Republic wins Blue Division championship; sights turn to Tournament of Champions

Republic wins Blue Division championship; sights turn to Tournament of Champions

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Republic wins Blue Division championship; sights turn to Tournament of Champions

Republic boys basketball coach Trevyor Fisher grew up watching the Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament.

Fittingly so, he gave the Tigers the weekend to celebrate winning the 2016 Blue Division championship. Republic beat Glendale 72-50 Thursday night at JQH Arena in the Blue bracket final behind ball control and a smothering defense.

Republic will wait to worry about playing in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in January.

“We’re focused on celebrating and enjoying this Blue and Gold. You grow up in southwest Missouri, this is the tournament that you want to win, and I’m glad our six seniors got the opportunity to experience that. Hopefully, we can build on that and move on as we go later in the season,” Fisher said.

Tigers senior forward Caleb Singley scored 12 points in the championship game. He is one of six seniors in Republic’s standard rotation of seven players. Singley and his classmates chased a Blue and Gold title for their entire varsity careers.

“It means a lot, especially with this group. It’s special because we have young guys—it means a lot to them because it’s their first experience, and we have seniors who came this far,” Singley said. “Just to be here right now and win by 22 in a championship—it means the world.”

Sophomore Broc Smith came off the bench to lead Republic with 21 points. Smith led Republic in scoring in three of its four tournament games.

Republic hoist the trophy after beating Glendale in the Blue division final at JQH Arena on December 29, 2016.

Republic hoist the trophy after beating Glendale in the Blue division final at JQH Arena on December 29, 2016.

“We knew (Smith) had that potential and he just had to get his feet wet as a sophomore, but the sky is the limit for him and he’s going to keep getting better and better,” Fisher said.

Senior Treydon Rackley added 13 points for Republic and was a perfect 7-of-7 at the free throw line.

Glendale juniors Monty Johal and Jordan Walton scored 21 and 14 points, respectively. Johal was the only Falcons player to score a field goal in the first half until Walton hit a layup with 2:35 remaining in the second quarter, ending a drought of 13 minutes and 25 seconds.

“Our guys have adopted that mindset going into the season of guard other people like they’ve never been guarded before. I think we accomplished that,” Fisher said.

Glendale coach Brian McTague acknowledged Republic’s defense but said the Tigers did well to maintain lengthy possessions to keep the Falcons on their own end of the court.

“They get a lot of credit for their defense, and rightfully so, but the reason they’re good is they have a ball control offense. Once they get up on you, they’re good at spreading out and controlling the tempo of the game and waiting for you to break down,” McTague said.

The win marks Republic’s first Blue and Gold Tournament championship since 2007.

Republic plays its next game at Central on Jan. 3.

Glendale returns to action in Joplin Jan. 5 for the Kaminsky Classic in Joplin, a tournament that will guarantee the Falcons three games.

McTague believes an immediate return to tournament play will afford Glendale the chance to make fewer mistakes on the court.

“We couldn’t get out of our own way and we kept fighting, but the mistakes just kept piling up and it was too much for us to overcome,” McTague said. “We got shots, but we just didn’t make them.”

Republic 72, Glendale 50

At JQH Arena

Glendale 10-12-8-20—50

Republic 21-11-13-27—72

Individual scoring

Glendale—Monty Johal 21, Jordan Walton 7, Jaxon Davis 7, Garrett Freeman 5, Josh Call 5

Republic—Broc Smith 21, Treydon Rackley 13, Caleb Singley 12, Ty Stevens 9, Cameron Doke 7, Mitchell Coiner 6, Devon Ward 6.

Republic hoist the trophy after beating Glendale in the Blue division final at JQH Arena on December 29, 2016.

Republic hoist the trophy after beating Glendale in the Blue division final at JQH Arena on December 29, 2016.

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