An unproductive third period led to the demise of the Melbourne Bearkatz in their 2AA-North matchup with the Viola Longhorns at the Bearkatz Den Jan. 4. By logging just three points in the frame, the Bearkatz saw an otherwise competitive effort fall by the wayside, as the Horns won 53-35.
Earlier on the night, the Lady Longhorns made sure things got off on the right foot for the visitors from Fulton County with a 58-41 win over the host Lady Bearkatz.
In boys' action, the Bearkatz (3-12, 1-6) managed to hang around the Longhorns (17-5, 5-2), trailing by seven, 27-20, at halftime. This was before Viola turned up the heat in the third period.
Melbourne couldn't find the hoop in the frame until right before the buzzer sounded, with Chase Moser (nine points) launching a long trey that found the bottom of the net as time expired in the third. Ryan Walker tossed in six of his game-high 14 points for Viola in the third, as the Horns outscored Melbourne 12-3 in the frame to grab control of the game, taking a 39-23 lead into the fourth.
Jesse Jenkins (12 points) posted seven points for the Bearkatz in the final period, but Melbourne couldn't gain enough ground to overtake Viola, falling by 18 points.
Viola pulled ahead early in the game, as Kaleb West (six points) popped back-to-back treys midway into the first period.
Kevin Painter followed with a triple of his own near the end of the period, helping Viola to a 19-9 lead after one.
The Bearkatz responded by closing the second period on a 9-2 run to keep within striking distance, down 27-20 at the half.
Melbourne's gas tank hit empty in the third as Viola scored the first 12 points of the frame to put the Bearkatz in their rearview mirror.
Tyler Richardson tossed in 13 points for Viola, while Cody Hutson and Cody Erby added four points apiece. Chance Roper followed with three, with Cory Batterton, John Worsham and Jarret Wilson hitting for two points each.
Shane Farmer tallied eight points for Melbourne, while Tyler Wammack added four, and Cory Dale two for the Bearkatz.
On the girls' side of things, the third period proved to gold for the Lady Longhorns (15-3, 7-0) as well, as they fought off a game group of Lady Katz (1-14, 0-7) in the second half, en route to a 17-point victory.
Viola opened the third period on an 8-0 run, and followed that with an 8-3 sprintout to start the fourth to knock off Melbourne.
The first period was a close affair, with Viola leading 14-12 after the first period of play despite two treys from Melbourne's Brittni Washington in the frame. Washington paced Melbourne with 15 points on the night.
Lindsey Barker (14 points) answered for the Lady Horns with two straight buckets to start the second, and a 7-zip stretch capped with a 3-ball from Jamie Daily (15 points) pushed Viola in front 25-15 with 4:20 remaining until the half.
The Lady Bearkatz didn't fold; rather they finished the first half on a 7-2 run, including a triple from Washington, to keep things from getting entirely out of hand before intermission.
However, with Viola up 31-24 at the break, Melbourne saw the Lady Horns reel off the first eight points of the third, putting the Lady Katz down 39-24.
Stephanie Rutledge (seven points) broke up Viola's run with a 3-pointer, but the Lady Longhorns held serve 43-34 after three.
A similar beginning to the fourth put Melbourne on ice, as the Lady Longhorns logged a conference victory to begin the new year.
Micah Thompson tallied 13 points for Viola, while Teegan Baumunk added six. Cayla Cotter and Kyla Batterton hit for four points apiece, and Adlena Coggins tossed in two.
Jackie Wommack scored six for Melbourne, with Holly Miller and Larissa Christensen adding four points each for the Lady Bearkatz.