Melbourne splits pair of games with visitors from Sharp County
Defense. Defense. Defense.
The Evening Shade Lady Tigers had it in droves Nov. 2 as they rolled to a 49-23 win over the homestanding Melbourne Lady Bearkatz.
Later in the evening, the Bearkatz used a hot start to the fourth period to put away a determined bunch of Tigers 60-43.
In girls' action, Evening Shade held Melbourne to five first-half field goals to put the game away early. Mary Ellen Nix (14 points) tossed in five of the Lady Tigers' first seven points of the game to get Evening Shade going. Up 7-5 late in the first, the Lady Tigers closed the frame with nine unanswered points to speed out to a 16-5 advantage after one.
Christy Johnson (seven points) busted a trey to open the second as Evening Shade extended its lead.
Holly Miller (nine points) canned a couple of hoops for the Lady Bearkatz, but the Lady Tigers finished off the second period on a 9-2 run, including a triple from Lindsey Long (seven points) that padded their lead to 30-11 at the half.
Much of the Lady Tigers' first half success was due to full court defensive pressure that harassed the Lady Bearkatz into throwing the ball away, leading to easy breakouts for Evening Shade.
This trend continued in the third period as well, as the Lady Tigers turned up the heat a notch and held Melbourne without any points in the frame until the 1:19 mark.
By that time the Lady Tigers had boosted their margin to 46-11.
Jackie Womack grabbed a rebound and put it back in to give the Lady Bearkatz their first points since the second period, and Brittany Washington (five points) drained a trifecta at the buzzer for Melbourne, but Evening Shade held serve, 46-16, after three, on their way to a 49-23 win.
Arika Qualls tallied seven for Evening Shade, while Stephanie Cooksey added five, and Lindsey Welch four. Meghan Long, Megan Williams and Amber Johnson posted two points apiece for the Lady Tigers.
Larissa Christenson added five points for Melbourne, while Whitney Silas finished with two.
On the boys' side of things, the Tigers proved worthy opponents for the first three frames before the Bearkatz finished the game strong to record their first win of the year.
Melbourne jumped on top 15-4 in the first period, capped by a trey from B.J. Gillespie (four points).
Not letting the game slip away from them so quickly, Evening Shade bounced back by closing the first on a 7-zip run to stay close.
Jason Miller (nine points) stuck back a rebound for a deuce, and Michael Nunnally sank a pair of free throws before busting the first of his four triples on the night. Nunnally paced the Tigers with a game-high 22.
With Melbourne up 15-11 after one, the two sides battled in the second, with the Bearkatz holding onto the lead.
Shane Farmer lit up a trey at the 1:00 mark for the Bearkatz, only to be answered by a 3-ball from the Tigers' Jacob Martin (four points) right before intermission. Halftime of the game saw Melbourne clinging to a 28-23 lead.
Chase Moser came out of the locker room strong for Melbourne in the third period by scoring 10 of his team-high 16 points in the frame to help keep the Katz on top.
Nunnally busted a pair of long shots in the period, but Jessie Jenkins (15 points) drilled a 3-ball late in the stanza to push Melbourne in front 48-40 heading into the fourth.
The last period was poison for Evening Shade as their offensive well went dry while Melbourne had no such problems scoring.
The Bearkatz opened the frame on a 12-1 run, keyed by a 3-pointer from Logan Holladay (six points) that sank the Tigers.
Holding Evening Shade to just three free throws in the period, the Bearkatz knocked off the Tigers 60-43.
Cory Dale added 11 points for Melbourne, and Tyler Womack posted three.
Andy French finished with eight for Evening Shade.
Melbourne finished the week by playing host to 2AA-North newcomer Norfork Nov. 5, and the Panthers turned out to be rude guests by sweeping both games on the night.
Norfork's Travis Haught busted loose for a season-high 44 points as the Panthers knocked off the Bearkatz 85-63.
Jenkins led Melbourne with 15, while Gillaspie tossed in 13, Farmer 11 and Dale 10.
The Lady Panthers held Melbourne to 13 second half points as they won 48-19 over the Lady Bearkatz.
Womack paced Melbourne with eight points.