Members of the 1994 and 2004 teams were honored on December 12 before Republic’s game against Ozark. (Photos by Lacey Flood)

Remembering Two Champions, Ten Years Apart

On January 12, Republic celebrated the 30th anniversary of its 1994 girls basketball state championship and the 20th anniversary of its 2004 championship team.

Team members in 1994 were Amber Blades, Ashley Fry, Brandy Dipper, Cindy Wise, Glenna Mooneyham, Julie Sanders, Krista Dake, Melissa McGill, Nikki Harrington, Stacey Evans, Tori Mooneyham, Vicky Smith. The team was coached by Dave McQuerter and assistant Mike Thorne.

In 2004, players were Amanda Gardner, Holly Davidson, Stacy Edwards, Jennifer Nichols, Kelsey Lock, Alena Keller, Josie Sparkman, Alaina Sparkman, Katherine Springston, Jocelyn Butler, Amanda Gimlin, and Krystal Glessner. Kris Flood was the head coach, assisted by Tori Mooneyham and Kayla England.

These are the scripts written by Ken Knierim and read during the celebration, modified slightly for publication.

1994 Class 3A State Champions

Ladies and gentlemen, at this time we ask that you direct your attention to mid-court. Tonight, we have the opportunity to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of your 1994 State Champion Republic Lady Tigers and the 20-year anniversary of your 2004 State Champion Republic Lady Tigers.

Following a two-point loss in the 1993 state title game against the Ray-Pec Lady Panthers, your 1994 Lady Tigers adopted the theme of ‘Unfinished Business.’ With a strong and deep group of returning players from 1993, the Republic Lady Tigers finished the 1994 season with a record of 31 wins and 1 loss, Class 3A Girls State Champions and becoming the first girls team in Republic High School history to win a state championship. Throughout the season, this team won with tenacious defense and team speed. What began as close first half games, resulted in fourth quarter blowout wins.

Following their 49-34 District Championship win over conference rival Nixa, it was on to the state tournament. The journey to the Final Four would prove to be harder than playing in the Final Four, proving the strength of girls high school basketball in Southwest Missouri. The Lady Tigers opened up with a sectional matchup against the 26-2 Monett Lady Cubs, who were on a 17-game winning streak going into the game. Republic came from behind to win, 54-44, and move on to Hammons Student Center for a quarterfinal rematch from 1993 with the number two state ranked, Marshfield Lady Jays. Your Lady Tigers ended the Lady Jays dominance the year before with a quarterfinal win and were out to do it again. Republic jumped out to a 35-21 lead at the half and cruised to a 66-49 win behind 20 points from Cindy Wise, 14 from Vicky Smith, and 14 from Ashley Fry.

With the win, your Lady Tigers advanced to their second straight Final Four and a Class 3A semifinal matchup with the Owensville Lady Dutchmen. Republic again jumped out to an early 13-2 lead and never looked back in destroying Owensville, 73-37, with Cindy Wise and Tori Mooneyham pouring in 21 points each.

It had been a long year, but your Lady Tigers were right back where they wanted to be with the 26-2 Chillicothe Lady Hornets between them and the first ever girls state basketball championship in Republic High School history. Your Lady Tigers had come to the Hearnes Center in Columbia to get what they had missed out on the season before. Again, as had been the case throughout the season, your Lady Tigers turned a relatively close game into a big win. Leading by only seven with seven minutes to play, Republic turned up the defense, forcing 24 Chillicothe turnovers in the game, with most of those coming in the fourth quarter. The Lady Tigers went on a 15-1 run from the seven-minute mark to win going away, 66-43, with Cindy Wise, Ashley Fry, and Vicky Smith leading the way. Amber Kile sealed the deal, knocking down a 17-foot jumper at the buzzer.

Head Coach Dave McQuerter’s Lady Tigers had completed their ‘Unfinished Business’ in winning the Class 3A State Championship. Not only did they bring home the title, they did it in style, breaking a total of six state records.

2004 Class 4 State Champions

Your 2004 Republic Lady Tigers adopted the term ‘Believe’ early in the season and stayed true to that to the very end. No matter the circumstances throughout the season, this group of Lady Tigers continued to ‘Believe.’ Your 2004 Lady Tigers finished with a record of 24 wins against just 7 losses and Republic High School’s second girls state championship, this one being the first Class 4 State title as the high school continued to grow.

The Lady Tigers had a miracle finish in the Class 4 District Championship game with the Buffalo Lady Bison. Buffalo, ranked 7th in Class 4 led by as many as 14 early in the second half. That’s when your Lady Tigers began their run. Republic pulled even at 31-31 with 4:20 to go in the game. Buffalo led, 43-41, with 2.8 seconds to go, leaving our 10th ranked Lady Tigers the length of the floor to go. Kelsey Lock lofted a pass ahead of an unguarded Amanda Gimlin. Gimlin took it to the top of the key and swished a 3-pointer from the top of the circle as the horn sounded, sending your Lady Tigers to the state tournament in nothing short of a thrilling, 44-43 win over Buffalo. Kelsey Lock finished with 16 and Krystal Glessner with 10.

Up next, the Lady Tigers would travel to Rolla for their Class 4 Sectional game with second ranked Kirksville. Leading by four at the half, Republic turned up the defensive pressure and pulled away to a, 57-33, win behind Kelsey Lock’s 15 points.

From there, it was on to the Class 4 Quarterfinals at Hammons Student Center against the Branson Lady Pirates. This would be the third meeting between the two teams. Republic held an eight-point lead at the half. The Lady Tigers broke open a ten-point game by going on a 12-4 run to assure themselves of a return trip to the Hearnes Center in Columbia, by posting a 67-51, Quarterfinal win. Kelsey Lock, Josie Sparkman, and Amanda Gimlin combined for 49 points in the win.

Republic would face a very tough, tenacious Kansas City Center Lady Yellowjackets in their Semifinal game at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. Trailing by ten late in the game, the Lady Tigers rallied. Behind Kelsey Lock’s 16 points, Amanda Gardner’s 13 points, and Amanda Gimlin’s 11 points, Republic posted a, 51-49, Semifinal win securing a spot in the championship game. The win, however, was tarnished when we learned that sophomore Amanda Gardner injured her knee in a post-game celebration when she landed on the foot of a television cameraman.

Your Lady Tigers had to move on and face the defending state champion, St. Louis Duchesne Lady Pioneers in the state championship game. Republic led, 27-20, after a very physical first half. Leading by only three to start the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers hit their free throws down the stretch to come away with a, 61-56, win and the school’s second girls state championship. Amanda Gimlin and Kelsey Lock led the way, combining for 36 points.

This group of Lady Tigers made history that night in Columbia by ‘Believing’ their way to a state championship. They will be forever remembered as one of only three teams to call themselves Republic Lady Tiger State Champions.


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