Republic rolls past Cassville

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Cassville junior Gabe Kirk attempts a precision pass between two Republic defenders. Chuck Nickle Photography

The Republic Tigers continued the perfect start to their basketball season with an 83-33 win at Cassville on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

The defending Class 4 state champions stormed to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back in securing the 50-point win.

Cassville's Ethan Lowery scored a game-high 18 points, but Republic had four players in double figures as the Tigers overwhelmed the Wildcats.

"We expected a tough challenge," said coach Danny Powers after the game. Powers pointed to Republic's talent, depth, and experience as critical factors in determining the flow of the game.

The Wildcats struggled to find points in the early going and trailed 13-1 at the five-minute mark of the opening quarter.

Less than two minutes later, the lead had ballooned to 22-3 and Powers called a timeout to settle his team. Lowery finally got untracked, scoring 4 points in 40 seconds and Noah Hadlow canned a jumper to end the scoring for the period. Still, Cassville trailed by 27-9.

Lowery collected three points the hard way to open the second quarter and coach Trevyor Fisher countered with his "twin towers" lineup. With both 6'7" Cory Laffety and 6'4" Cody Geiger patrolling the lane, the Tigers limited Lowery to just three free throws over the next seven minutes. Republic cruised to a 54-21 lead at halftime.

The Wildcats executed better in the third quarter, scoring 9 and holding Republic to just 16.

Lowery followed Riley Lekarczyk's fast break miss with a soft tap off the glass. Kayleb Sparks poured in a couple of free throws, Lekarczyk canned a short jumper, and Gabe Kirk converted the hoop and harm play for three points. But Republic led by 40 at the final break, 70-30.

In a clock-shortened fourth quarter, the Wildcats could only manage three points - all of them by Lowery - and Republic eased away for the 83-33 victory.

Cassville scorers: Ethan Lowery, 18; Riley Lekarczyk, 4; Kayleb Sparks, 4; Gabe Kirk, 3; Noah Hadlow, 2; Marcus Weatherman, 2.

Republic scorers: Cody Geiger, 17; Canyon Smith, 16; Dillen Ramsey, 14; Cory Lafferty, 10; Jordan Kerr, 7; Chase Hoffmann, 6; Cole Hurst, 4; Brock Yocum, 3; Dakota Fortner, 3; Dylan Bekemeier, 3.

Cassville opens play in the Southwest Holiday Tournament on Dec. 26.

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