WATERLOO -- A fine line separated victory from defeat Friday night when Wapsie Valley paid a visit to Waterloo Columbus for a North Iowa Cedar League basketball doubleheader.
Wapsie Valley ended up on the winning side of that line in a pair of contests that went down to the final buzzer.
In the girls' contest, a late jumper from junior Melody Kayser gave the Warriors a 44-43 victory, and in the boys' matchup Wapsie Valley pulled out a 55-50 win with the help of some cold shooting by the Sailors from the free throw line.
Columbus (1-3) jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the girls' game and took a 25-23 advantage to halftime.
The game went back and forth in the second half. Columbus grabbed a 43-42 lead on a bucket by Ali Vesely with :13 remaining, but Kayser snagged the rebound of a missed Wapsie Valley shot with :04 left and swished the putback to win it.
"We knew we were going to have to play a real hard game against these guys," Kayser said. "They always play hard and we had to match them. When I got that rebound it was just instinct that made me put it back up and when it went in I did not realize how much time was left on the clock."
Erin Riordan, who led the Warriors with 13 points, thought the game was headed to overtime.
"I did think it only tied the game," said Riordan. "When I realized we had the lead with little time left I knew we just had to stop them from getting their shot. They (Sailors) did a great job tonight. They were very physical and every point we got was a task and we had to work hard for it. "
The boys' game featured plenty of hard work and stingy defense, and there was never a lead that stretched into double digits.
"I think in the first half we were a little too stiff with the ball," said Warriors coach Marty McKowen. "We didn't take advantage of our post play and did not move the ball around with three or four passes.
"We talked about it at halftime and the guys began to take advantage of what we were given underneath."
Kiks Rosengarten ruled the paint, scoring 17 of his game-high 25 points while working down below.
"We began to move the ball better down below and at times we even kicked it out to the open guy," said Rosengarten. "Our whole focus was to get a lot of post touches and we worked it better in the second half."
Seven of Rosengarten's points came from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes as the Warriors knocked down 9of 14 from the free throw line.
Columbus, on the other hand, missed its last seven foul shots.
"We just have to work on free throws a lot more in practice," said Sailors coach Drake Schuring. "We have just got to be better from the line and we have to really cut back on all our turnovers. Once we can do that we will be in better shape to win games."