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Waynesville Edges Republic in OT

Waynesville's Kellieon Williams dunks on a fast break during the 1st half.
Waynesville’s Kellieon Williams dunks on a fast break during the 1st half.

Waynesville hit four three-pointers in the 4th quarter to tie the game, then pulled away in overtime for a 61-54 win over Republic in the championship game of the Rogersville Tournament Saturday.

Republic led almost the entire way until Waynesville pulled even late in regulation. Waynesville scored the first five points of the extra period to give them a lead Republic couldn’t overcome.

Republic had a chance to win the game in regulation. They held the ball for the final 30 seconds and got the ball to Cody Geiger on a designed play, but his shot went off the side of the rim and Dillen Ramsey couldn’t get off another shot after pulling down the rebound.

Juwan Morgan led Waynesville with 21 points, but it was Mike Thompson who made the difference in overtime, scoring six of Waynesville’s 11 points.

Republic jumped out early behind hot shooting from Dylan Bekemeier, who hit four three-pointers and had 12 points in the 1st quarter. It was 20-11 at the end of one, and Republic led 32-26 at halftime.

Waynesville still trailed by six heading into the 4th quarter, but they tightened the screws on defense to climb back. Republic scored only two field goals — three pointers by Canyon Smith and Brock Yocum — while Waynesville caught fire from outside. The Waynesville defense also cracked down on Cody Geiger inside, who had 19 points after three quarters, but didn’t score again.

Geiger led the Tigers with 19. Bekemeier ended with 14. Brock Yocum had nine points, all on threes. Canyon Smith added eight, and Dillen Ramsey scored four.

The loss is the second of the year for Republic, who is now 15-2. Both the Tigers’ losses have come to teams ranked in the top ten in Class 5, and both were in the championship games of tournaments. (Their first loss was to Nixa in the Blue & Gold finals.)

Republic is back in action at home on Tuesday against Springfield Central.

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