud of the effort we had tonight," Lady Royals coach Brad Cox said.
Following up from last year's 10th Region final at Harrison County between the two, a Lady Cards victory in overtime, the two were neck-and-neck throughout on Friday.
GRC shot out on a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter and seemed to be pulling away with a 48-37 edge with a little over five minutes to play, but the resolve of the Lady Royals showed, battling back to tie the game at 58 with less than five seconds left on a Reed step back 3-pointer.
"For only Kara (Moran) and AJ having a lot of experience, for the rest of those girls to step up and allow us back into the game, even though we haven't won, we're 0-2, it's a good thing to see us compete and battle no matter what the deficit or score is," Cox said.
The two would then play scoreless for nearly two and a half minutes in the extra frame, before Shemaya Behanan got the scoring started with a 3-pointer.
Behanan was big all night for the Lady Cards with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
"She had an injury all year last year with her hip and it was kind of nagging. We've been trying to get it healthy and I think she's getting better. She was realy active tonight, had a lot of family here, had some big rebounds, made some big shots and I was proud of her performance tonight," Lady Cards coach Robbie Graham said.
The Lady Royals would fight back and tie things up once again after Haley White grabbed an offensive rebound and hit Kara Moran for a layup, squaring things up at 61 with under a minute to go.
Hayley Harrison was fouled with seven seconds to play on the Lady Cards' possession and proceeded to knock down one of two free throws.
The Lady Royals drew up a play after the first timeout and after a deflection caused a side out of bounds, Reed drove the length of the court and her runner in the lane hit the back of the rim and out as the buzzer sounded.
"AJ isn't afraid of anything, she plays our best in our biggest games, she's our leader, she's been through it before and what she did considering she's not at 100 percent, I'm really proud of her," Cox said.
Cox said Reed was battling a back injury and was at about 75-80 percent.
The win was another escape for Graham and the Lady Cards, albeit this one with much less at stake.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game. This is a rival game and we knew it was going to be tough. I give them credit, they were ready to play, we just made one more play. They had the last shot and it just didn't go in," Graham said.
The loss was the second straight in overtime for the Lady Royals (0-2), who opened up their season with an overtime loss to Rowan County.
Helping keep the Lady Royals close throughout was their ability to handle the Lady Cards pressure and cause confusion in their zone defense.
"We worked exclusively on our turnovers since the Rowan game, we had way too many. The girls are starting to see you have to go game speed at practice to where in a game it's not as fast," Cox said. "Our length is good with our zone and we're going to make people shoot over us and throw over us, I really liked the look we got out of our zone tonight."
The Lady Cards led throughout, 9-8 after the first and 26-23 at halftime. Strong contributions from Victoria Brooks and Emma Taylor helped keep the Lady Royals within striking distance in the half.
"We've got some people that can play and different combinations day to day, game to game. Kara went to war tonight and everyone off the bench did a great job," Cox said.
Brooks ended up tying for a team high 13 points with Reed while Taylor added six off the bench.
The second half came with a big boost from Moran and Reed, as they combined for 17 points in the half as they both hit game-tying baskets.
Reed ended with 13 points while Moran added 11. The Lady Royals will try to break into the win column Monday when they play at Holmes.
GRC's offensive rebounding was a big difference maker in the contest as they outrebounded the Lady Royals 40-26 on the night.
"Their zone gave us some problems tonight. They've got Moran at the top and she causes a lot of problems with her length. We didn't do a good job of moving the ball or attacking the basket. We just didn't execute very well against it," Graham said.
Behanan was a big part of that eight of her game-high 12 rebounds coming offensively. Jasmine Flowers and Hayley Harrison ended with 12 and 11 points, respectively to pace the Lady Cards in double figures.
The win moves the Lady Cards to 1-1, their next contest is at home on Monday against Nicholas County.