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Worth The Wait: Lady Tigers Whip Kewpies In Belated Home Opener
Jade Kirby wrestles the ball away for an offensive rebound in the first half.

The season’s first home game was worth the wait for the Lady Tigers. Republic dominated the boards against a larger Columbia Hickman lineup Saturday in a 62-42 win. Jade Kirby made five three-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Lady Tigers.

Hickman grabbed an early lead before Halli Bartelsmeyer got the Lady Tigers going with five straight points, followed by Kirby’s first trey of the day. After Hickman answered with a three-pointer of its own, the Lady Tigers outscored the Kewpies 10-2 to end the first quarter leading 18-9.

Many of Republic’s points in that first-half run were on opportunities created by offensive rebounds.

“We emphasized that when we went through our scouting. We were wanting to get as many second- and third-chance opportunities [as possible], and I thought we did that well,” said coach Kris Flood. “It gave us a ton of opportunities. We shot the ball well. I thought we were extremely aggressive. To bounce back after the two losses in the Pink & White is obviously a great thing.”

Republic stretched the lead to 12 points early in the second quarter behind hot shooting from both Kirbys. Jade and sister Jazzy scored the Lady Tigers’ first ten points of the second period to make the lead 28-16. A mini-run by Hickman closed the gap to six points by halftime, at 31-25.

After halftime, Hickman stayed within striking distance of the lead until Jade Kirby buried another three-pointer at the 3:31 mark, increasing the lead from five points––Republic’s smallest lead since the first quarter––to eight, at 38-30. After a Hickman bucket cut the lead to six, Republic went on another run. The Lady Tigers outscored Hickman 12-3 over the next several minutes to take control.

“The kids had a tremendous effort. We had a lot of things happen here,” said Flood. “We had good play off the bench. A lot of kids were helping. That’s what we’re going to have to kind of rely on.”

In addition to Jade Kirby’s 22 points, Republic got double-figure scoring from Halli Bartelsmeyer, who had 14.

The game was the first one at home this season for Republic, and the first of three home games in a six-day span. The Lady Tigers will be back in action at home to open the Central Ozark Conference season against Neosho Monday. They’ll host Carl Junction Thursday.

The win improves Republic’s record to 6-5.

Jade Kirby 22, Halli Bartelsmeyer 14, Clara Fronabarger 8, Jazzy Kirby 7, Shealyn Barrett 4, Anna Bell 3, Carle Ward 2

Farr Better Player of the Game

Jade Kirby’s hot shooting in the first half helped Republic set the tone against Columbia Hickman. She finished with 22 points and she was our Farr Better Player of the Game.

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