For the past two Saturday nights, one side of the Harry Cooper Annex at Waterford Elementary School has been decorated in its usual green and white while the other side has been filled with red and blue.
Fans of both the Waterford Wildcat and Fort Frye Cadet boys and girls basketball teams have turned out in droves to watch the first of two annual battles between the crosstown rivals and those fans have been treated to a pair of outstanding basketball games.
Back on the 28th of December, Lady Cadet senior guard Brooke Borich scored 16 of her game high 21 points in extended play as the Fort scored a thrilling 53-45 double overtime victory over the Lady Cats.
Each team used some last second magic to keep the game going as first Waterford's Regan Porter grabbed a rebound and scored with seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Borich played the role of hero in the first overtime as her long triple with only ticks remaining sent the game to a second overtime where the Cadets finally managed to pull away and secure the victory.
Last Saturday night it was the boys' turn to hit the hardwood and once again it was the (6-2) Cadets who came out on top by a similar 53-46 count in a game that saw the two locked up in a 37-37 tie heading to the final period.
Seth Legraen and Chandler Lang combined for 35 points in the game as the Eric Henniger-led Cadets outscored Waterford 16-9 in the final period.
While the (7-2) Waterford boys will have to wait until February 8th to get their chance at revenge, the green and white girls get their chance this Saturday night as they make the short trip to Beverly.
Both teams are off to outstanding starts as Waterford is 7-2 on the season while the 8-1 Lady Cadets have been perfect since falling to defending West Virginia state champion Parkersburg South in their season opener.
Look for the Wildcats to start Porter, Randee Seevers, Taylor Hilverding, Hannah Dailey as well as sophomore Dani Drayer who is their top scorer so far this season.
Seevers led the way for the Lady Cats in the first match up with 17, including four from three-point range while Drayer added 13.
Waterford head coach Jerry Close felt his team did a lot of things right in the first game but felt a dismal 8-for-18 night at the charity stripe was just too much for his girls to overcome.
"The girls did a great job running sets and getting themselves open," said Close after the first game. "It was the best game we have played execution-wise, we just missed way too many free throws."
Fort Frye will more than likely start the same five that have started the first nine games for head coach Dan Liedtke.
Borich and Michelle Adkins will take care of things out front joined by Shawntell Parsons, Alexis Enochs and Megan Liedtke.
Borich leads the Cadets in scoring while Megan Liedtke continues to come in to her own as she has posted double double's in five of Fort Frye's nine games. Dan Liedtke felt the Waterford game presented his team with one of, if not it's toughest challenges of the first half of the season.
"It was one of those gut-check games that no matter what you did it was going to be tough," said the veteran Fort Frye head coach. "We hadn't played a game like this in our first nine games where our backs were against the wall. These are the kinds of games that really mature a team."
Judging from the last two weeks, area hoops fans can count on at least two things.
They will need to arrive early in order to get their seats inside a jam packed Fort Frye High School and when they do they will get to witness some of the very best basketball in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Mike Morrison is a part-time sports writer for the Marietta Times.