Posted: Thursday, 14 February 2013 11:19PM

Ozark snaps Republic's winning streak



Republic, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- The Republic Lady Tigers could very well repeat as Class 4 state champions. They’ll just have to do it with at least one loss on their record.

GAME PHOTOS

After beating Republic three times last season, Ozark dealt Republic its first varsity loss for this season Thursday night. Hannah Cook and Haylee Beard combined for 42 points as Ozark won 53-46.

The loss snapped an impressive program-wide (7th grade, 8th grade, freshmen, JV and varsity) winning streak for Republic, which had won 83 in a row.

Cook, who scored a game-high 25, said the victory is something she’ll remember for a long time.

“It’s way up there, especially since (Republic) was undefeated coming in,” she said. “They’re a good team... But we came out and handled them.”

Republic went without a field goal for nearly the last five minutes of the game, finally getting a 3-pointer from Alice Heinzler with 30 seconds remaining that cut Ozark’s lead to 50-44.

The game was tied 32-32 entering the fourth quarter. Ozark would inch ahead 44-37 with four minutes remaining.

Heinzler made two free throws to pull Republic within 46-41 of Ozark at the 1:57 mark. Cook would then miss the front end of a one and one, giving Republic a chance to make it a one-possession game.

But Heinzler’s runner was no good and Ozark got the rebound, eventually leading to two Cook free throws. Republic couldn’t get closer than six points in the final minute.

Republic’s varsity hadn’t lost since last Feb. 16 at Branson.

“That’s what streaks are for,” said Republic coach Kris Flood. “They’re meant to be busted in the end.”

Ozark led 30-20 in the third quarter after a trey from Cook. Republic responded with a 12-0 run, capped with consecutive treys from Michayla Shanks and Heinzler to briefly take a two-point lead.

Beard hit a jumper at the third quarter buzzer to tie the game 32-32.

“We told our girls, ‘(Republic) went on their run. Now it’s over,’” said Ozark coach Yancey Little. “After all that, we were still tied and I thought we didn’t play very well at all that third quarter.”

Heinzler led Republic with 19 points, all coming in the second half.

Cook and Beard led the Ozark offense with hot perimeter shooting. At one point, the duo had 37 of Ozark’s 41 points.

“Our girls knew who to get (the ball) to,” Little said. “When (Jackie) Fugate was out because of foul trouble, we didn’t get a lot of touches in the paint then and pretty much just relied on the outside game.

“Keep feeding them. If they’re hitting and shooting like that, keep feeding them.”

Added Flood: “It seemed like (Ozark) hit a critical 3 every time they needed it.”

Ozark closed the first half on a 10-2 run to lead by eight points at halftime, six of the 10 points coming on two 3-pointers from Beard.

“We were getting each other the ball and getting each other open,” Cook said. “We were definitely feeling it (from outside).”

Ozark (18-6, 6-0) concludes the regular season Monday night at Carthage. Republic (21-1, 5-1) hosts Branson the same night.


Ozark 53, Republic 46
Ozark 9 15 8 21 --- 53
Republic 8 8 16 14 --- 46

Ozark – Hannah Cook 25, Haylee Beard 17, Jackie Fugate 4, Bridget Justis 3, Brie Tauai 2, Courtney Clancy 2
Republic – Alice Heinzler 19, Sarah Kreul 8, Alex Botkin 6, Lindsey Carlson 6, Michayla Shanks 3, Kayla Bartelsmeyer 2, Tori Taylor 2

Republic B 58, Ozark B 49

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