Republic Tigers split COC games, now 21-3 in regular season play. Lady Tigers win two more in COC

Ahlante Askew takes a shot in the first half of Republic’s home win against Neosho. (by Steve Rackley)

Kaemyn Bekemeier scored 49 points in two Republic wins against Ozark and Neosho. (by Steve Rackley)

The Republic Tigers split two conference contests over the past week, losing at Ozark and winning at home against Neosho.

Ozark 60, Republic 47

The Tigers suffered their worst shooting night of the season and it resulted in their first loss in the Central Ozark Conference Tuesday at Ozark. Republic made just two of 19 three-point attempts in a 60-47 upset loss.

Republic struggled to seal off the inside against Ozark's taller lineup. It led to a big advantage in rebounds for Ozark, which took advantage to score 11 second-chance points in the first half. Ozark led 39-21 at halftime, and eventually led by as many as 23 points before Republic began to turn things around. Over a seven-minute stretch, Republic outscored Ozark 17-4 to cut the lead to 10 points, but that's as close as the score would be the rest of the night.

Ahlante Askew scored 18 points and Brenley Hagewood scored 15 to lead Republic.

Republic 64, Neosho 53

Three days after suffering their first loss in two months, Republic started tentatively in a home game against Neosho. The Tigers fell behind by nine points by the opening minutes of the second quarter. Coach Tim Brown said the slow start was an after-effect of his team's rough outing at Ozark.

"I thought our kids were just kind of tentative and had a little doubt," Brown said. "As poorly as we shot the ball on Tuesday, I think everyone was a little hesitant to see what one of those shots was going to look like to start the game. It's what we saw in practice yesterday, too.

"We kind of felt a little tight offensively...but I told them we've got good players, we've got a good team... we've gotta let it fly."

With Republic trailing 21-12, Brown called a time out, and his Tigers responded with a 17-2 run to take the lead for good. During the second-quarter run, senior Gunner Ellison scored eight points, including two three-pointers, to help spark the offense. Fellow senior Khamari Edwards also had four during the Tigers' run.

"This time of year, your seniors are really important. You go as far as your seniors take you," said Brown. "You've got seniors who have a little more urgency because they understand what's going on in their lives and their athletic careers.

Hagewood led Republic again with 17 points. Askew had 14 and Ellison finished with 12.

Republic finished the week with a record of 21-3 (5-2).
The Lady Tigers
Republic came from behind to beat Ozark in the final seconds, then stormed to an easy win against Neosho at home during COC play last week.

Republic 46, Ozark 44

At Ozark, Republic overcame a five-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull out a 46-44 win and avoid an upset. Kaemyn Bekemeier made a left-wing jumper from about 15 feet to break a 42-42 tie with four seconds remaining, then made two free throws after an Ozark turnover to put the game away. Ozark made a layup as time expired, but it was too late to make a difference.

Ozark led 39-34 with 6:30 left in the game, but Republic allowed just three points over the next six minutes to turn the tide. With the game tied at 42-42, Republic coach Kris Flood called time out to give his team instructions for the key possession.

"It was geared to Bekemeier. We were going to try to get her isolated," coach Kris Flood said of the game-winning play. "(Molly) Mason did a really good job. She set two solid screens. She set that first screen and (Bekemeier) couldn't quite get loose. Then she came back and re-screened and set a really good one."

That second screen allowed Bekemeier to get free on the left wing, pull up, and knock down the game-winner.

Bekemeier finished with 24 points to lead Republic to its 20th win of the season.

Republic 63, Neosho 32

Republic reeled off a 16-1 run in the first half, a 16-2 run in the second half, and another 10-0 run for good measure — all on the way to a 63-32 win over Neosho at home.

Neosho kept the game close for about four minutes before the Lady Tigers began to pull away. A running shot by Misora Nambara gave Republic a 10-8 lead, and the Lady Tigers would never trail again. They led 32-18 by halftime and 51-26 when the third quarter ended.

Kaemyn Bekemeier had 25 points and Molly Blades had 11 for Republic, which ended the week at 21-3 (6-1).



Lawrence County Record

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


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