The Republic Lady Tigers traveled to Lebanon for their preseason jamboree against the Yellow Jackets, Conway, and Stoutland. Here are video highlights.
The Lady Tigers traveled to Lebanon for a jamboree that also included Stoutland and Conway. Here are photos from their day.
See the full album and order prints here. (Select an album, find a photo you want to order, and click the “Add to Cart” button on the lower right corner of the screen for ordering options.)
Varsity winter sports schedules are released! Note that there could be last-minute changes, and that other schedules (freshmen, middle school) are not yet complete. I’ll post those when I get them.
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For an up-to-date schedule when the season begins, click on “Schedules” in the top menu bar. It links to the school’s official calendar.
Top to bottom, Lady Tigers compile historic season
With five senior starters back from a state championship season, all eyes were on Republic’s varsity girls to start the basketball season. So it took a few weeks for people to notice that, accounting for every team, the Lady Tigers were in the middle of one of the most successful seasons in Missouri history.
Combined with the 7th and 8th graders, the wins mounted for the Lady Tigers. Twenty in a row. Forty. The streak blew past 60 as the middle school teams wrapped up their seasons without a loss.
On February 2, the freshmen capped a 17-0 season by beating Ozark for a third time, running the streak to 76 in a row. The JV team ended its undefeated season against Ozark to make the streak 83 on February 14. That’s when a cold shooting night finally caught up to the Lady Tigers.
In the follow-up game that night against Ozark, Republic failed to hit a three-pointer in the 1st half, and leading scorer Alice Heinzler was shut out by stifling defense. Heinzler caught fire in the 2nd half to get Republic back into the lead, but Ozark drained a couple of long-range shots in succession to regain control, and went on to record a 53-46 win.
At the time head coach Kris Flood was philosophical about the loss. ““It will help us, I think, in the long run,” he says. “The only thing I’m concerned about, we’ve got to turn around and play another good team (Dexter) Saturday…Hopefully we can rebound and not let this one start a streak the other way.”
Republic did rebound against Dexter, knocking off the state-ranked Lady Bearcats in Heinzler’s best performance yet. They closed out the regular season without another loss, before falling to #2 ranked West Plains in the district championship game.
Still, the story of the Lady Tigers and their winning streak — which actually reached 89, stretching back to the end of last season — dominated the Republic sports landscape for two solid months. For that, you voted their story #3 on our list of top ten Republic Tiger Sports stories.
A Record Game by Alice Heinzler Topples State-Ranked Dexter
During her career at Republic, senior guard Alice Heinzler showed over and over that she was the kind of player who could shoulder a big offensive load when necessary. On February 16, in a showdown against state-ranked Dexter at West Plains, Heinzler picked up the Lady Tigers’ offense and carried it across the finish line.
Heinzler tied a school record by scoring 36 points, and broke a school record by draining seven three pointers, as Republic overcame a 15-point deficit to beat Dexter 61-56. Twenty-two of Heinzler’s points came in the 2nd half. She was at her best in the 4th quarter, scoring 15, including seven of seven from the free throw line.
“We just kept digging ourselves a hole and I’m like, ‘Goodness, someone’s going to have to do something about it,’ so I did what I could,” Heinzler said after the game. “I just happened to be hot-handed, I guess.”
Heinzler will continue her baskeball career at College of the Ozarks. But her performance against Dexter will stay in the record books at Republic. And you voted her day against Dexter the #6 Republic Tiger Sports story of the year.
You could make a case that no other athlete in the history of Republic High School has had such broad, varied success as Sarah Kreul. All-State recognition in three sports. A key part of a basketball state championship. And a leading role in one of the most memorable winning streaks ever.
In 2012, Kreul’s work as a setter on the Lady Tigers volleyball team earned her all-state honors for a second year in a row. She helped distribute the offensive opportunities for a senior-heavy team that advanced to the state sectionals and compiled a 28-8 record.
(Kreul was named State Player of the Week in September. Read more here.)
Her all-state volleyball certificates will fit nicely next to the ones she earned in track and field (in 2011, throwing discus) and in basketball (in 2012, on the Lady Tigers’ state championship team).
Kreul will move on from Republic to play volleyball at College of the Ozarks next season. At the time of her signing, athletic director Greg Garton heaped high praise on Kreul for her career.
“There’s probably not a better example of a student-athlete that we’ve ever had at Republic High School. To do all those things she’s done, she’s worked very hard. Those things just don’t happen,” Garton said.
(Read about Kreul’s college signing here.)
For all her success during her career at Republic, you named Kreul’s selection as an all-state volleyball player as the #10 story of the year.
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Check out some of Kreul’s basketball highlights from her senior season at the Republic Tiger Sports YouTube channel.
Coach Kris Flood and the Republic Lady Tigers basketball program will hold their annual basketball camp May 20, 22 and 23 for girls going into grades 3rd through 6th grades. Camp will be held at the high school gym. (Note: this is a change from the original schedule. Camp is now on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.)
The 3rd and 4th grade session is scheduled for 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm. Girls going into 5th and 6th grades will meet from 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm.
