The first round of the 9th Bearcat Classic closed with the tightest game of the round, but it was the Bearcats who took a 59-56 loss against Dover.
There were eight ties and 13 lead changes and the Bearcats and Pirates were separated by no more than seven points.
That came with 5:50 to play in the third quarter when Noah Harrel scored on an assist from Raiden Ferguson to make it 39-32.
Dover promptly scored the next six points which Ferguson answered with a 3 to make it 42-38.
The Bearcats led again by four at 53-49 with 4:08 to play when Harrel -- who hit a 3 for a lead change at 51-49 -- assisted a Ferguson basket.
Ferguson led the Bearcats with 17 points.
Dover again scored the next six points to go in front 55-53 with 2:36 remaining but the Bearcat drew even on a C.J. Johnson basket with 2:16 left.
Johnson and Colter Fisher were both in double figures for the Bearcats with 10. Fisher also had six assists.
The Pirates were up 57-55 when Macolen Tillery, who had a team high six rebounds, hit a free throw with 1:10 to go and after it stayed that way until :01 remained.
Dover had possession with less than a minute to go but would be forced by the shot clock to take a shot and did so and missed.
But a Pirate was able to steal away a rebound and score with :01 to play.
Dover had its biggest lead at 7-2 with 5:27 left in the opening quarter but, after a Bearcat time out, the game would eventually be tied at 7 and was tied again at 9 and then 13 at the end of the quarter.
A couple of Fisher free throws gave the Bearcats a 17-16 lead and the tournament hosts led until the score was tied at 21 then again at 42.
The Bearcats will face Danville, who lost to Waldron, in a consolation game at 5:20 Thursday.