Alaina Norman looks for an open teammate in the second half. She finished with ten points. (by Steve Rackley)

Lady Bulldogs Nip Republic in COC Opener

Carl Junction fought off a furious rally by Republic in the second half to escape with a win on its home floor, 50-48, in the Central Ozark Conference opener for both teams. Kylie Scott drove the right side of the line and scooped in a shot with her right hand with 10 seconds left to deliver a 50-48 win for the Lady Bulldogs. A shot by Kaemyn Bekemeier at the buzzer was off the mark.

Scott’s game-winner capped a late comeback by Carl Junction, after Republic had put together an even bigger comeback of its own. The Lady Bulldogs outscored Republic 9-3 in the final minutes to overcome a four-minute deficit over the final four minutes.

Carl Junction had actually dominated the first half, building a 27-18 lead. And when the Lady Bulldog went on a 7-0 run early in the third quarter, they built a 14-point lead, 36-22, with five minutes left in the third quarter.

But Republic mounted a frantic comeback over the next four minutes, scoring 15 consecutive points. When Hope Schatz found Molly Mason on the right block for an easy layup, the Lady Tigers had their first lead with 1:26 left in the third, 37-36. Republic eventually led by as many as four points, but missed multiple opportunities to stretch the lead beyond that, and those missed opportunities opened the door for Carl Junction.

Two of the most prolific scorers in southwest Missouri high school basketball history — Republic’s Kaemyn Bekemeier and Carl Junction’s Destiny Buerge — were mostly held under control by their opposing defenses. Buerge, averaging 27.5 points per game, scored 19. Bekemeier, averaging 24 points per game, was held to a season-low 13.

Alaina Norman finished with ten points, joining Bekemeier in double-figure scoring.

Republic falls to 12-2 overall and 0-1 in the Central Ozark Conference. Carl Junction is now 11-1 and 1-0. The Lady Bulldogs play another COC favorite, Nixa, later this week. Republic travels to Joplin for a road game Thursday.

Score by Quarters
Carl Junction 17 10 10 13 – 50
Republic 6 18 21 9 – 48

Individual Scoring
Kaemyn Bekemeier 13, Alaina Norman 10, Hope Schatz 9, Molly Blades 6, Molly Mason 4, Misora Nambara 4, Lauren Chastain 2


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