The Tigers dropped 10 three-pointers on Springfield Central and played one of their most efficient offensive games of the season in a blowout win at The Pit, 84-46.
Drew McMillin had six of Republic’s treys, all of them in the first half. He finished with a game-high 21 points. Freshman Ahlante Askew added 16, including two threes. Joe Rexroat chipped in 14.
From the opening tip, Republic control the pace of the game, working inside-out at the offensive end of the court to set up high-percentage shots. On defense, the Tigers pushed the Bulldogs out to the perimeter, frustrating them into taking frequent contested threes. When Central missed, it was usually one-and-done, as the Tigers sealed off the glass.
Getting off to a fast start has been an emphasis for Republic coach Tim Brown, especially since the holiday break.
“I’m really proud of the way that we came out and took care of business. When we start games … with energy … it gives us so many more options of how we can play the game and dictate the pace of play. Our movement on office was as good is maybe it’s been all year.”
Republic allowed just six points in the first quarter. The Tigers led 52-20 at the half. By the end of the game, 10 different players had scored for the Tigers, who out-rebounded Central unofficially 24-9.
Despite the lopsided score, the atmosphere in The Pit was rowdy as usual. Brown, who had coached at Central when he was head coach at Fair Grove, says he enjoys the atmosphere.
“It’s a neat opportunity for our kids to play in such a historic gym. It’s kind of a rite of passage for basketball players to get the opportunity to play in this gym,” he said.
Republic improves to 8-4. The Tigers are off for a week before opening conference play on the road at Neosho. Republic Tiger Sports will livestream the game next Tuesday evening.
Republic Scoring: Drew McMillin 21, Ahlante Askew 16, Joe Rexroat 14, Race Looney 7, Carson Neff 6, Nate Woolford 6, Tucker Thomas 5, Trevor Porter 4, Oliver Welch 3, Will Berry 2
Turnovers: Republic 5, Central 8
Rebounds: Republic 24, Central 9