Just because a person is not old enough to possess a drivers' license does not mean that person is not old enough to know how to drive.
Case in point: the Melbourne Bearkatz' freshman flash, Garrett Batterton.
Batterton, in his first year of basketball at the high-school level, lit up the scoreboard for a game-high 28 points on a variety of drives in the paint, coupled with some nifty outside shooting, to help the Bearkatz ease past Viola in overtime, 51-46, Jan. 3 at the Longhorn Corral.
Earlier in the evening, the Lady Longhorns knocked off their guests from Melbourne 41-25.
In boys' action, the going was tight throughout in the 2AA-North battle, with things locked at 32-all heading into the fourth period.
Reeling off five straight points, the Longhorns (13-7, 3-4) pulled ahead 39-34 with 2:25 left in the period.
Showing some late grit, Melbourne (6-10, 3-5) swiped the lead on a traditional 3-point play from Batterton and huge triple by Jesse Jenkins (16 points) that gave the Katz a 40-39 advantage.
Batterton tacked on a layup to this margin, pushing Melbourne on top 42-39 inside the 50-second mark.
The Longhorns have shown a knack for fighting back late in games this year as well, as Kasey Humphries proved.
Humphries (six points) nailed his first shot of the night, a trey, with 33 ticks left to lock the game at 33-all.
Melbourne took the ball downcourt looking for the go-ahead bucket, when Humphries came up big again with a steal. He headed toward the Longhorn hoop and made it into the lane when the buzzer sounded, sending the game into an extra frame knotted at 42-all.
In the overtime stanza, Melbourne outscored Viola 9-4 to leave The Corral with a big victory. Melbourne's Chase Moser scored all three of his points for the game on big free throws in the extra period to help fend off the Longhorns.
The game started off as a see-saw affair, with Batterton and Viola's Tyler Richardson providing most of the first-period fireworks.
Batterton tossed in seven points in the frame, while Richardson fired in six of his team-high 18 points in the frame.
With Viola holding a 9-8 lead late in the period thanks to a layup by Lucas Rains (nine points), Batterton beat the buzzer with a jumper that pushed Melbourne on top 10-9 after one.
Lucas Talbert (eight points) broke free midway into the second period and scored seven points for Viola down the stretch to help ease the Horns to a 26-20 lead at intermission.
After Rains hit a bucket to get Viola going in the third, the Katz jumped back into the fray with 10 unanswered points, including seven from Batterton, to take a 30-28 lead with 3:34 showing on the clock.
Richardson answered with the last four points of the third for Viola, helping the Longhorns lock the game at 32-all heading into the fourth.
Corey Dale and Adam Jones finished with two points apiece for Melbourne.
Ryan Hargrove logged three points for Viola, with Logan Stone and Austin Springfield adding two points each.
On the girls' side of things, the Lady Longhorns (18-8, 5-2) broke open a competitive game through three periods by outpacing Melbourne (7-8) 16-2 during the stretch run of the fourth frame.
As a matter of fact, the Lady Horns held the Lady Bearkatz scoreless for 7:30 of the final frame. A layup by Autumn Henry with 30 ticks left on the clock was Melbourne's only score of the fourth.
Balanced scoring for Viola was the key, with Jamie Dailey and Adlena Coggins scoring nine points apiece, while Micah Thompson and Teegan Baumunk finished with eight points each on the night.
Viola held a 6-4 lead late in the first before the Lady Katz pulled on top via a jumper from Tara Jo Harmon and 3-ball from Olivia Morris. Morris paced Melbourne with a game-high 13 points.
Cortney Winter (five points) capped the first period with a triple that pushed Viola back in front 9-7 after one.
Morris opened the second with a shot beyond the arc, before Viola moved on top for the duration of the frame.
Three straight points from Coggins ended the first half of play with Viola leading 19-15.
The Lady Longhorns extended this margin to six, 23-17, late in the third before Melbourne finished with a flurry.
Whitney Wammack (five points) and Morris uncorked back-to-back triples that squared things at 23-all with 2:15 left in the third.
Coggins had the last say with a jumper that shoved Viola on top 25-23 after three.
This lead would stand up for the remainder of the game, as the Lady Katz ran out of gas in the final period, with Viola emerging with a 16-point win.
Mikita Thompson finished with two points for Viola.
Abby Cooper logged three points for Melbourne.