One out of three ain’t bad––especially when you get the one that’s most important.
The Republic Lady Tigers overcame a difficult start Wednesday to beat Kickapoo 55-46 and earn a spot in the state quarterfinals. It was the first win over the Lady Chiefs in three tries this season for Republic. The Lady Tigers fell behind 17-9 at the end of the first quarter, but outscored Kickapoo 46-29 the rest of the way. Senior Halli Bartelsmeyer led Republic with 20 points and Clara Fronabarger added 14
Wednesday night initially looked like it would be the same old story, as Kickapoo pressed its size advantage to take an early lead. Three players, 5’11” Indya Green, 6’1″ Rachel Senn, and 6’2 Bella Fontleroy, combined for 11 of the Lady Chiefs’ 17 points, and Republic failed to find the gaps in Kickapoo’s zone defense.
But the Lady Tigers settled down in the second quarter, held their own on the defensive boards to limit Kickapoo’s second-chance points, and finally started to sink some shots. Bartelsmeyer scored seven in the second period and Republic outscored Kickapoo 17-7 to take a 26-24 lead into the halftime break.
“I thought in the second quarter, we started making some contact on the rebounds and got a couple of key fouls on them,” said coach Kris Flood. “We started getting some shots to fall for us when we needed them.”
After Kickapoo scored the first five points of the second half to retake the lead, Republic responded again. The Lady Tigers ripped off an 13-1 run to grab a 39-30 lead after three. That key stretch included two three-pointers by Jazzy Kirby. In the fourth quarter, Republic eventually led by 12 points before holding off a Kickapoo charge.
In addition to Fronabarger’s 14 points, she was an essential part of the offensive turnaround, distributing the ball to her teammates to get the offense going.
“Clara did an excellent job of handling the ball for us tonight,” Flood said. “She’s kind of a one-guard press break. And we made some good decisions… especially in the fourth quarter. We got some easy baskets when we needed it.”
Republic improves to 21-8 overall after a 5-5 start. The Lady Tigers will play at 2:45 Saturday in the state quarterfinals at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. Republic will meet Columbia Rock Bridge (18-9) for a spot at the Show-Me Showdown.
Republic Tiger Sports will broadcast the quarterfinal game live.
Halli Bartelsmeyer 20, Clara Fronabarger 14, Jazzy Kirby 6, Delaney Smith 5, Jade Kirby 4, Anna Bell 4, Shealyn Barrett 2
Farr Better Player of the Game
Halli Bartelsmeyer stepped up when the Lady Tigers were down. Bartelsmeyer scored seven of her game-high 20 points in the second quarter to help Republic overcome an eight-point early deficit, and she’s our Farr Better Player of the Game.
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