Cody Geiger exemplified the Republic Tigers’ efficient outing against St. Francis Borgia.
The junior forward scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter as Republic defeated the Knights 46-33 in the Class 4 quarterfinals Saturday afternoon at Drury's O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Geiger was 8-for-10 from the field. As a team, Republic shot a shade under 70 percent by going 18-for-26.
Despite Borgia playing in a zone defense, Republic did not rely on perimeter looks. The Tigers attempted just four 3-pointers in the game, making three.
“You have a tendency when you play against a zone to just settle for 3-point shots,” said Republic coach Trevyor Fisher. “We did a good job of throwing it into the post, the high post, and Cody Geiger got to the basket. Any time you can shot 18-for-26, you’re going to have a good chance to win.”
Republic advances to the state championships in Columbia for the first time since 2010. The Tigers play Liberty North in the semifinals at 5:10 p.m. March 14.
Republic led for all but the first three minutes against Borgia. Still, the Knights made things interesting going into the fourth quarter. Repeated Republic turnovers put the Knights within 29-28.
That’s when Geiger took over. He scored 11 of Republic’s 17 fourth-quarter points. The Tigers closed the game on a 15-4 run.
“I was just running toward the basket off turnovers, finding open spots on the court, and my guards were hitting me with great assists,” Geiger said.
Borgia struggled to make shots from all over the court. The Knights were 14-for-43 overall, including 3-for-16 from 3-point range. They also missed about a dozen shots within three feet of the basket.
With all the close misses, Borgia had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half. Fisher said a big difference in the outcome was Republic limiting Borgia to just one offensive rebound in the second half.
Republic opened up a 23-11 lead on Jake Fletcher’s 3-pointer with 3:21 to go in the second quarter. The Knights twice got within a single point of tying the game in the third quarter.
“We just kind of went brain dead there for a little bit, five or six minutes,” Fisher said. “We had too many turnovers and allowed them to get some easy baskets. The last four or five minutes of the game, we were able to hold onto the ball and we hit our free throws down the stretch.”
Republic held Jordan Miller, who hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in Borgia’s sectional win over Hillcrest, to eight points. He was 3-for-13 overall and made two of nine 3-point attempts.
Republic 13 12 4 17 --- 46
St. Francis Borgia 7 11 10 5 --- 33
Republic – Cody Geiger 17, Jake Fletcher 7, Marcus Miller 6, Canyon Smith 5, Dylan Bekemeier 5, Ty Abney 4, Grant Hancock 2
Borgia – Zach Schweissguth 12, Jordan Miller 8, John Baumstark 6, Joseph Helfrich 4, Casey Kuchem 3