Republic kept the game close, but couldn’t overcome 24 turnovers in a 69-63 loss to Ozark at home Friday. With the win, Ozark takes sole possession of second place in the Central Ozark Conference, behind Nixa. Republic drops to 4-2 in the conference.
The game started badly for Republic, with Ozark scoring the first eight points, enabled by their full-court pressure defense. But Republic went on a 9-4 run to end the quarter and pulled to within three, at 16-13.
Midway through the second quarter, Republic had clawed all the way back, tying the game 22-22. It was the last time they’d be even the rest of the night.
Ozark outscored Republic 14-4 to start the 3rd quarter, achieving its biggest lead of the night at 39-26. Republic closed the gap back to 41-35 heading into the fourth quarter.
Again Ozark jumped ahead, taking an 11-point lead before Republic scrambled back in the game one last time. Brady McGill scored eight of his team-high 22 points in the fourth quarter to help lead the charge. He was helped by Travis Sly, who scored a career high 16 points off the bench.
A three-point play by Tristan Ollar cut the lead to 62-57, and another three-point play by McGill made the score 64-40 with 17 seconds left. Ty Stevens cut the lead to three with seven seconds remaining, but the Tigers never got any closer.
Besides McGill’s 22 points and Sly’s 16, the Tigers got eight points from Tim Brazeal. Brock Yocum and Stevens each had six. Ollar scored four, and Blake Fanning added one.