East High School's Zach McCord stood just above the rest of the players on the court in the first Capital City Clash of the season, after hitting the game winning three with four seconds to play.
He was not the only standout player of the game.
Josh Fearing has been outstanding for Central all season, averaging 13.9 points per game, to go along with 3.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, and 2.3 spg.
In the Clash, his will to win was on full display, twisting and contorting in mid-air to make incredible baskets down the stretch. His passion nearly boiled over in the third quarter in a confrontation with McCord.
Cooler heads prevailed, after technical's were assessed, but 14 points from Fearing, including seven in the 4th, was not enough for the win for the Indians.
Fearing will have more help down the stretch though, after the return of Darius Wimbley, who sat out almost half of the season with a sprained MCL.
Wimbley, who is a high jumper during track season, brings an explosiveness to the basketball court that demands defensive attention; possibly freeing Fearing for open looks.
In the Clash, Wimbley had eight points, playing the game at the rim. He has the potential to be an exciting option for Central down the stretch.
East is not without its share of roll players.
Perhaps no one is more consistent than Cameron Johnson.
He is tenacious on defense and a real threat on the perimeter, leading the Thunderbirds in three point percentage.
Johnson is a three sport star, and a proven winner; state champion in baseball and basketball. His leadership will be critical for East as the regular season winds down, especially with Tyler Lambert on the bench.
Lambert injured his ankle against Kelly Walsh on January 9th and hasn't played since.
He will likely be back for the Thunderbirds playoff run, but in his absence Elijah Oliver seems the likely candidate to step in for East to help the team down the stretch.
Oliver, a sophomore, had seven points against Central and showed his toughness in the paint and on the boards against older more experienced players.
East and Central are both back in action on January 31.
East will host Sheridan and Central will be in for a real test against the Gillette Camels and the top scorer in the state, Cody Kelley.
Tip off for both games is scheduled for 7:00 PM.