When the night began, Republic and Ozark were battling for a share of the Central Ozark Conference championship. It didn’t take long for Ozark to end the drama, pulling away to spoil Republic’s senior night with a 65-46 victory.
Ozark pounded the ball inside all night, feeding senior Macey Putt and sophomore Katie Mayes with lobs over the Republic defense. Putt ended with 19 points and Mayes had 13.
The loss was the second in a row for Republic, who had overcome a 2-6 start to improve to 13-9 before dropping games to Willard and Ozark. The Lady Tigers have one more regular-season game, on the road at Rogersville Wednesday, before district play begins next week.
Before the game, Republic recognized three senior basketball players: Megan Branstetter, Brylee Manes, and Morgan McGuire. Senior Tigerette Bailey Peabody was also honored.
“They’ve continued the tradition for us. They’ve been a really fun group to work with,” coach Kris Flood says of the senior players. “They’re likable kids. Expectations-wise, they’ve handled it well. They’ve always worked hard. I feel like they’ve been really good leaders for us.”
Manes led the Lady Tigers in her last home game in black and orange. She had 18 points, including a pair of three-pointers in the first half. Manes was the only Republic player in double figures in scoring.
Ozark can win the conference outright with a victory in their final game against Webb City. They have a one-game lead on Carl Junction, who beat Neosho Monday.
Republic falls to 13-11 overall. They finish conference play at 5-3.
Brylee Manes 18, Halli Bartelsmeyer 8, Megan Branstetter 7, Avy Powell-Qualo 7, Anna Bell 4, Lacee Walcher 2
Farr Better Player of the Game
Playing in her last game at home as a Lady Tiger, Brylee Manes led Republic in scoring with 18 points. But for Monday’s game, she shares player-of-the-game honors with her two fellow seniors, Megan Branstetter and Morgan McGuire, who’ve joined with Manes to lead Republic back from the brink of a lost season to head into the playoffs with a winning record, no matter what happens in their final regular-season game. All three seniors, Manes, McGuire, and Branstetter, are our Farr Better Players of the Game.
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