Republic’s defense dominated from start to finish in a 40-23 win over Carl Junction to open Central Ozark Conference play on the road Tuesday. The Tigers allowed just four points in the first quarter, and just three points in the third quarter. Carl Junction didn’t manage double digits in scoring during any quarter all night.
Both teams were playing without their leading scorers. The Tigers’ Broc Smith was out with an ankle sprain, and Carl Junction’s Trent Smith, a 6’6″ junior forward, missed the game because of illness. Both offenses struggled, but Republic’s defense picked up the slack.
“We wanted to pressure them a little bit [and] get their guards sped up,” says coach Trevyor Fisher. “Once we were able to get the lead, we were able to back off that pressure and just play contain and make them beat us from the outside, which, they struggle with…at times.”
Republic led 8-4 after one quarter and 21-13 at halftime. Tucker Thomas led Republic with 12 points, and he was the only player to score in double figures.
“I told the guys in the locker room, our offense is going to be ugly a lot of the time–most of the time–but we can always hang our hat on the defensive end,” Fisher says. “I don’t care if we win 23-21. As long as we win, that’s a good day.”
Republic improves to 10-4. They’re 1-0 in the Central Ozark Conference.
Tucker Thomas 12, Hunter Creek 6, Jaden Duvall 6, Trent Rackley 5, Drew McMillin 5, Cole Buxton 4, Race Looney 2