Republic Tigers drop semifinal game after to Blue and Gold tourney wins

Republic played two of its most complete games of the season against Mountain Grove and Fair Grove to open the Blue & Gold Tournament. But the Tigers went the opposite direction against top-seeded Kickapoo in the Gold Division semifinals, losing 53-44 in a game that wasn’t as close as its final score indicated. Kickapoo led 18-8 by the end of the first quarter.
“I think we started really lethargic for some reason. To come out on your heels in a Blue & Gold semifinal game against a good program like Kickapoo and expect to win – that’s just not going to happen,” said coach Tim Brown.
Republic’s defense kept it close, but the Tigers struggled all night at the offensive end of the floor.
“That’s what we talked about at halftime. When you’re lethargic and you do things half speed offensively, and the ball sticks and you don’t get it moving, you’re not going to make shots,” Brown said. “We need to have that offensive rhythm to make shots. We talked about having that offensive rhythm last night. Give [Kickapoo] credit. There’s things they did to try to eliminate us from having that rhythm.”
Republic fell behind by as many as 18 points, but tried to make a game of it in the fourth quarter. They cut the lead to nine points and had the ball with more than a minute remaining, but turned it over and never got closer than that.
“We showed some life finally late; just a little too late,” Brown said.
Republic scoring: Drew McMillin 12, Ahlante Askew 11, Tucker Thomas 10, Will Berry 6, Joe Rexroat 5
Republic opened the tournament with two decisive wins. Against Mountain Grove, six different players scored in the first quarter as Republic jumped out early and cruised to a blowout win. Ten different players scored by the time the game was over in a 65-33 win. Drew McMillin led Republic with 14 points.
Republic scoring: Drew McMillin 14, Joe Rexroat 12, Race Looney 8, Ahlante Askew 7, Tucker Thomas 7, Trevor Porter 6, Carson Neff 5, Skyler Lock 2, Will Berry 2, Nate Woolford 2
In the quarterfi- nals, Republic start- ed fast and never slowed down. The Tigers led Fair Grove 23-10 at the end of the first quarter.
“We came out and we were ready to play,” said coach Tim Brown. “We had a great start and ex- ecuted our game plan for four quarters. Our attention to detail on the defensive end was up to our standards and we did more ‘Re- public’ things.”
Republic scoring:
Drew McMillin 25, Race Looney 8, Joe Rexroat 8, Tucker Thomas 6, Ahlante Askew 3, Will Berry 3, Carson Neff 3, Oliver Welch 2


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