The Tigers stepped up the defensive effort Saturday to rebound from a Friday-night loss, beating Rogersville 55-47 to capture third place in the Republic Invitational. Broc Smith led Republic with 16 points and Drew McMillin scored ten to join him in double figures.
The difference between the Tigers’ loss to Rolla Friday and the win Saturday was defense, according to head coach Tim Brown.
“I think the main thing was defensively we stayed locked in for four quarters–– our attention to detail, to the scouting report, all things we talked about, Brown says. “Then our togetherness, something I mentioned last night. We kind of had a tendency to go our separate ways [Friday], just out of frustration. And I thought we did a nice job of sticking together even when [Rogersville] made a run.”
The Tigers led 23-21 at halftime, but Rogersville, like Rolla on Friday, took the lead early in the third quarter. When they did, though, Brown says his team responded better than they did Friday night.
“We were all in it for one another today. So [it’s] a step in the right direction and I’m just proud of the way that we defended for four quarters and executed our scouting report,” he says.
“And another thing we did––we jumped up and made shots. We had make some of those shots to regain that lead when we went down tonight. Even when we had our moments where we had our dry spells … we stayed engaged on the defensive end.”
After Rogersville took the lead 24-23, the Tigers went on a 14-4 run to extend their lead to nine points. With three minutes remaining, Republic had pushed its lead to 12, at 45-33. Rogersville never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats got 21 points from Luke Vandersnick to lead all scorers. The Wildcats dropped to 1-2.
The Tigers improve to 2-1. They’ll be back in action Tuesday at Clever.
Rolla beat Ozark 60-49 to win the tournament championship.
Broc Smith 16, Drew McMillin 10, Trent Rackley 9, Tucker Thomas 9, Race Looney 8, Jaden Duvall 3