Republic boys basketball season ends with loss to Glendale

Republic’s Brenley Hagewood shoots over Glendale’s Mar’Kel  Houston (33) during the first half of Republic’s district quarterfinal loss. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Lanney Strong (14) takes a second-half shot during Republic’s win over Nixa. Strong finished with 13 points. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Springfield Glendale edged Republic 66–63 in the Class 6 District 5  quarterfinals. A 60-foot shot by James Rexroat that could have tied the  score clanged off the rim as time expired, ending Republic’s season.
“I thought for the most part, the game was played at our pace,” said Republic coach Tim Brown. “The shots we missed, the ones we took were  really good shots, and we missed them. If you told us we would get those  shots, I think we would have taken them this time of year. It’s a  make-or-miss game.”
Guard Brenley Hagewood scored 26 points, and forward James Rexroat had  one of his best games of the season, finishing with 16. But Republic was  unable to string together many productive possessions on offense, and  that allowed Glendale to keep the lead throughout the second half.
“They were able to get two-possession leads, and we had to kind of chip away to keep it even. We needed one of those loose balls that they kept getting timeouts on to go our way, and for us to capitalize on it,” Brown said. “We just couldn’t seem to find one of those.”
Glendale guard Amare Witham led the Falcons with 33 points. He scored nearly half of those points in the second quarter, after Republic freshman Keiran Govan, who had been assigned to guard Witham, checked out with foul trouble. “I thought Keiran Govan did a fantastic job in his first varsity start of frustrating [Witham],” Brown said. “We talked in our pregame, we’ve got to make him waste some possessions, and I thought (Keiran) was able to do that. A good player like that, you’re not going to be able to completely shut him down.”
The score was close most of the night. Republic led 15–12 after the first quarter, but Glendale had taken tied the score 36–36 at halftime. The Falcons grabbed a one-point lead at the end of the third quarter, 52–51, and outscored the Tigers 14–12 in the final eight minutes.
The game was the last high school contest for four Republic seniors: Rexroat, Jordan Douglas, Aslan Ebisch and Owen Fry.
“I’m just thankful for our seniors,” said Brown. “They’re great kids on the court and off the court, high-academic and high-character leaders in our school, and I just appreciate all their hard work and commitment to our program.”
Republic finished the season with a 15–12 record.
Republic girls district basketball recaps
Quarterfinals: Republic 64, Willard 30
The Republic Lady Tigers opened their Class 6 District 5 tournament with a resounding win, blowing out Willard for the second time in eight days, 64–30. The Lady Tigers strung together 19 consecutive points to end the first quarter, building a 23–4 lead. All five Republic starters scored during that time, led by Alex Price with eight points.
By halftime, Republic had increased its lead to 33 points, 40–7. Full-court pressure by Republic made it difficult for Willard to even get the ball up the floor to run its half-court offense. After the 19-point run in the first quarter, Republic added an 11–0 stretch in the second.
By the time the game was over, 10 different players had scored for Republic. Nambara led the way with 15 points, and Molly Blades had 13.
Semifinals: Republic 53, Nixa 49
Republic beat Nixa for the third time this season, topping the Lady Eagles 53–49 in the district semifinal game. In contrast to the first two meetings, the Lady Tigers led most of the game. Republic scored first and did not trail until early in the third quarter, when Nixa briefly took a three-point lead. But Republic reeled off nine straight points to regain control and never trailed again.
“Most of our games, we have played catch-up, so that’s something we’re familiar with,” said Molly Blades. “But when you have the lead, all the pressure’s on you keeping it there. With a team like Nixa, we always go back and forth with them, and it’s a continuous lead change the whole entire game, so it’s very much more stressful having the lead.”
The biggest single play of the game came with about a minute left. Nixa stole the ball and scored a layup to cut Republic’s lead to 49–48. As Republic passed the ball around to run time off the clock, Alex Price got the ball on the right side, just beyond the three-point line. With 1:03 on the clock, she cut loose a wide-open jump shot that went in.
“I don’t think we were really supposed to take any threes, but it was wide open, and I knew I was hitting some of my shots, so I just took the shot, and thank God it went in,” Price said. The shot was her second three-pointer of the fourth quarter, and it helped seal the win for Republic.


Lawrence County Record

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