Brooke Stanfield made two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining in the game to help the Lady Tigers escape from Webb City with a win, 54-53. It was the 10th victory in a row for Republic, who improved to 17-2 overall and 2-0 in the Central Ozark Conference.
The Lady Tigers had to overcome a great performance by Desirea Buerge, who finished with 25 points to lead all scorers. Buerge’s biggest shot of the night came with about a half-minute left in the game, when she drove the baseline, forced the ball between two defenders, and made a bucket to put Webb City on top by a point.
After a time out, Stanfield rebounded a missed shot by Tori Taylor and got fouled on the putback, and hit both her free throws to give the Lady Tigers the one-point lead.
“I’d been praying over here on the bench because I hadn’t been able to do anything. I was having an off game,” says Stanfield. “I hit that first one, and I needed Him on the second one.”
Webb City had one last shot, but Republic made sure Buerge never touched the ball. A desperation shot from around half-court hit the back iron as time expired.
“I could almost feel that we were due for an off [game],” says coach Kris Flood. “We’ve been playing so well for the last two or three weeks. We just weren’t very sharp defensively. I was not very pleased with our defense. I told them it was about like a C-minus game. We didn’t have anyone who played real consistent tonight.”
The Grace Place Player of the Game is Brooke Stanfield. She only had seven points, but two of them came with 3.3 seconds remaining to give Republic the victory. Stanfield also made the defensive play of the game, blocking a Desirea Buerge layup from behind and grabbing the carom off the backboard to turn the stall Webb City’s momentum late.
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Jordan Kabetske led Republic with 14 points. Jade Sawyer scored ten. Stanfield had seven. Tori Taylor, Micah Mansker, and Michayla Shanks each scored six. Brylee Argo had five.
Republic will be back on the court at home Monday against Neosho.