Kris Flood wanted his Lady Tigers to get off to a quick start to shake off a mid-season slump that had seen them lose two of their last three games. They did that in a big way, jumping out to an early lead and cruising to a 69-28 win on the road at Branson.
“We had a really good practice yesterday. I thought we looked a little more focused,” said coach Kris Flood. “One of our goals was to really come out early and get on top and separate ourselves. I thought they did that in the first quarter.”
Republic scored 22 straight late in the first quarter and early in the second, stretching a 12-6 lead to 34-6. The Lady Tigers held Branson without a field goal for more than nine minutes during that time.
“We played pretty well defensively. We can move our feet a little bit better, but we didn’t give up quite as many second-chance points,” Flood said.
The Lady Tigers also improved on offense compared to their most recent outings – at least until the game was well control. “I thought we made some pretty good decisions with the ball tonight…with an extra pass or two and finding an open person,” Flood said.
Republic led 41-10 at halftime and 52-21 at the end of the third quarter. The Lady Tigers got scoring from eight different players, and four of them were in double figures. Kaemyn Bekemeier scored 16, Rilynn Finley scored 14, and Jazzy Kirby and Savana Powell-Goodman scored 10 each.
The win improves Republic’s record to 12-6 overall and 3-0 in the Central Ozark Conference. And Flood hopes it marks the turnaround from a recent downtown as the season nears its most important point.
“We’ve hit February now and we really need to start kind of jelling and trying to get to where we’re playing at our best and peaking a little bit. So hopefully this is a step in that direction,” he said. “We talked yesterday about – it’s the oldest adage in the world – just take one game at a time. That’s literally what we’re going to focus on here as we try to work our way through February.
Republic travels to Carthage for another league game Thursday. Republic Tiger Sports will carry it live.