You could tell by the way they took the court at Bill McCurley Gymnasium in Imboden Feb. 20 that the Walnut Ridge Bobcats badly wanted the championship trophy that goes to the victor of the 2-2A District Tournament.
The Bobcats came out of the locker room with intense focus etched all over their faces.
The only problem for Walnut Ridge was that the defending district tournament champion Melbourne Bearkatz had no intentions of giving up the first-place hardware.
And that, too, was written all over the face of the Bearkatz.
When the game tipped off, Walnut Ridge managed to hang around for about a half before Melbourne (29-5) ripped apart the Bobcats to the tune of 57-37.
Just as they have been all year long, Spencer Caraway and Dalton Grigg were just too much for the opposing team to overcome in the district tourney finals.
Caraway poured in 27 points, including a rim-rattling dunk, while Grigg added a jam of his own, en route to 15 points for the Bearkatz.
And with Spencer Caraway and Grigg occupying so much attention in the paint, that leaves Melbourne's sharp-shooters free to do their thing from outside the 3-point arc.
Kody Caraway (12 points) took care of that department against Walnut Ridge, drilling four triples for Melbourne.
The Katz led 18-15 after the first period and then Walnut Ridge went cold in the second.
The Bobcats went a long time between hoops in the second period, while Melbourne went on a 10-zip run, helping the Bearkatz to a 34-24 advantage at the half.
Walnut Ridge mustered just six points in the third, as Melbourne extended its cushion to 46-30 after three.
Cody Cooper finished with two points for the Bearkatz, with Matt Loggains adding one.
The Bearkatz opened regional play Feb. 24 against the Rector Cougars at Midland High School.
In the district semis Feb. 18, the Katz hammered the Cedar Ridge Timberwolves 72-37.
Spencer Caraway racked up 23 points, while Grigg followed with 18.
Derek Baird notched 10