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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Junior Lady Katz run to tournament title

Thursday, February 19, 2009

GET BACK: Emma Cooper battles for a loose ball in Melbourne's win over Midland. Photo/Mullins
After settling for a split of the regular season title with the Midland junior Lady Mustangs, you can bet that the Melbourne junior Lady Bearkatz were looking for a chance to separate themselves from Midland when post-season play rolled around.

Turns out Melbourne got exactly the chance that it wanted and the two squads met in the championship game of the 2-2A Junior High District Tournament Feb. 14 in Imboden.

And this was one opportunity Melbourne didn't let go to waste.

The junior Lady Katz blitzed past Midland 55-42, in a game that was really not as close as the score might indicate.

Stacee Harget went wild for Melbourne in the first half of play and knocked down 18 of her game-high 24 points in the first two periods of play, helping the junior Lady Bearkatz lead the contest wire-to-wire.

Emma Cooper (six points) hit Melbourne's first bucket of the game and Harget notched an old-fashioned 3-point play to give the junior Lady Katz a fast 5-0 lead.

Then Harget tallied Melbourne's next eight points, giving her team a commanding 13-2 lead after one.

Midland's lone points of the first came with 12 seconds left on the clock.

Up 21-10 late in the second, Melbourne padded its lead with back-to-back triples from Harget and Avery Qualls (15 points), pushing the junior Lady Katz in front 27-10 at intermission.

Qualls came out firing in the third and blasted her second 3-ball of the game, giving Melbourne a 20-point lead.

Kelly Shell (four points) and Karli Gillihan (four points) hit buckets for Melbourne down the stretch in the third, but the junior Lady Mustangs closed the period in a productive manner, with a 5-0 run.

Still, Melbourne took a 36-21 advantage into the fourth period.

Midland pulled within 11 points, 38-27, with 4:50 left to play, but Melbourne ran out to a 44-27 lead with six unanswered points.

The junior Lady Mustangs scored the last eight points of the night, but it was too little, too late and Melbourne took home the junior high district tourney trophy with a 55-42 victory.

Michelle Arnold finished with two points for Melbourne.

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