Friday night is almost always the most exciting night at the Class B Boys Basketball Tournament.
Four teams enter the evening knowing that they are just one win away from playing for a state title.
This year, Friday night did not disappoint.
The first semifinal was a classic David vs. Goliath matchup.
Linton played the role of Goliath. Even though Linton isn't even close the biggest school in the tournament, the Lions entered with an unbeaten record and the top ranking in the state.
They also have a strong tradition of success in Class B basketball, which bolstered their position as the team to beat.
The role of David was played by North Sargent. The Bobcats are playing in their first ever state tournament, and have tried to counteract that inexperience with plenty of determination.
Times have been tough for some in the Gwinner area, but the team and its fans certainly haven't let it get to them. The Bobcats and their fan base have been positive and classy all the way.
The Lions great depth and talent were too much Friday, as Linton pulled away with a 65-55 win to reach tonight's championship game.
The second semifinal of the night was an old-fashioned barnburner.
At various times during the game, Turtle Lake-Mercer looked like it was just one big basket from pulling away from Dakota Prairie.
The Knights would have none of it.
Dakota Prarie should consider changing its nickname from the Knights to the Perseveres, because that's what they do.
In their first round game over Lewis & Clark-Berthold, the Knights found themselves in a double-digit hole in the first half. They pecked away and by the third quarter, Dakota Praire was building a lead of its own.
More than once Friday night, I was ready to stick a fork in the Knights. They trailed for much of the first half and most of the fourth quarter, but they hung tough and never let the Trojans pull away.
For each great game, there is a hero. The Knights had two on Friday.
Gus Kueber has established himself as a force on both offense and defense this weekend. He finished the semifinal game with 22 points and eight rebounds a night after going for a triple-double in the first round.
But with the game tied and just 4.1 seconds remaining, Dakota Prairie's Alex Herman stepped to the free-throw line.
The sophomore calmly sunk both free throws for a 56-54 Dakota Prairie win.
Friday night gave basketball fans a little of everything, the only question is what will the Lions and Knights do for an encore?
We will find out tonight.
(Chris Bieri is a sportswriter for the Minot Daily News. He can be reached at email@example.com)