Registration is $25, and that includes a camp T-shirt. Get more details by downloading the updated registration form.
The boys and girls basketball teams at Republic continue to rake in postseason honors.
The Tigers placed two players on the media’s Class 4 all-state teams. Junior forward Cody Geiger was named to the first team, and senior guard Jake Fletcher earned a spot on the second team. Coach Trevyor Fisher was named Missouri Class 4 coach of the year in his first season.
The Lady Tigers’ senior scoring leader, Alice Heinzler, was named to the Class 4 first team. She was the only player to receive all-state recognition from the media.
The Lady Tigers were ranked 5th in the final state poll, just behind West Plains, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs. Webb City, the state runner-up, was ranked second, giving southwest Missouri three of the top five spots in the final statewide poll. Dexter, a final four attendee that lost to Republic late in the regular season, was ranked sixth.
Junior forward Cody Geiger and senior center Marcus Miller were both named to the Class Four All-State team. Geiger led the state champion Tigers in scoring all season and his double-double in the championship game — 20 points and 10 rebounds — was a big part of the victory over Normandy.
Miller was the anchor inside for a big Republic lineup. He averaged 8.4 points and nearly five rebounds per game, and shot 67% from the floor for the season.
Coach Trevyor Fisher was named Class 4 State Coach of the Year. The season was not only his first at the helm in Republic, but his first as a head coach anywhere.
For the Lady Tigers, senior guard Alice Heinzler earned a spot on the All-State Class 4 team. Heinzler led the Lady Tigers in scoring, and helped Republic put together one of its best seasons ever, finishing with a 25-2 record after a loss in the district finals to West Plains.
An extraordinary season ended with an extraordinary game.
State-ranked opponents Republic (3) and West Plains (2) battled back and forth into overtime. The lead changed hands four times in the final minute. But an eight-foot jumper by West Plains’ Hannah Riggs sailed through the net as the buzzer sounded, giving the Lady Zizzers a 59-58 win and sending Republic home without a district championship for the first time in five years.
“It’s hard to lose in overtime on a buzzer beater,” says coach Kris Flood. “We’d rather, I guess, maybe get beat by 10 or 12. When she let it go…it just looked like it was going to go in.”
The Lady Tigers fell behind early in the overtime, and looked to be in trouble with seniors Alice Heinzler and Sarah Kreul on the bench, having fouled out. When Cassidy Johnson hit a free throw with :48 left, the Lady Zizzers led 54-51.
Republic answered quickly, pulling within one on a layup by Bartelsmeyer. After West Plains hit one of two free throws, Alex Botkin hit a three-pointer that bounded high into the air before dropping through the hoop, to give Republic a one-point lead.
West Plains answered with a layup of its own to take a 57-56 lead. But Kayla Bartelsmeyer was fouled at the other end, and hit two free throws to put Republic on top 58-57 with 11.5 seconds left.
That set up Riggs’ heroics. Republic focused its defense primarily on stopping Andi Haney, who led West Plains with 27 points. When Cassidy Johnson’s three-point attempt rimmed out, the Lady Tigers couldn’t get their hands on the rebound. The ball ended up in Riggs’ hands on the left side of the lane, and her high, arching jumper went through to give West Plains the victory.
“I thought they stood up and did what they could do,” Flood says of his defense down the stretch. “We had a chance there with 11 seconds and the lead, and just couldn’t get a rebound. That’s kind of been one of our bugaboos there.”
The Lady Tigers had outplayed West Plains in the 1st half, and a 26-foot, off-balance jumper by Heinzler at the halftime buzzer gave Republic a 31-21 lead. But West Plains scored five quick points in the 3rd quarter to get back in the game, and forced the action the rest of the way.
“We just never really had the momentum in the 2nd half. It felt like we were back on our heels and they were aggressor,” Flood says. “We could not come up with any stops in the 2nd half. Didn’t matter if we were zone, man, or whatever.”
The loss ends an unforgettable year for the Lady Tigers’ basketball program, which at one point compiled an 83-game winning streak from 7th grade through varsity. It also ends the careers of five seniors — Sarah Kreul, Alice Heinzler, Lindsey Carlson, Alex Botkin, and Kayla Bartelsmeyer — who were part of a historic run of success for Republic girls basketball.
“Prior to them coming into high school, we’d had a couple of lean years there,” says Flood. “We had a really good foundation before…and we had some cracks there. And I thought they filled in the cracks very admirably.
“A lot of them played four years, some of them played three years, and they’ve had a tremendous run and it’s hard to see them go. They’re all going to college, they’ve got a lot of things to look forward to. This is just one little piece, but this is tough.”
In their final game, Republic’s seniors combined for 50 of the team’s 58 points. Heinzler led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 22 points before she fouled out in the 4th quarter. Kreul added 14 before she fouled out. Carlson and Botkin added five apiece, and Bartelsmeyer had four.
Republic ends its season with a 25-2 record. West Plains improves to 27-1 and advances to the sectional playoff round next Wednesday.