Technical fouls, scoreboard malfunctions, clutch free throws, controversial calls and extended time - the Aquinas College girls' basketball game against Whangamata Area School had it all.
When it was all over, after four quarters and two extra five-minute periods of overtime, it was Aquinas College with their noses in front, 81-78.
This was a ding-dong battle from the outset in which fortunes fluctuated drastically in short order.
Whangamata led 19-14 after one quarter, trailed 39-37 at the half and led 61-56 after three quarters before being level at the end of regulation and the first period of overtime.
A decisive advantage on the boards and a staggering 43 points from impressive guard Jade Taikato meant Whangamata looked the better team for the majority of the contest. Taikato repeatedly hit floaters and lay-ups in the lane; often after giving up the ball to get it back with a better angle to drive, and had a number of assists as a result of the defence collapsing into the lane to stop her.
Aquinas' saving grace, aside from 20 points from the smooth shooting Ellie McManaway inside and committed team performance, was New Zealand under-21 representative Courtney Wilson. The 37 points she dropped included five threes and she provided the anchor for a defence that showed a tendency not to box out offensive rebounders on the weak side.
Wilson hit a clutch free throw to force the first overtime period, Whangamata's Tamika Taikato hit two buckets late in the first overtime to force a second, before Wilson and McManaway combined to overturn a five-point deficit with two minutes to play to pull off an unlikely win.
Technical free throws against the visiting coach - for beginning the first overtime with six players and for complaining about clock management - only added to a drama that had drawn a decent crowd by the time it concluded.
"That was really intense. We've got a really young team and it was great for them to play through that," said Wilson. "We're missing our starting centre and point guard so that was a great win for us."
The Aquinas team is leading the competition and hopes to win their first title in the absence of Tauranga Girls' College, who compete in the Hamilton league.
Aquinas College 81 (Courtney Wilson 37, Ellie McManaway 20)
Whangamata 78 (Jade Taikato 43, Tamika Taikato 18)