With 1:01 remaining in the District 4-4A girls contest between Ryan and Denton, most of Denton's fans rose to their feet, anticipating a frenzied finish.
When it was all said and done, those in the packed gym at Denton on Friday night were treated to a dramatic conclusion.
After Jacoiya Brown banked in a bucket to put Denton ahead by four with less than a minute remaining, she triumphantly marched up the court, while the home fans erupted into chants of "DHS."
Denton hung on for the 48-44 victory despite a 29-point performance by Ryan's Teana Ogden. It was the first time since 2010 that Ryan lost a district game.
Denton head coach Dennis Krishka said that despite the Lady Broncos' 17 wins prior to Friday's game, his players felt they hadn't earned the appropriate respect.
"In order for them to gain some respect, they had to step up tonight and get the job done," Krishka said. "Our program has come a long way. … It's just huge for our kids to know they can play with [Ryan] and play at their level and be a championship-caliber team."
It was the first time since Krishka's first year that Denton (18-6, 3-1) had defeated Ryan.
Denton was led by the three-pronged attack of Jamecia Brown, Jasmine Taylor and Jacoiya Brown. Jamecia Brown scored a game-high 16 points, while Taylor and Jacoiya Brown each scored 11.
Ryan (14-9, 3-1) took advantage of six early turnovers by Denton and raced out to a 6-0 lead. Jamecia Brown netted three close-range buckets, and Taylor added a pull-up jumper to tie the score at 8 going into the second quarter.
After Denton went up by five points, Taylor picked up her third foul with four minutes left in the first half. Taylor was benched, allowing Ryan to storm back and briefly take a one-point lead.
Still, the Lady Broncos weren't fazed and carried a 20-17 lead into halftime.
After Ogden hit two free throws to tie the game at 40 late in the fourth quarter, Denton closed out the game by outscoring Ryan 8-4.
Ryan head coach Monesha Allen was disappointed with the Lady Raiders' rebounding effort and the lack of scoring support for Ogden. Still, Allen hopes the loss will spark her team through the rest of the district schedule.
Denton and Ryan are among a cluster of teams vying for the district championship, as both teams still have eight district games remaining.
"We're still in the driver's seat, and we just have to take care of business from here on out," Allen said.
Ryan 72, Denton 61
In the second game of the doubleheader, Ryan and Denton carried the intensity in a physical and closely contested affair.
Behind 30 points from Sam Johnson and 20 points from Trey Mohair, Ryan pulled away late in the fourth quarter.
Denton (9-11, 1-2) never trailed by more than five points in the first three quarters and carried a slim lead at times. But Ryan (12-8, 2-1) held the lead for the entire fourth quarter, capitalizing on trips to the free throw line to avoid a second straight loss.
"In a crosstown rivalry, it's one of those things where we knew [Denton] would be ready," Ryan head coach Bryce Overstreet said. "I'm extremely proud of my kids for doing the things it took at the end of the game to go win it."
Denton was led by 15 points from D.J. Hicks. Ryan Daniels followed with nine points. Denton was whistled for three technical fouls, while Ryan was called for one technical.
With 2:23 remaining in the game, Denton's Michael Jackson was called for a double technical and was ejected from the game. When Broncos head coach Harold Jackson received the explanation from the referee, he did not argue.
After D.J Hicks converted a three-point play with 4:07 left in the game, Ryan led 53-32 and Overstreet called a full timeout and berated his team. Following that timeout, Ryan slowly pulled away behind big buckets from Mohair and two key baskets by Trey Cook, sealing the victory for the visiting Raiders.
Denton 48, Ryan 44
Ryan 8 9 13 14 - 44
Denton 8 12 15 13 - 48
Ryan (14-9, 3-1) - Teana Ogden 29, Rahsheeba Walker 7, Jefferyonna Holley 1, Danielle Richardson 5, Mariah Young 2.
Denton (18-6, 3-1) - Jamecia Brown 16, Jasmine Taylor 11, Jacoiya Brown 11, Le'Andra Johnson 6, April Pena 2, Mariah Seastrunk 1, Sydne McDade 1.
Ryan 71, Denton 62
Ryan 15 9 21 26 - 72
Denton 13 11 18 20 - 61
Ryan (12-8, 2-1) - Trey Mohair 20, Sam Johnson 30, Quincy Jones 6, Trey Cook 6, Marcus Holcomb 9.
Denton (9-11, 1-2) - Ryan Daniels 9, Ronnie Garza 7, Matthew Perry 4, Chavis Johnson 6, J.J. Harper 6, Manny Patterson 7, D.J. Hicks 15, A.D. Harris 2, Wendall Williams 2, Michael Jackson 4.