The Melbourne Bearkatz opened the 2003 season in vintage form, winning two games in the Evening Shade Classic with their trademark combination of perimeter speed and muscle in the paint.The Bearkatz' Oct. 25 matchup with the Riverside Rebels in the Classic had all the look and feel of a post-season clash as both teams came out of the blocks ready to play, trading blows for three periods until Melbourne pulled away late, and the Rebels struggled from the charity stripe, as the Bearkatz posted a 55-36 win.Levi Taylor did the early work inside for Melbourne, scoring six of his team-high 16 points in the first few minutes of the game, as Melbourne fought off the Rebels.Riverside broke out 10 unanswered points late in the first to grab a 17-7 lead going into the second period.Jordan Davidson (14 points) kept the Bearkatz close in the second period with his slashing offense, while the Bearkatz swarming defense kept Riverside from extending their advantage beyond the 10-point mark.By the end of the second period, Melbourne had grabbed the lead from the Rebels as sophomore Nick Davidson (eight points) busted two treys in less than 12 seconds to send the teams to intermission with the Bearkatz in front 29-25.Jordan Davidson nailed a 3-bomb to open the third befor
e the Rebels sank a couple of hoops to keep pace with Melbourne.The Bearkatz may have exposed Riverside's Achilles' heel in the second half as the Rebels were only two-for-12 from the free throw line in the second half, keeping them from gaining much ground on Melbourne.
Cody Moser (12 points) bombed in a 3-pointer to start the fourth period for Melbourne, and the Bearkatz defense did the rest, holding Riverside to just one point in the last frame as Melbourne opened up their lead and coasted to a 55-36 win.
The Bearkatz tipped off their season Oct. 21 with a 72-38 lashing of the Maynard Tigers in the Evening Shade Classic.The Bearkatz sprinted out to a 6-0 lead before the Tigers found the scoreboard, and Melbourne ended the first period on a 10-4 run to lead 19-9 after one.
Cody Moser (seven points) ended the first half with a flourish for Melbourne as he dished the ball to Hunter Caraway (12 points) for a traditional 3-point play with 53 seconds left until the half.
Thirteen seconds later, Moser swiped the ball from Maynard and found Jordan Davidson (11 points) for a layup, and then Moser pulled the same trick right at the buzzer as Davidson's layup saw the Bearkatz holding a comfortable 40-18 lead at the half.
This lead enabled the Bearkatz starters to take the rest of the night off, as the entire Melbourne roster saw action in the second half.
The Tigers managed their first score of the second half at the 3:10 point of the third, at which time they trailed 54-20.
The Bearkatz extended their lead to 60-25 after three, before posting a final score of 72-38 in the scorebook.
Nick Davidson led the Bearkatz with 24, Levi Taylor added nine in limited duty, Andy Miller had eight, while Kyle Nixon added five and Andrew Treat four for Melbourne.