The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 12, 2014

COC Large Division co-champs Webb City, Republic meet again in Class 4 sectionals

Webb City and Republic, co-champions in Central Ozark Conference Large Division girls basketball, clash tonight at Nixa High School in the sectional round of the MSHSAA Class 4 playoffs.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. The first-round boys game between Carl Junction and defending state champion Republic will follow at about 7:45.

The Webb City girls, second in Class 4 in 2012-13, were denied an outright COC Large Division championship by Republic. The Tigers, earning their share at 6-1, defeated the visiting Cardinals 67-62 in overtime on Feb. 6.

That early February meeting naturally was a major topic for the head coaches on Tuesday.

“I don’t believe we shot the ball well,” Webb City coach Brad Shorter said. “But I thought the key was their ability to come up with offensive rebounds. Republic has good athletes. But we have to do a better job on the boards. Also, we had too many turnovers.

“The Republic offense is very balanced,” Shorter said. “The obvious key for us is to limit their chances.

“We’d like to limit the touches for (Tori) Taylor,” Shorter, who’s assisted by Walter Resa and Bre Faircloth, said. “(Brooke) Stanfield is very active and physical.”

Said Tiger coach Kris Flood: “The first half was a key for us (in the February meeting). “We got off to a good start and defensively played very well.

“But (Desirea) Buerge and (Mikaela) Burgess brought back Webb City in the second half,” Flood said. “Webb City, as a team, was more aggressive.

“We had to rally in the fourth quarter to force the overtime (at 55),” Flood said. “We finally got some stops and we scored five points in some 90 seconds. It was a high-scoring overtime.”

Stanfield is averaging 10 points and seven rebounds. Taylor, who tallied 17 against the Cardinals in the earlier meeting, is adding nine points.

Burgess is averaging 21.6 points, 3.9 assists and 3.2 steals. Buerge is averaging 16.6 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds. Kaitlin Beason is adding 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds.

The winner of Webb City-Republic advances to play either Washington Borgia (25-2) or Marshfield (23-5) at noon Saturday at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.

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