Ahlante Askew drives for a second-half basket. He finished with a game-high 32 points.

Askew Powers Tigers Past Willard

Ahlante Askew exploded for a career-high 32 points to lead Republic past Willard at home Tuesday. Askew and Drew McMillin (26 points) combined for 58 of Republic’s 80 points in an 80-54 win.

Republic had a hard time shaking Willard early. After building a 23-12 lead through the first quarter, Republic let Willard climb back into the game, tying the score 25-25 with 3:30 remaining in the first half. But for the rest of the second quarter, Republic outscored Willard 9-0 to take a 34-25 lead to halftime.

The run continued in the third quarter, with Republic scoring five straight points after the break, extending its lead to 14. Askew, who was shut out in the second quarter after scoring eight points in the first, scored 12 points in each of the final two quarters to help Republic pull away. Republic outscored Willard 26-12 in the third quarter.

After five straight road games, Coach Tim Brown said it was nice to have a game back in Republic,

“It was good to be home. It was good to see the ball go through the net after we shot the ball real poorly last Friday night,” said coach Tim Brown. “We probably fell in love with scoring baskets tonight because it was coming so frequently.

“We have to be a little better defensively … and stay engaged. But overall, it was just awesome to be back home and we’re excited to be back home the next
couple of games.”

Willard falls to 7-14 (1-4). Republic is 19-2 (5-0). The Tigers host Joplin Friday. Republic Tiger Sports will carry the game live.

FARR BETTER PLAYER OF THE GAME

Ahlante Askew took the second quarter off – at least in the scoring column – and he still had enough offensive firepower to reach a career high in points Tuesday. Askew scored eight points in the first quarter and 12 each in the third and fourth quarters, for a total of 32. He had six three-pointers, just two games after making a career-best seven against Branson a week ago, and he’s our Farr Better Player of the Game.

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