So much for season openers that in the end mean very little.
Anytime Huckabay and Lipan battle on the Class A hardwood, it means a lot.
On Tuesday in Huckabay, it meant enough to last an extra eight minutes of playing time.
In a battle of traditional area powers, Lipan outlasted Huckabay 70-65 in a double-overtime thriller.
Huckabay had a grand opportunity to upset its longtime rival, but couldn't complete the task because of a dismal 5-17 shooting performance from the free throw line in the fourth quarters and the two overtimes. Huckabay was just 16-32 at the charity stripe for the game.
"We had every chance in the world to win it, we just couldn't pull it out," says Dean Edwards, who is entering his 10th season as Huckabay head coach. "We had early foul trouble and we missed a lot of free throws and several easy shots down the stretch."
Huckabay led by two and was at the foul line in the final minute of the first overtime, but both shots missed their mark and Lipan went the other way to tie the game.
Huckabay had one more chance in the closing seconds.
"We executed an inbounds play perfectly," Edwards said. "We got the ball right where we wanted it and then we missed a contested two-foot shot."
Lipan scored on a pair of early possessions to pull away in the second overtime.
Huckabay went the final four minutes of the fourth quarter and both overtimes without standout guard Mario Lopez, who had just two points.
"He's our best player," Edwards said. "He's our leader on the court."
Edwards said the way his team competed without Lopez is a positive sign.
"I thought it was a huge step for our team to see how everybody else stepped up without him on the floor," he said. "We got better because of that."
Marty Yates led Huckabay with 16 points while Austin Moyer scored 15 and Brady Dowell tallied 14.
Huckabay is competing in a tournament in Graford today-Saturday and is on the opposite side of the bracket from area rival Lingleville.