Report by Blake Smith
Friday night brought the first set of championship games for the Melbourne Bearkatz, as both teams were in action at Salem.
The Lady Katz took to the floor first against the rival Marmaduke Lady Greyhounds.
The game was back and forth the entire first half, with Marmaduke taking a one-point lead into the locker room, marking only the third time this season that Melbourne trailed at the half.
The Lady Katz turned on the defense in the second half, leading for a majority of the time, until a Marmaduke player hit a game-tying three-pointer with just two seconds left.
The game was forced into overtime, where Melbourne used key free throws to create separation, winning the thrilling game by a final of 54-49.
Kenley McCarn led all scorers with 20 points, Jenna Lawrence added 15, and Josie Roark had 10.
All five Lady Katz starters McCarn, Lawrence, Roark, Hardaway, and Webb were named to the all-conference team.
The Lady Katz will advance to the regional tournament and will take on Cross County Wednesday at Clarendon.
The Bearkatz took to the floor in the nightcap, taking on Bay.
The Katz built on the momentum their female counterparts ended their game with, shooting the lights out in the first half, building a 28-9 halftime lead.
The second half, however, was another story, as the Yellowjackets came out in a 1-3-1 half-court trap, and the Katz could not respond offensively, scoring only one point in the third quarter.
Melbourne stayed in contention, but only one second-half field goal, a three-pointer as time expired, resulted in a heartbreaking 39-36 loss.
Ty Miller was the leading Bearkat scorer with 12 points, while Layton Hennings had 11.
Hennings, Miller, Riley Clairday, and Roby Cooper were named to the all-conference team.
The Katz advance to the regional tournament, where they will take on the Earle Bulldogs Thursday at 5:30 p.m.