RHS Tigers take third at Republic Invitational to open basketball season

Republic opened its new basketball season under new coach Tim Brown with a third-place finish at the Republic Invitational. The Tigers opened the season with a blowout win over Marshfield before losing to eventual tournament champion Rolla in the semifinals. They wrapped up the weekend with a win against Rogersville in the third-place game Saturday.

Republic 59, Marshfield 31
Republic’s defense smothered Marshfield in the first half, helping the Tigers jump to a 17–4 lead after one quarter, on the way to a dominating 59–31 win. The defense-heavy victory was reminiscent of Republic’s recent basketball success under Trevyor Fisher, who became Republic’s activities director during the off-season, leading to Brown’s hiring. Brown said he would continue to emphasize defense, and it showed in the Tigers’ first outing. Republic used tight man-to-man defense that made it difficult for Marshfield to get off a decent shot.
“We did really well on the defensive end. I thought we rebounded particularly well,” Brown said. “Those are the two areas we did the best in in the first half: getting down in a stance and guarding, and rebounding the basketball.”
Republic eventually stretched the lead to 35 points, at 53–18, at the end of the third quarter. Brown said he was happy to get his first game done so he and his players can focus on playing basketball.
“I’m glad to just get that first game over for our guys and to be able to get some game feedback,” Brown said. “It seems like we’ve been practicing and we’re kind of sick of looking at each other, so it was nice to get out there on our home court. I was really impressed with the student section … and it was nice having them out there. Hopefully we can get them behind us all year long and create a fun environment for all our players.”
Sophomore Drew McMillin, starting his first varsity game, led all scorers with 17 points, including three three-pointers.
“Drew played the way tonight that he’s played all summer, so that’s not something that we’re surprised by,” says Brown. “He’s been very consistent in practice every day, and he played that way tonight.”
Broc Smith had 14 points and Tucker Thomas was also in double figures, with 11.
Drew McMillin 17, Broc Smith 14, Tucker Thomas 11, Trent Rackley 9, Cole Buxton 3, Race Looney 2, Jaden Duvall 2, Jacob Coday 1

Rolla 56, Republic 48
Alec Buhr scored 25 points for Rolla to lead the Bulldogs to a 56–48 win over Republic. The Tigers had opportunities to pull away from Rolla in the first quarter, but couldn’t do it. In the second half, Buhr’s hot hand carried Rolla into the lead and they won going away.
“I thought in the first half … we had a lot of missed opportunities at that point. We were doing a pretty good job defensively, and I thought we weren’t rewarding ourselves on the offensive end,” Brown said. “We got in a hurry and had a lot of guys trying to make plays on their own––not a lot of togetherness. We tried to make hard plays and had some that just didn’t go our way. We felt like we really could have had a lot more separation than what we had.”
Broc Smith 18, Tucker Thomas 10, Trent Rackley 8, Drew McMillin 6, Race Looney 6

Republic 55, Rogersville 47
Republic ramped up its defensive intensity after a letdown against Rolla, beating Rogersville 55–47 to take third place in its home tournament.
“I think the main thing was defensively we stayed locked in for four quarters–– our attention to detail, to the scouting report, all things we talked about, Brown said.
The Tigers led 23–21 at halftime, but Rogersville, like Rolla on Friday, took the lead early in the third quarter. When they did, though, Brown says his team responded better than they did Friday night.
“I thought we did a nice job of sticking together even when [Rogersville] made a run,“ he said. ”We were all in it for one another today. So [it’s] a step in the right direction and I’m just proud of the way that we defended for four quarters and executed our scouting report,” he says.
After Rogersville took the lead 24–23, the Tigers went on a 14–4 run to extend their lead to nine points. With three minutes remaining, Republic had pushed its lead to 12, at 45–33. Rogersville never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats got 21 points from Luke Vandersnick to lead all scorers. The Wildcats dropped to 1–2.
The Tigers improved to 2–1. They’ll be back in action Tuesday at Clever.
Rolla beat Ozark 60–49 to win the tournament championship.
Broc Smith 16, Drew McMillin 10, Trent Rackley 9, Tucker Thomas 9, Race Looney 8, Jaden Duvall 3


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