Report by Blake Smith
The Melbourne Lady Bearkatz picked up right where they left off on Friday in the regional semifinals, facing the Quitman Lady Bulldogs.
It was all Lady Katz early, using a 15-0 run and six offensive rebounds in the first quarter to open up a 27-8 lead.
Melbourne stayed aggressive defensively, increasing their lead to as many as 32 in the third quarter before pulling the starters, setting the final score at 65-46.
Kiley Webb led all scorers with 17 points, Jenna Lawrence added 15, and Kenley McCarn had 14.
The Lady Katz advance to the regional championship, where they will face Salem at 4:00 p.m. Saturday.
The Melbourne Bearkatz were part of one of the craziest endings in recent memory in their regional semifinal game Friday night, as they took on conference rival Tuckerman.
The Katz started off hot, leading by as many as seven points in the first before holding off a late quarter Bulldog run to hold a one-point advantage after one quarter.
Tuckerman then found their footing offensively, outscoring Melbourne 29-16 over the middle two frames.
The lead was as many as 17 points at the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter, and the Katz were 15 points down with two minutes to play.
The Bearkatz then turned on the pressure defensively and found the basket, sinking five consecutive three-pointers to tie the game with 30 seconds to play.
Tuckerman then was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw situation.
Bearkat senior Remi Lawrence rebounded the missed attempt, dribbled just past the half-court line, and drew a foul on a last-second three-point attempt.
Lawrence sank all three foul shots to complete the comeback, as the Katz won by a final of 61-58.
Lawrence led the way with 19 points, Riley Gray added 18, and Jaxon Sanders added 14.
The “comeback Katz” advance to the regional championship, where they will play White County Central at 7:00 p.m. Saturday.