Republic scored 12 straight points in the third quarter to pull away from Branson in the final regular-season game of the year, winning 75-43 Thursday night. The Lady Tigers had one of their most balanced scoring nights of the year, with four players in double figures. Kaemyn Bekemeier scored right at her season average, finishing with 24 points to lead Republic in her final home game as a Lady Tiger.
Both teams started with a hot shooting hand, and neither played a lot of defense in the first quarter, with Republic piling up 27 points to lead 27-18 after the opening eight minutes. In the second quarter, the tide turned and the defenses took over, with Republic out-scoring Branson 11-9. Bekemeier scored 14 of her 24 in the first half, including three three-pointers.
In the second half, Misora Nambara heated up for a second straight game. She scored 12 in the quarter and finished with 14 points. Her offensive outburst helped fuel Republic as it pulled away from Branson for good, outscoring the Lady Pirates 19-11 in the period. Republic finished off the game with an 18-5 margin in the fourth quarter to win by 32 points.
In addition to Bekemeier and Nambara, Republic got double-figure scoring from Alaina Norman with 14 and Molly Blades with 13.
Republic’s 23 wins are the most in the regular season since 2015-16, when the Lady Tigers were 23-1 as the district tournament began. Their only regular-season loss that year was to Crane in overtime at the Pink & White tournament.
This year’s Lady Tigers head into the district tournament with a 23-3 record. They will open district play next Thursday as the top seed against #8 seed Joplin.
Score by Quarters
Branson 18 9 11 15 – 43
Republic 27 11 19 18 – 75
Kaemyn Bekemeier 24, Alaina Norman 14, Misora Nambara 14, Molly Blades 13, Molly Mason 6, Alex Price 4, Lauren Chastain