You really can't blame the Melbourne Bearkatz if they hope to be Viola Longhorn-free the rest of the season.
After the Bearkatz survived a four-point scare against the Longhorns Dec. 10 in the quarterfinal round of the Lyon College Tournament, the two squads were back at it Dec. 19 at the Bearkatz Barn in Melbourne.
This contest proved to be equally close, with Viola holding a third-period lead before Melbourne climbed on top to stay, winning 60-53 and defeating the Longhorns for the third time this year.
If you throw out the results from the teams' first meeting of the season, a 65-50 Melbourne win at Viola Oct. 28, the Longhorns, currently the number 10 ranked team in Class A, have played the Bearkatz closer than anyone else this year.
Melbourne, ranked number three in the Class AA ranks, improves to 19-0 for the season, while the Longhorns are 12-9.
Jordan Davidson led the Bearkatz with a game-high 29, while Levi Taylor tossed in 21 for Melbourne.
Dustin Jones tallied 21 to led Viola, and Brett Cotter added 18.
Just two days after notching their second consecutive Lyon College Tournament title, the Bearkatz were back in action on a neutral court, this time at Harding University in Searcy, as they took on the Hughes Blue Devils Dec. 15.
The Bearkatz rode a second-period hot streak to knock off the Blue Devils 73-54.
Leading 21-19 after the first period, the Bearkatz peeled off a 22-9 run in the second frame that put Melbourne way out front for good.