Carl Junction kept pulling away, and Republic kept closing the gap. But in the final moments, it was Carl Junction (#2 Class 4) that made the big plays to earn a 57-54 win over Republic in the Central Ozark Conference opener for the Lady Tigers.
The Lady Bulldogs jumped ahead by ten points on two different occasions in the first half, but Republic fought back to take a 29-28 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, 6’2″ sophomore Katie Scott dominated, scoring nine of her game-high 26 points, to help Carl Junction grab the lead again. By the mid-way point of the fourth quarter, the CJ lead was back to ten points.
But Republic wasn’t finished. Branstetter caught fire and Halli Bartelsmeyer hit a long three-pointer to pull the Lady Tigers back within two. A Brylee Manes free throw eventually cut the lead to one at 55-54, but Shila Winder’s rebound of a missed Carl Junction free throw on the next possession helped the state-ranked Lady Bulldogs escape with a win.
Republic falls to 6-8 (0-1 in conference play). The Lady Tigers travel to Carthage for another COC game later this week.
Brylee Manes 15, Megan Branstetter 14, Halli Bartelsmeyer 13, Avy Powell-Qualo 6, Jade Kirby 3, Lacee Walcher 2, Morgan McGuire 1
Farr Better Player of the Game
Throughout the game, several Lady Tigers stepped up at key moments, but in the fourth quarter, it was Megan Branstetter’s turn to get hot. Branstetter reeled off seven straight points to help Republic claw its way out of a 10-point hole, setting up the dramatic finish. When she fouled out, it slowed Republic’s momentum down the stretch, but she was our Farr Better Player of the Game.
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