Republic takes second at Blue & Gold, falling to Nixa in Finals

Aslan Ebisch scored 40 points during the first three games of the Blue & Gold Tournament. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Brenley Hagewood led Republic in scoring over the course of the Blue & Gold Tournament, including 20 points in the championship game. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Republic earned a runner-up finish in the Blue & Gold Tournament’s Blue Division, winning three games before losing the championship game to Nixa, 59–48. The Tigers finished their tournament with a 3–1 record, and head into January with an overall record of 8–4.
Republic 71, Buffalo 51
Republic cleaned up on the glass against a smaller Buffalo lineup to win 71–51 at Hammons Student Center in the tournament’s opening round. James Rexroat scored 17 points to go with a big rebounding performance. Two other forwards, Davin Parks and C.J. Uhl, combined for 19 points.
The Tigers struggled with turnovers throughout the night, but especially in the first half, as the Bison kept the score close. The teams were tied 15–15 at the end of the first quarter. Republic increased its defensive pressure in the second quarter, outscoring Buffalo 19–6 to build a 34–21 halftime lead.
Guard Brenley Hagewood heated up in the second half. He scored 13 points after the break to help the Tigers pull away. Jordan Douglas was also in double-figures with 10 points.
Republic 59, Springfield Catholic 44
Springfield Catholic went more than seven minutes without a basket in the fourth quarter as Republic took control during a 59–44 win in the tournament quarterfinals. Republic had built a 14-point lead, only to see it shrink to four points early in the fourth quarter. But a layup by Rian Mulherin with 7:25 left in the game was the last score for the Irish.
Jordan Douglas led a hot shooting performance for Republic in the first half. He had four three-pointers and the team fired in seven shots from beyond the arc to help the Tigers grab a 25–18 lead at the midway point. Brenley Hagewood picked up the slack after halftime, scoring 15 of his 18 points. Aslan Ebisch scored 10 points in the second half.
Republic 54, Willard 37
For the second game in a row, Republic cracked down on defense in the fourth quarter to advance. In a semifinal match with Willard, Republic allowed just one field goal in the final eight minutes, dominating down the stretch for a 54–37 win. Republic outscored Willard 13–2 in the fourth quarter.
Willard made seven three-pointers in the first half, staying close to Republic by shooting over the top of a match-up zone defense. But Willard went cold after the break, not only from beyond the arc but also from close range, missing several layups to help Republic gain control.
Aslan Ebisch led Republic with 16 points, and Jordan Douglas added 10.
Nixa 59, Republic 48
In the championship game at Great Southern Bank Arena, Nixa turned the tables on Republic, finishing strong and pulling away for a 59–48 win. The Eagles outscored Republic 21–12 in the fourth quarter to secure the title.
For the first three periods, neither team led by more than four points. Republic led 13–9 after one, and the teams were even, 24–24, at halftime. Nixa grabbed a 38–36 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and the Eagles made three treys in the final eight minutes to secure the win.
Brenley Hagewood led Republic with 20 points, and Jordan Douglas had 15.


Lawrence County Record

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