Caleb Singley felt nothing but love for his final basket at the buzzer.
The Republic senior tipped down a loose ball at the rim with less than a second remaining to lift Republic to a 58-57 win in double overtime on a St. Valentine’s Day Tuesday night in Nixa. The Tigers led for less than one of the 40 minutes played, but Singley’s tip of senior Treydon Rackley’s final shot attempt gave Republic the most important lead—the one at the end of the game.
“That’s who we are. We don’t give up. We’ve had many times where we’re down and we could easily give up, but we’re the Republic Tigers and we’re going to keep playing the whole game,” Singley said.
Rackley led all scorers with 21 points, including a pair of free throws in the final minute of regulation time to send the Central Ozark Conference tilt into its first four-minute overtime period.
Republic (18-5) went more than nine minutes without scoring a single point in the middle quarters of the game and trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Singley scored 10 points, including his big crash at the end.
“Every time a shot goes up, you go to the boards hard,” Singley said. “I just had enough time to tip it. I think (the ball) about came out, but luckily it went in.”
Senior Christian Bundy led Nixa (20-3) with 16 points. Sophomore Braeden Combs scored 14 points for the Eagles.
Republic’s Broc Smith reached double-digit scoring with 10 points, none more integral than a 3-pointer from the left corner in the first overtime period that left the score tied 47-47 and triggered a second overtime period.
Republic and Nixa could meet again in the Class 5 District 12 playoffs. Nixa hosts the five-team district that also includes Neosho, Carthage and Joplin.
Republic’s overtime win could play a factor in seeding the Tigers and the Eagles.
“Everyone said, ‘Oh, it’s a good game, but we don’t think you guys can do it,’” Singley said of playing Nixa. “Obviously, they are a great team and hopefully we see (Nixa) in districts.”
High school boys basketball
Republic 58, Nixa 57, double overtime
Republic—Treydon Rackley 21, Caleb Singley 10, Broc Smith 10, Ty Stevens 7, Mitchell Coiner 6, Devon Ward 4
Nixa—Christian Bundy 16, Braeden Combs 14, Seth Viebrock 12, Austin Bracker 5, Evan Bergmann 4, Drew Canady 3, Nathan Elmer 3.