Contributed by Scott Weis
The Republic Special Olympics Tigers (RepSO) traveled to Bolivar on last Tuesday night to take on the Liberators in a thrilling contest that went down to the wire, ending on a Bolivar field goal with no time left on the clock and a 21-19 Bolivar win.
The game was full of excitement, which saw the Tigers come roaring back from an 11 point deficit at halftime to tie the game. In the first half, the Tigers struggled to execute on defense, as the Liberators found the holes in their 2-3 zone to open a 17-3 lead. That lead was cut to 17-6 on a 3-pointer by Senior McKae Geromini at the buzzer, sending RepSO into the half trailing by 11.
Coming out of halftime, head coach Scott Weis changed from a 2-3 zone to a box-and-1 defense focused on the Liberators’ 6’3” center. Eric Travis, Kaya McClintock, and McKae Geromini each rotated in to play the role of “chaser,” playing man to man defense to deny the ball to Bolivar’s center. The other four players on the court played a zone to keep the rest of the Liberators at bay. The change worked, holding the center to just one basket in the second half, and the Tigers outscored the Liberators 13-2 in the second half to tie the score at 19-19 with one minute remaining in the game. But the Tigers were unable to capitalize on their scoring opportunity and lost the ball with 12 seconds remaining. The Liberators took the ball to the other end, and after two attempts to win it, a loose ball fell in the hands of a Liberator player on the weak side block for an open shot off the glass to sink the Tigers at the buzzer. The Liberators won 21-19.
Samuel Ard 7 points 6 rebounds, McKae Geronmini 6 points 3 rebounds, Kaya McClintock 6 points
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