The inaugural Whitnall/Greenfield boys-girls basketball doubleheader on Jan. 6 turned out to be a complete success.
A large crowd filled the Whitnall High School gym on a cold evening to watch the Whitnall and Greenfield boys teams do battle starting at 5:45 p.m., then the girls squads take the floor at about 7:30 p.m.
A good portion of the crowd stayed for the girls game, which has not always happened at other schools which have held similar doubleheaders.
The fans were treated to a number of highlights during the two games.
During the boys contest, Whitnall built up a 13-point lead early in the second half before Greenfield's Rayvon Bartlett Jr. went on a tear with a trio of 3-point field goals, including a four-point play, to help his Hustlin' Hawks tie the game at 53-53.
Whitnall responded with a big 3-pointer from Will Kegel and a driving three-point play from Tyler Herro to go up 62-53, then held on for a 65-58 victory.
The girls game saw Whitnall's Sierra Grubor come up with big plays time and time again en route to 30 points, as well as a heroic effort by Greenfield's Ratka Karac, who scored 19 second-half points to keep her team within range.
Over the years, the Whitnall and Greenfield teams have had extra motivation when playing each other because of the rivalry, but it was clear that the added dimension of playing together at the same site increased both the intensity and the level of play.
Whitnall went all out for the event, printing commemorative T-shirts which proclaimed the night "The Battle of the Birds, Falcons vs. Hawks."
"This was a great event, a great atmosphere," Whitnall girls coach Keith Larson said.
Greenfield will get its chance to host the rematch doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 10.