Two ranked teams edge Lady Tigers after battle

The Republic girls basketball team suffered two close losses to state-ranked teams, losing at home to West Plains (#2, Class 4) and Strafford (#2, Class 3) on consecutive nights.
The Lady Tigers were playing without two injured regulars, but still managed to stay in both games until the final moments. Against West Plains, Republic trailed by two points in the fourth quarter before the Lady Zizzers made enough free throws to seal a 40-35 win. The Lady Tigers trailed by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter before mounting their comeback. They overcame a cold spell in the second and third quarters, during which they managed just seven points. Republic’s defense kept it in the game, allowing just four points in the second period.
“I thought we really came out ready to go in the first quarter,” said coach Kris Flood. “We were executing and defensively, we did OK. I thought [West Plains] adjusted a little bit in the second quarter. Then you get a little impatient and that’s where we got a little out of sync. They’re such a good team, when they get a six to eight point lead, it’s tough to come back.”
Against Strafford, Republic again came up five points short, losing 53-48 in overtime. The Lady Tigers had an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation, but didn’t get a good shot before the buzzer. In the overtime, Strafford outscored Republic 11-4, including nine points at the free throw line.
The game resembled an earlier battle between the two teams at the Pink & White Lady Classic. In that game, Republic ended Strafford’s 123-game winning streak. The second meeting was close throughout the night, with neither team leading by more than six points until the overtime period. In the first quarter, Republic’s pressure defense was as good as it had been all year, forcing nine Strafford turnovers in the first six minutes of play. At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Tigers led 12-11. Republic pushed its lead to 19-13 in the second quarter, but Strafford fought back to tie the game 23-23.
In the third quarter, Strafford gained a six-point lead, but a bucket by Savana Powell-Goodman and a three-pointer by Jazzy Kirby cut the margin to one. After two Strafford free throws, Kirby hit her second straight three to tie the game at 35 at the end of the third quarter.
Republic scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, but a costly turnover and missed free throws helped Strafford even the score again. The Lady Tigers had the last possession of the quarter, but Jazzy Kirby’s off-balance shot was off-target.
“We had a chance there and [made] a couple of bad decisions,” said Flood. “The moment kind of caught up with us. Give them credit there. They got the basket when they needed it.
“The kids really battled. They’ve had to battle two hard games in two nights, and I feel for them because we’ve come out on the bad end on both games.
Republic scoring vs. West Plains: Kaemyn Bekemeier 10, Savana Powell-Goodman 7, Jade Kirby 6, Delaney Smith 5, Jazzy Kirby 5, Kaitlyn Ragsdale 2 Turnovers: Republic 14, West Plains 18 Rebounds: Republic 10, West Plains 23
Republic scoring vs. Strafford: Kaemyn Bekemeier 13, Savana Powell-Goodman 11, Jazzy Kirby 8, Jade Kirby 7, Delaney Smith 5, Kaitlyn Ragsdale 2, Carle Ward 2


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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