Sometimes the pain in Republic senior Alice Heinzler’s right shooting wrist is enough to make her miss.
Evidently, the pain was absent Monday night.
The Lady Tigers’ guard, who sprained her wrist in the first game of the season and must tape it for games, poured in a career-high 33 points in Republic’s 64-36 non-conference win at Kickapoo.
“I sprained it in our first game and I’ve not been consistent in my shooting from one game to the next,” Heinzler said.
“I can’t shoot without tape on it right now and some day’s it’s a little more achy than others.
“But tonight it obviously turned around for me and I made a couple …”
Republic (5-0) led by six points (14-8) at the start of the second quarter, when the Lady Tigers’ full-court press began to pay dividends.
The Lady Tigers forced Kickapoo (3-3) into four-consecutive turnovers in the first three minutes of the second period and outscored the Lady Chiefs 7-1 to build a 21-9 lead over that span.
But the Republic press kept getting turnovers, 10 for the quarter, and led 35-22 at the half.
“To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that we got the points that we did out of it,” Republic coach Kris Flood said.
“We created some turnovers and got some easy baskets and we were able to stretch that lead out a little bit in the second quarter.
“In the third quarter, I thought we did a really good job in the half court with our man-to-man defense.”
Kickapoo struggles offensively didn’t stop with the first half clock.
The Lady Chiefs turned the ball over seven more times in the third quarter and went nearly four minutes without scoring while Republic built a 50-24 lead with 3:45 left in the period.
“I attribute all of it to the players,” Flood said.
“I think they were focused and ready to go.
“Anytime the COC schools play Springfield schools, it’s a little more intense and I think the kids get prepared for it.”
Leading 50-28 late in the third quarter, Republic outscored Kickapoo 14-2, and built its largest lead to 64-30 with 5:40 left on a fourth-quarter turbo clock.
Including the 3-pointer that put Republic up by 26 points (50-24), Heinzler scored the Lady Tigers’ final 17 points in the victory.
Republic’s defense forced 21 total turnovers in the game while the Lady Chiefs forced just eight turnovers.
“Kickapoo is always a pretty decent team and you always want to get that win before you go on that long Christmas break before the Pink and White tournament.
“We came out focused and I thought at the beginning of the game, we were all ready to go.”
Heinzler led all scorers with 33 points and senior Lindsey Carlson pulled down six rebounds for Republic.
Sophomore Natalie Closser led Kickapoo with 11 points and junior Hannah Schumacher had six rebounds.
For Heinzler, the pain is becoming less and less of a factor, but she’s still a few weeks away from feeling any residual effects.
“I’m still battling it to get back to the point where I don’t have to wear tape on it anymore,” Heinzler said.
“I still have to give it a couple of weeks before I get back to normal.
“I sprained my left one before, so I’ve already been through this, it just takes a while to heal.”