The Republic Tigers ripped off a key run in the second quarter and went on cruise control for the rest of the way Tuesday night, defeating Carl Junction 62-42 in a Class 4 sectional matchup at Ozark High School.
The victory places Republic into the quarterfinals, where the Tigers face St. Francis Borgia this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center. The winner advances to the state championships the following weekend.
"When you get here, you'll take 'em any way you can get 'em," Republic coach Trevyor Fisher said of the victory. "We're not looking for style points. It just shows you what type of team we are. I think we had three or four guys in double figures... just balanced inside-outside. Pretty solid defensively, so we'll take it."
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The Tigers indeed had four players score in double figures, led by Cody Geiger’s 15. Jake Fletcher scored 12 and Dylan Bekemeier and Marcus Miller added 11 points apiece.
All 11 of Bekemeier’s points came in a second quarter that saw the six-foot junior guard hit three treys. His back-to-back triples got Republic on a 10-0 run that broke a 19-all tie.
The Tigers (27-4 overall) led 35-23 at halftime.
"To be able to hit some shots late there in the second quarter and get the ball inside to Marcus (Miller), Dylan hitting those 3s... that was key to kind of building us a bit of a cushion at halftime," Fisher said.
Freshman Ryan Devore led Carl Junction (19-11 overall) with 14 points, 12 coming in the first half. Republic led by double digits for most of the second half.
Carl Junction coach Kyle Williams called the final score misleading, saying the game would’ve been closer in the final minutes had his team been able to finish around the basket.
“We just missed layups,” Williams said. “We were right there at the rim as well. We just point blank missed three shots right there that could’ve brought it within seven points (in the second half). You do that, I think this is a whole different ball game and it comes down to the wire.”
Williams said foul problems hurt his team. Republic was 16-for-25 at the free throw line compared to the Bulldogs’ 5-for-8.
Republic 62, Carl Junction 42
Carl Junction 8 15 8 11 --- 42
Republic 11 24 7 20 --- 62
Carl Junction – Ryan Devore 14, Travis Vogt 9, Matt Magee 8, Dustin Satterlee 7, Hunter McPherson 4
Republic – Cody Geiger 15, Jake Fletcher 12, Dylan Bekemeier 11, Marcus Miller 11, Ty Abney 6, Grant Hancock 4, Canyon Smith 3