The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 13, 2014

Republic ousts cold-shooting Webb City

REPUBLIC, Mo. — After hitting 29 3-pointers over their past two games, the shots just weren’t falling for the Webb City Cardinals.

Webb City was limited to 18 points below its scoring average and four 3-pointers in a 64-47 loss to the Republic Tigers during a Class 4 girls basketball sectional on Wednesday night at Nixa High School.

“I thought Republic did an outstanding job defensively, offensively and rebounding,” Webb City coach Brad Shorter said. “Tip the hat to them. I felt like we never got into rhythm tonight.”

Republic (23-5) advances to face Marshfield, a 53-50 winner over St. Francis Borgia, at noon Saturday in Bolivar.

It was the Tigers’ second win over Webb City. The first was a 67-62 decision in overtime on Feb. 6 at Republic.

“In the first game, Mikaela Burgess scored 31 and Desirea Buerge scored 20 on us,” Republic coach Kris Flood said. “We tried to make it a point of emphasis to at least try to slow them down. The kids kind of bought into our game plan, especially in the first half.”

The Tigers not only were holding Burgess and Buerge in check, but they weren’t allowing anything from Webb City’s supporting cast.

Two Burgess 3-pointers were Webb City’s only two field goals through the first 13:55 of the first half. Burgess and Buerge were the only Cardinals to score up until that point, and Republic took a 24-13 lead. Seven points from Kaitlin Beason in the final 2:05 of the first half helped Webb City cut Republic’s lead to 27-20 at halftime.

Republic pulled the lead back out to an 11-point lead in the third quarter, but Webb City responded.

A steal by Burgess, who led the Cardinals with 18 points, led to a three-point play for Lexey Kneib to cut Republic’s lead to 39-31 with 1:56 left in the third quarter. On Webb City’s next two possessions, Burgess made a free throw and converted a steal and layup to make it a 39-34 game at the end of the third.

The Tigers answered by opening the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run. Micah Mansker’s steal and layup gave Republic a 51-36 lead with 3:48 left.

Buerge finished with 13 points, and Kaitlin Beason scored 10.

Republic’s attack was much more balanced with eight players scoring and five scoring seven points or more. Brooke Stanfield led the Tigers with 16 points. Mansker added 10.

“They are so well balanced,” Shorter said. “When you look at their stats, so many of their players average 8, 7 or 6 points.”

The loss means the end of high school basketball careers for Webb City seniors Burgess, Beason, Megan Heman, Lacy Resa and Kenzie Cooper. The group advanced to the Class 4 state championship game a year ago.

“This senior group is a tough one to see go,” Shorter said. “They played hard and they do things well on and off the court.”

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