Republic tightened down its defense in the second quarter and pulled away from Carthage for a blowout win at home in the district semifinals, 63-31. After each team scored 12 points in the first quarter, Republic outscored Carthage 18-4 in the second to take control. The Lady Tigers scored the last 14 points of the first half.
“I thought we looked a little bit nervous at the beginning,” said coach Kris Flood. “We missed a few of those little ‘bunny shots,’ I call them. Then we settled down and got a few stops.”
The first time Republic and Carthage met this season, Republic controlled the first and fourth quarters. This time, it was the second and third quarters. Republic outscored Carthage 40-11 over those 16 minutes.
Kaemyn Bekemeier scored 19 points to lead Republic, and Jazzy Kirby added 12, including two three pointers. Kaitlyn Ragsdale and Rilynn Finley scored 11 apiece, and eight different players scored for Republic.
The win improves Republic’s record to 19-7, and it sets up a rematch with Springfield Kickapoo, ranked #2 in the latest Class 6 state poll. Kickapoo beat Republic 81-53 in December, but Kirby said she’s looking forward to another crack at the Lady Chiefs.
“I think we’ve gotten a lot better since the first time we played them,” Kirby said. “We’re playing well, and if we can play as a team and play together and do all the little things…I think we can beat them.”
Kickapoo beat Joplin 88-28 to advance to the championship game. The two winners will play Thursday at 7:00.
Kaemyn Bekemeier 19, Jazzy Kirby 12, Kaitlyn Ragsdale 11, Rilynn Finley 11, Regan Holmes 4, Ashlyn Leonard 2, Miha Nambara 2, Savana Powell-Goodman 2