Republic girls win Nixa Invitational Tournament

Republic’s championship at the Nixa Invitational Tournament was its first, after finishing as runner-up in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Left, Misora Nambara drives around an opponent on the sideline during Republic’s win over Cape Girardeau Notre Dame. She helped key Republic’s tournament championship, scoring 17.7 points per game. (Photos by Steve Rackley)
 

The Republic girls basketball team knocked off three state-ranked opponents in three days to win the Nixa Invitational Tournament over the weekend. Republic opened the tournament by defeating Cape Girardeau Notre Dame, followed it up with a semifinal victory over Nixa, then beat Marshfield for the championship Saturday afternoon.
In the tournament opener against Cape Girardeau Notre Dame, Republic built a 22-point lead, then held off the Lady Bulldogs in the final minutes for a 58–45 victory. Molly Blades helped the Lady Tigers assert control early when her three-pointer sparked a 7–0 run to help Republic build a first-half lead. It was 20–10 at the end of the first quarter and 34–19 at halftime. Cape Girardeau Notre Dame finally got things rolling in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 points in the last eight minutes, but it was too little, too late. The Lady Tigers led by as many as 22 points late in the third quarter.
The semifinal matchup with Nixa was close throughout the night. Nixa built a 7-point lead with about six minutes remaining, but Republic stormed from behind to advance to the final with a 55–53 victory. Molly Blades and Misora Nambara made back-to-back three-pointers to cut a seven-point lead down to one. The teams traded buckets until Molly Mason forced a turnover with 37 seconds remaining. Nambara scored 21 points, including two important free throws in the final minute, to help the Lady Tigers advance. Nixa had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but a 30-point desperation heave was off target.
In the championship game against Marshfield, Republic broke open a game that was tied at halftime with a big third quarter. The Lady Tigers led by as many as 14 points, but Marshfield charged back in the fourth quarter. The Lady Jays scored 13 straight to cut the lead to one, before Nambara took control down the stretch. She made two defensive steals that led to Republic baskets, and she made five of six free throws in the fourth quarter to help secure a 60–55 win.
Nambara led Republic in scoring during the weekend, averaging just over 17 points per game during the three games.
Republic finished the tournament with an 11–4 record.
 

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