skip to Main Content

All That Jazz: Kirby’s Big Finish Seals District Title

Jazzy Kirby did more in ten seconds than most people do all day.

Kirby, a sophomore, made two free throws to break a 35-35 tie with ten seconds remaining in the district championship game. She intercepted a pass at the other end of the floor to stop Willard from getting off a game-tying or game-winning shot. Then she made two more free throws to seal a 39-35 victory and a district championship.

“My heart was beating so fast and I tried to take some deep breaths and calm down, and when I got to the line I just kept telling myself ‘I can make it,'” Kirby said of the first two free throws. “It was such a nerve racking experience.”

Republic had trailed when the fourth quarter began, 31-30, but the defense tightened up in the final period as Republic held Willard to just four points over the last eight minutes. Unfortunately for Republic, they were unable to capitalize because of poor shooting down the stretch. During one sequence, Republic missed three layups that would have given the Lady Tigers a more comfortable lead. Instead, Willard remained within a possession right until the final seconds.

On Willard’s final possession, Republic played full-court defense, but Willard broke the pressure and appeared to be in position to get a good look with a chance to tie or win. But Kirby was in the right place at the right time.

“We just couldn’t foul and were trying to play straight up full-court defense,” she said. “I was over by the Willard student section because they broke the press and it got tipped around, and I grabbed it as fast as I could and got fouled again.”

Kirby said after making the tie-breaking free throws, she felt better about her second trip to the foul line.

“It was an absolutely amazing experience, and after those first two free throws went in and I walked up to the free throw line, I knew that I could seal the deal,” she said.

“That was a big moment for a sophomore to step up and hit those couple free throws, then (get) the stop and hit a couple more,” said coach Kris Flood.

Before Kirby’s late-game heroics, other players stepped up at different moments for the Lady Tigers, including senior Halli Bartelsmeyer. Bartelsmeyer led Republic with 15 points, 12 of them in the first half.

Delaney Smith scored six points on two three-pointers at key moments. Jade Kirby scored seven. She made a huge three-pointer to give Republic a 35-33 lead.

“We had a heck of a team effort,” Flood said. “We were fortunate enough to get some baskets. Jade hit a big three. It shot some life into us, and it just continued on the defensive end.”

Clara Fronabarger had five points, and also played standout defense, especially down the stretch. She forced a handful of Willard turnovers in the second half that helped Republic overcome a third-quarter deficit. One of them set up Jade Kirby’s three-pointer, which in turn set up her sister’s heroics.

The Lady Tigers, who’ve lost two close games to Kickapoo this season, will get a rematch with the Lady Chiefs in the state sectionals. Senior Halli Bartelsmeyer says she and her teammates want another shot.

“Those have both been close games. We’re ready to come back and play harder than ever. We’re not done yet,” she said.

Republic improves to 20-8. Willard ends its season at 16-12.


Halli Bartelsmeyer 15, Jade Kirby 7, Delaney Smith 6, Clara Fronabarger 5, Jazzy Kirby 4, Savana Powell-Goodman 2

Farr Better Player of the Game

Jazzy Kirby scored just four points, but they were the biggest four points of the season for the Lady Tigers. Kirby made four free throws in the final ten seconds and intercepted a pass on the defensive end to help seal the district title for Republic, and she’s our Farr Better Player of the Game.

When you need a plumber, you usually need one fast — but you also want one who’ll do the job right. In the Republic area, that’s Farr Better Plumbing. Call Farr Better and let them take away the stress of your plumbing problems. Call them at 864-8703 or check out their website.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Farr Better Plumbing – For residential, commercial, or emergency service, they’re your plumber in Republic.
Heady BBQ Company – Home of the famous Pig Nasty Sandwich!
Central Gas Propane – Locally owned, community involved. Call them at 725-3833.
Yocum Automotive -Republic’s home for complete auto service and computer diagnostics.
VisionHealth Eye Center – Outstanding eye care. Exceptional eyewear!
Lori & Elizabeth at ReeceNichols – Let them hand you the keys to your new home!
Mid-Missouri Bank – Click to follow us on Facebook!
Kris Yocum – Republic’s State Farm Insurance Agent
Elliott, Robinson & Company, LLP, CPAs – Proud sponsor of the By the Numbers feature on Republic Tiger Sports.
Republic Glass – Commercial, Residential, Auto – If it’s glass, see us!
Hines Street Pharmacy – Your locally owned neighborhood pharmacy.
Rocco’s Italian Kitchen – Pizza. Pasta. Perfection.
Absolute Roofing – Click for info on Republic’s roofer.
Old Towne Event Center – The home of your next great event, right here in Republic.
Black Lab Coffee – Be the Change. Coffee. Breakfast. Lunch. Catering. Delivery.
Pinegar Chevrolet – Pick Pinegar every time!
Southern Sun Electric – Call (417) 865-6377 for your electrical needs.
Agent Sarah Rader – Save money by combining your home and auto insurance with State Farm.
NY Life Agent Michael Weeks – Proudly supporting Republic athletics!
The Bank of Missouri – Your hometown bank supporting the home team!
Back To Top

Get Republic's Sports Magazine delivered direct to your mailbox.



Republic Tiger Sports is a one-of-a-kind magazine full of glossy photos, feature stories and interviews, and more. And it’s 100% about Republic. Subscribing to the magazine is one of the best ways to support continuing Republic Tiger Sports coverage, and you can do that now for less than $2 a month.