They were raising the roof Tuesday night at River High.
Coach Mark Romick's Pilots and invading Fort Frye produced a four-quarter dandy with River finally prevailing 48-47 via a dramatic ending.
Romick's quint won for the second time in three outings while Fort Frye is off to an uncharacteristic 1-3 start. River has a Friday night road test at Caldwell.
No more than five points separated the Cadets and Pilots during Tuesday's tight tussle which saw Fort Frye gain a 15-13 edge following the first eight minutes.
A closely contested second panel saw River leave the floor at halftime down by a single tally at 24-23. A 12-9 third period spurt enabled the Fort to maintain a 36-32 upperhand.
In the closing minutes, River senior Cody Caldwell drained a clutch go-ahead three-point bucket. The Cadets, however, responded behind ace guard Shon Smith who buried two free throws for a one-point FF edge.
At the other end, River senior Kam Brown toed the line and confidently converted twice for what proved the final reading with 20 ticks on the clock.
Fort Frye's Smith then saw his potential game-winning jumper fail to fall just ahead of the final buzzer and the Pilots were celebrating a key early season victory.
Caldwell's 13 points topped River with teammate Chad Isaly providing 10-point support. The Cadets' Smith led all scorers with 20 points. Seth Lagrean and Jordan Anderson donated 11 and 10 tallies, respectively.
River shot 14-of-34 from the field and collected 28 rebounds. Brett Price pulled down seven stray shots and Caldwell snared six for the victorious Monroe Countians.
Shadyside 60 Zanesville Rosecrans 42
At Zanesville, Shadyside's Tigers (2-1) used a 34-18 second half upperhand to post a prized Tuesday night.
Coach Ed Andes Orange & Black led 12-8 after one period and 26-24 at halftime before pulling away during a decisive 20-9 third panel uprising for 46-33 command.
Shadyside sophomore Austin Dorris enjoyed another productive outing, posting a game-leading 18 points. Dorris was joined in double figures by teammates Adam Stupak (12) and Jared Brooks (10).
Monroe Central 81 Shenandoah 76
At Sarahsville, the invading Seminoles of Scooter Tolzda made it three wins in as many starts to open the 2012-13 campaign.
In an entertaining up-and-down affair, Monroe motored to a 23-20 lead after one period then extended the spread to 40-32 at halftime. A 24-point third panel outburst enabled Tolzda's quint to forge 64-50 command at the final break before Shenandoah made a fourth quarter run which came up short.
The Seminoles received a prime time game-high 30-point output from senior guard Cameron Jorris who also landed six rebounds.
Jorris connected no fewer than seven times from three-point range.
Also in twin digits for the winners were Levi Brown and Bryan Duffy each of whom tallied 12 points. Kordell Antill and Korey Lafferre netted nine markers apiece.
Lafferre nabbed eight of the Noles' 40 rebounds. Josh Guiler grabbed six and Chandler Kuhn snared five. Lafferre distributed six assists and recorded two steals.
Turnovers were even at 16 apiece.
Buckeye Trail 66 Caldwell 39
At Old Washington, the Trail Warriors remained unbeaten through four starts with a wire-to-wire wipeout of Caldwell.
Senior Zach Roe rifled home a game-leading 24 points and distributed five assists. Warriors' teammates C.J. Beaver, Josh Toland and Tyler Starr supported with eight points apiece.
Toland landed 11 of the winners' 40 rebounds. Turnovers favored Caldwell, 20-14.
Bishop Donahue 96 St. John Central 36
AT Bellaire, the invading Bishops placed four players in double figures in overwhelming the Fighting Irish.
Bryce Jones netted a game-high 20 points and was joined in twin digits by Bishops Chase Truex (16), Lavonte Hampton (13) and Josh Miller (13). John Alvey paced the Irish with a 14-point performance.
No further details were provided. St. John's was slated to entertain Weirton Madonna this evening.