The Melbourne Lady Bearkatz opened play in the Class AA Region 3 Tournament against the Newark Lady Kangaroos on Feb. 21.The Lady Kangaroos used strong perimeter play to defeat the Lady Bearkatz 63-45."We knew they were a good team coming in," said Lady Bearkatz Head Coach Kelly Rush. "They have a good group of guards. We knew containing them would be important."The first period was a close affair with Melbourne grabbing the lead at 9-7 on a trey from senior Megan Taylor.The period ended with Newark leading 10-9 as Jessica Beeler connected on a traditional 3-point play.The Lady Bearkatz sprinted back out in front 16-12 just inside the second frame on another Taylor 3-pointer.Newark used a 6-0 run midway into the period to grab the lead back at 22-16."They shot the ball well in the second period," commented Coach Rush."We got in a little foul trouble and had to switch from man-to-man to zone and they continued to shoot well."The Lady Kangaroos took a 10-point lead, 33-23 to halftime.Melbourne clawed back in the third with a jumper from sophomore Kristin Teague and inside hoop by senior Ashley Brown to narrow the gap to 33-27.Newark responded by stringing together an 11-4 run to close out the period leading 44-31.The Lady Bearkatz fought to even things up in the last period, but the margin was too much to overcome."I thought they did a good job of defending Ashley Brown," said Coach Rush.The 63-45 loss ended the Lady Bearkatz season at 17-17.Megan Taylor led the Lady Bearkatz with 20.Ashley Brown added 11.Jessica Beeler led Newark with 14."For such a tough schedule, we didn't do bad this year," said Coach Rush. "We beat some good teams.""We kind of started slow but got on a run after Christmas where we won 10 out of 11 games in one stretch. We won our conference," added Rush."In the end we didn't play as well as a group as we had been. I told our team after the Newark game that they are a bunch of winners who worked hard all year," said Rush.