Tigers stay unbeaten in COC with solid outings

Republic 61 Branson 50 Three different Tigers
scored in double figures as Republic beat Branson on the road, 61–50. Republic broke a three-game losing streak, and its defense played a big part in that.
“We spent a lot of time on the defensive end this past week. Something we’ve talked about is trying to get that side of the ball taken care of and realizing that’s what’s going to win us games,” said coach Tim Brown. “We stayed disci- plined and we got down in a stance and we guarded.”
Even when Republic’s offense was not clicking in the first quarter, defense helped the Tigers stay in the game. It took four minutes for Republic to score its first field goal, but Branson managed only five points in the entire period, and Republic led 9–5 after one. It was 19–13 Republic at halftime.
The Tigers jumped ahead by as many as 13 points in the third quar- ter, but three straight turnovers helped Branson climb back into the game. The Pirates trailed by just six points, 40–34, as the fourth quarter began.
Aside from that stretch at the end of the third quarter, Brown was satis- fied with the way his team responded to Branson’s game plan of slowing down the pace of the game.
“[Branson was] very pa- tient early to try to throw us out of our rhythm of- fensively. And I think some of that was that we didn’t give them very many good looks in the first half,” Brown said. “And then it kind of got a good pace and flow to start the third [quarter], and it allowed more possessions for both teams.
”They made a lot of hard shots––shots that we feel like aren’t shots that aren’t going to beat us––a lot of deep desperation ones. Give them credit. They made them. But what we did in the first half was what I’m impressed with.”
Drew McMillin led Re- public with 20 points. Trent Rackley scored 14 and Broc Smith scored 13 to join McMillin double figures.
Drew McMillin 20, Trent Rackley 14, Broc Smith 13, Jaden Duvall 7, Race Looney 7
Republic 58 Carthage 46 Republic escaped with a
victory over upset-minded Carthage in a Central Ozark Conference road game, 58–46. Drew McMillin and Broc Smith combined for 36 points for the Tigers.
Each time Republic seemed poised to pull away from Carthage, the home team fought back. In the first half, guard Marcus Huntley kept Carthage close––and so did several bad offensive possessions by Republic.
“We got some separa- tion in the first half. It’s two games in a row where we’ve got it in a situation where it could go one way or another. We got [the lead] to 10 or 11, then had some really poor possessions on the offensive end,” said coach Tim Brown. “We spend a lot of time focused so much on defense, but we’ve got to start realizing that bad possessions on offense can hurt your de- fense because it gives them extra possessions, or if you shoot it too fast and you’re unorganized, it leads to situations on the defensive end where they’re playing in transition and you’re having to scramble.”
Brown said his team played better offensively coming out of the halftime break.
“It’s the second game in a row where we started the third quarter with really awesome possessions, and I feel like if we can get more of those, and get our offense to look like it did in those first three, four pos- sessions of the half, we’re going to be really hard to guard and hard to beat,” Brown said.
Smith and Joe Rexroat hit consecutive three- pointers for Republic af- ter Carthage had cut the lead to 34–32. Republic outscored Carthage 18–12 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Republic is 15–6 overall. They’re 4–0 in the COC.
Drew McMillin 22, Broc Smith 15, Race Loo- ney 9, Joe Rexroat 9, Trent
Rackley 3.


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