Jazzy Kirby awaits the official's signal after drawing a record-breakig charge call on defense in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Camdenton. (Photo by Steve Rackley / Flat Top Photos)

Kirby Sets State Mark as Republic Beats Camdenton

Kaitlyn Ragsdale and Kaemyn Bekemeier scored 20 points each and Jazzy Kirby broke a state record on defense as the Lady Tigers crushed Camdenton 77-45 at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Basketball Classic in Springfield Saturday. Ragsdale had four three-pointers on her way to a career scoring high.

Both Republic and Camdenton opened the game in a full-court pressure defense, but Republic’s mostly worked and Camdenton’s mostly didn’t. Republic jumped ahead by 15 points in the first quarter, 22-7, before Camdenton gained its footing. The score was 22-9 at the end of the first quarter, but the Lady Lakers fought back. They briefly got the margin down to seven points at 28-21 before back-to-back three-pointers by Ragsdale and Kirby pushed the lead back to double digits. Republic led 37-24 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Republic’s pressure defense paid dividends. The Lady Tigers outscored Camdenton 18-8 to extend their lead to 22 points at 55-32 as the fourth quarter began.

In the first quarter, Kirby made history when she got into defensive position along the baseline and Camdenton’s Payton Kincaid leaned into her while taking a shot. The official blew his whistle and called a charge on Kincaid. It was the 57th time in Kirby’s career she’d drawn a charging foul, breaking the state record of 56 held by Cassidy Cunningham of West Plains. (Cunningham drew 56 offensive fouls in 105 career games, while Kirby’s total of 57 came in 41 varsity games so far.)

“That’s something that’s hard to teach,” coach Kris Flood said of Kirby’s ability to draw charges. “A lot of kids just don’t like the contact, and there’s always the risk of getting injured. But that’s something she’s always had. She knows how to control her body and … she can kind of get herself in the right spot. It’s an art.”

Eight different players scored for the Lady Tigers, who have now won five of their last six games. Republic is 7-4 entering conference play next week. The Lady Tigers will host Neosho Monday. (Republic Tiger Sports will carry the game live.)

Republic Scoring
Kaemyn Bekemeier 20, Kaitlyn Ragsdale 20, Jazzy Kirby 13,Ashlyn Leonard 8, Miha Nambara 4, Savana Powell-Goodman 4, Rilynn Finley 6, Eternity Knotts 2

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