Springfield Central has shown all the signs of a team on the rise this season, despite a 3-7 record. Tuesday night, the Bulldogs got the marquee win they’ve been looking for against a top-tier program. Central used a 24-4 run in the second half to overcome a 15-point deficit and beat Republic in The Pit, 54-51.
For most of the night, it looked like the Tigers would fare better against Central than some other quality teams this season. Republic led 16-12 at the end of the first quarter, then outscored the Bulldogs 13-6 in the second quarter to create a double-digit lead, 29-18. The Tigers eventually led 38-23 in the middle of the third quarter, but Central stepped up its defensive intensity, started making shots, and quickly sped past the Tigers.
When the fourth quarter began, Republic’s lead was down to nine, 42-33. Central scored the first 18 points of the final period to build a 51-42 lead, then held off a furious Republic rally. The Tigers cut the lead back down to three points, and had a chance to tie the game when Ahlante Askew was fouled on a half-court shot attempt as time expired, but Askew missed a free throw to seal the Bulldog win.
It’s the first time Springfield Central has beaten Republic since 2010. The Tigers had beaten the Bulldogs 11 times in a row before Tuesday.
Devon McMillin had one of the best nights of his career offensively. He finished with 20 points to lead the Tigers in scoring. No one else was in double figures.
Republic falls to 6-6. The Tigers are home Friday for a game against Springfield Catholic.
Devon McMillin 20, Ahlante Askew 9, James Rexroat 7, Brenley Hagewood 5, Gavyn Beckner 4, Khamari Edwards 4, Gunner Ellison 2