Republic completes COC sweep

Both the boys and girls basketball teams from Republic are Central Ozark Conference champions, and they did it without suffering a loss. It’s the only time since the conference expanded a decade ago that the same school has gone unbeaten in the COC in both boys and girls basketball, and no other school has done it since at least 1999.
GIRLS Republic 38
Ozark 36
The Lady Tigers clinched their conference title with a dramatic win on the road at Ozark. Clara Fronabarger made a three-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining to help Republic come from behind and win the game. Ozark had led most of the fourth quarter.
“[If we did a preseason poll], we probably would not have been one of the teams to be picked,” said coach Kris Flood. “To get this one is extremely pleas- ing. We’ve overcome a lot and we’ve come a long way since November. We’ve really grown as a team.”
Republic trailed by five points, 36–31, with 3:30 remaining in the game. But Flood went with a five- guard lineup that put more quickness on the floor, and Republic dominated from that moment on. Republic scored the last seven points of the game to edge Ozark.
Fronabarger finished with a team-high 14 points for Republic, including seven points in the fourth quarter.
“She had some critical baskets when we needed it,” Flood said of Frona- barger. “She got the driving basket and a foul, and I can’t say enough about the three she hit. They missed a couple free throws and we took advantage of it.”
Clara Fronabarger 14, Halli Bartelsmeyer 12, Jade    Kirby    6,    Shealyn    Bar - rett 4, Jazzy Kirby 2
Rogersville 46 Republic 33 The Republic girls let
the regular-season finale slip away despite opportunities, losing to Rog- ersville 46–33. The Lady Tigers fell behind in the
first half, but raised the defensive intensity in the third quarter to edge closer. They missed too many easy shots, though, and their comeback fell short.
“I thought the effort at times was very good, especially on the offensive boards,” said coach Kris Flood. “And we made a little push during the third quarter. We were playing with a lot of energy. I don’t think we had that at the beginning of the game, but I feel like we missed probably 20–26 points underneath the basket on layups, and a lot of them were uncontested shots.”
Republic ended the regular season with an 18–8 record. Rogersville improved to 19–7.
Clara Fronabarger 16, Halli Bartelsmeyer 8, Jade Kirby 4, Savana Powell- Goodman 2, Anna Bell 2, Shealyn Barrett 1
Republic 64
Carthage 24 (District Semifinals)
Republic scored the first 24 points of the game on the way to a blowout win to open district play in Republic Monday, 64–24 over Carthage. Halli Bartelsmeyer led Republic with 18 points, including 12 in the first quarter.
“We really shot the ball well. The kids were aggressive on offense–even on the offensive boards,” said coach Kris Flood. I couldn’t ask for a better beginning.”
Ten different players scored for Republic, led by Bartelsmeyer’s 18. Sa- vana Powell-Goodman also scored in double figures in limited minutes off the bench, finishing with 10.
“She’s really progressed his year,” Flood said of Powell-Goodman. “I told the kids, we’re in a situation where we’ve got a ton of bodies and we’ll just try to keep everybody fresh. And I’ve got a lot of confidence in those kids that come off the bench that had really good JV years, and they’ve helped us out, too, at the varsity level.”
The Lady Tigers im- proved to 19–8 and ad- vanced to the district championship game Friday night at 6:00. Republic will meet Willard, who knocked off Parkview in the second semifinal. Republic beat Willard in the teams’ first meeting, 34–31.
Halli Bartelsmeyer 18, Savana Powell-Goodman 10, Jade Kirby 8, Jazzy Kirby 6, Shealyn Barrett 5, Anna Bell 4, Clara Frona- barger 4, Kaitlyn Ragsdale 4, Delaney Smith 3, Carle Ward 3
BOYS Republic 55
Ozark 47
The Republic boys clinched their conference championship with a game remaining, beating Ozark 55–47 to take the title. Broc Smith scored 21 points for Republic as the Tigers avenged a loss to Ozark in the Blue & Gold Tourna- ment semifinals.
“I’m just really proud of our kids and proud of our program,” said first- year coach Tim Brown. One of our goals when we started the season was to win the conference, and we’re able to check that off. And what a way to do it on the road at Ozark, a team that knocked us out of the Blue & Gold. I’m just really happy for our guys. I think we’re playing our best basketball right now.”
In the teams’ first meeting, Ozark dominated the fourth quarter to come from behind. This time, Republic made plays late in the game to close out the victory. Republic out- scored Ozark 19–13 in the fourth quarter, and 15 of those points came at the foul line.
Because Republic remained unbeaten in the league, and no other team had fewer than two losses, Republic clinched the championship with a game remaining.
Republic 64 Webb City 40 Republic’s final regular season game against Webb City would have been a perfect moment for a letdown. Republic had already clinched a league championship, Webb City was celebrating winter homecoming, and the Tigers had already secured the No. 1 district seed.
But Republic left no doubt about its dominance in the conference, cruising to a 64–40 win on the road. It gave Republic a 9–0 conference record and helped Republic become the first COC school since at least the turn of the century to win the league in both boys and girls basketball without a loss in the same season.
“This is one of the prestigious leagues in our area–in our state,” said coach Tim Brown. “And
you look at the fact that a lot of these teams beat up on each other all season long. You look at the number of games that we had that we had to grind out, and the high-level programs with the players and the coaches that are walking those sidelines. I think if you have a team that wins the league and you can do it without a loss––that’s pretty special.
Nine different play- ers scored for Republic,
including three in double figures, led by Drew McMil- lin with 17. Looney had 16 points and Smith finished with 14.
Republic picked up its 20th win of the year, fin- ishing the regular season 20–6.
Drew McMillin 17, Race Looney 16, Broc Smith 14, Trent Rackley7,Jaden Duvall 4, Will Berry 2, Tucker Thomas 2, Cole Buxton 1, Joe Rexroat 1


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