Republic needed an 11-0 run to start the 4th quarter to grab and hold onto the lead and finish off the Lady Pirates.
“Our intensity level was higher in the fourth quarter,” said Republic senior Alice Heinzler. “We got some big rebounds and hit some big free throws.”
Heinzler finished the game leading all scorers with 24 points. Fellow senior Alex Botkin recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Monday’s game was a game of runs. Republic held a slim two point lead at the end of the 1st and only a three point advantage at half. The Lady Pirates then came out of the gates in the 2nd half on a 13-2 run of their own to hold a 37-29 lead. But Republic Coach Kris Flood reminded his girls to keep playing and work hard.
“We did enough in the 4th quarter to pull one out tonight against a real good team in Branson,” said Flood. “We made our free throws and got some big rebounds when we needed them.”
Republic started the 4th quarter on an 11-0 run to retain the lead and the Lady Tigers never relinquished it. Each team held its biggest lead of only eight points.
“Senior night was a tough night because this is such a special group,” said Heinzler. “We seem to always get down and have to come back but we do know how to finish ball games.”
The Lady Pirates were led by freshman Ashley Forrest, who scored 15 points. Senior teammate and Wichita State recruit Moriah Dapprich recorded a double-double of her own with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Pirates finish their regular season at 15-11 overall and a 2-5 Central Ozark Conference record. They host the Class 5, District 11 tournament and will face Nixa next Tuesday night in the semifinals.
With the win, the Lady Tigers improve to 23-1 overall, 6-1 in conference. Republic wraps up its regular season at Glendale on Wednesday.