Republic traveled down the road to Clever for what could have been considered a classic “trap game” Tuesday––on the road against an opponent from a much smaller school with talent and nothing to lose. But the Tigers played like the favorites, and just about everyone got in on the act in a 66-43 Republic victory.
Eight different players scored for the Tigers, who led 18-8 after the first quarter and 32-22 at halftime before outscoring the Blue Jays 25-7 in the third quarter to put the game away.
“It’s definitely important with our basketball team to be able to have other guys that can jump up and make a shots,” says coach Tim Brown. “I think obviously coming into this season, Broc’s going to get a lot of attention with the season he had last year. He’s a Drury signee and there’s gonna be opportunities where (other) guys are going to have a chance to shoot some ‘horse shots,’ I like to call them––wide open. I thought we did a good job of moving the basketball tonight and it was nice to see the ball go through the goal.”
Republic had struggled with its shooting from the field in its first three games, even while earning two victories. Tuesday, Trent Rackley splashed home two early three-pointers to set the pace and the rest of the Tigers followed.
Six different players scored in the first ten minutes of the game for Republic. Four players scored in double figures: Rackley had 14, Tucker Thomas had 13, and Race Looney and Broc Smith scored 11.
Brown says the Tigers’ hot shooting led them to speed up on the offensive end more than he wanted, but the team adjusted at halftime and played at a better pace after that.
“I think they got a little excited when it went through the goal and we played a little too fast there and let them back in the game,” he says. “In the third quarter … we did a nice job of slowing it down and still jumping up and making shots, getting it where it needed to go. We wanted to attack the paint and we finally got to the foul line there in the third quarter.
“It was pretty free flowing early and that’s all great when you’re making those first shots, but you’re not going to make all of them from the perimeter. And we showed that tonight, so I thought our guys did a good job of adjusting … and executing the things we talked about at halftime: slowing down, making them guard, and not giving them as many possessions to make up the deficit that they were in.”
Republic improves to 3-1. They’ll be at Springfield Glendale Friday night to play Tulsa Memorial, the defending Oklahoma state champion, in the Ozark Mountain Shootout. You can watch the game on Republic Tiger Sports.
Trent Rackley 14, Tucker Thomas 13, Race Looney 11, Broc Smith 11, Drew McMillin 8, Jaden Duvall 4, Jacob Coday 3, Cole Buxton 2