Republic hadn’t played in more than a week, and it showed in its opening-round game against West Plains at the Liberator Tournament in Bolivar. The Tigers trailed after one quarter to a Zizzers team it had beaten 76-30 in December before finding its rhythm in the second half and pulling away for a 62-50 win.
After Aslan Ebisch made a three-pointer to give Republic a 3-2 lead, the Tigers didn’t make another three-pointer until the second half. That was symptomatic of their cold shooting all night. West Plains grabbed a 12-5 lead in the opening minutes.
But Republic reeled off 14 consecutive points to grab a 19-12 lead. The Tigers never trailed again, but they were not able to put away the Zizzers as they had the first time they played.
Republic’s halftime lead was 25-20 and they pushed it to double-digits by the end of the third quarter, 47-37. The Zizzers cut the lead to eight points in the fourth quarter, but never got closer than that.
Brenley Hagewood, after a quiet first half, fueled the Tigers in the second. He scored 13 points after the break and finished with a team-high 15. Ahlante Askew also scored in double figures with 12. Eight different players scored for Republic (16-1).
The win is Republic’s 15th in a row. The Tigers will meet Jefferson City Helias in the semifinals of the tournament Friday at 7:00 pm. Helias beat Camdenton in double overtime Thursday to advance.
Score by Quarters
West Plains 12 8 17 13 – 50
Republic 11 14 22 15 – 62
Brenley Hagewood 15, Ahlante Askew 12, Gunner Ellison 9, James Rexroat 8, Khamari Edwards 6, Jordan Douglas 5, Isaiah Nabors 4, Aslan Ebisch 3