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Mt. Vernon's Joey Curl On Defense Against Ozark In Blue Division Semifinal Game At The 67th Annual Greenwood Blue And Gold Tournament
The Republic Tigers withstood a furious comeback attempt by the Branson Pirates, hanging on to win 58-55 Friday night and move on to the Gold Division finals in the 67th Annual Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament.
Republic, seeded second, took a 41-28 lead into the fourth quarter at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, but Branson chipped away and took its first lead on a three pointer with 1:20 remaining, 53-52.
The lead changed hands three more times in the next 40 seconds as each team ran up the court and hit shots. Jake Fletcher hit two big free throws with 12.6 seconds to go, putting his team up by three, 58-55.
Branson had one last shot to tie it with a three pointer, but Da'Quan Ervin's attempt from the right wing missed with two seconds, and the Tigers survived.
Kendall Willard had 13 points to lead Branson, followed by Ervin with 11 and Thatch Unruh with ten. Dylan Bekemeier's 17 points led Republic.
The top seeded Parkview Vikings are in the Gold Division finals and will face Republic Saturday night at 7:30. The Vikings, behind Erik Durham's 35 points, topped Bolivar 47-41 at Hammons Student Center. Durham becomes the 28th player in tournament history to hit the 35 point mark.
Chance Rash led the Liberators with 21 points.
Parkview jumped out to an 11-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Bolivar pulled within five, 19-14, at the half. The Vikings went up 32-21 after three.
The Vikings pulled within six, 41-35, with under two minutes left in regulation, but A.J. Green hit a shot with 1:50 left to put his team back up by eight. Bolivar had trouble fouling the Vikings down the stretch and let a lot of seconds come off the clock.
Parkview will meet the winner of the Republic-Branson game in Saturday night's Gold Division title game at 7:30 p.m. at JQH Arena.
The Ozark Tigers have advanced to the Blue Division championship game. Brett Krisik's shot underneath the basket with 1:18 left in regulation proved to be the winner as the Tigers beat Mt. Vernon 59-58 in semifinal round action.
Mt. Vernon had a chance for the last shot, but an Ozark foul gave the Mountaineers the ball out of bounds with 1.6 seconds on the clock. Mt. Vernon got the ball to Zane Phillips, whose three point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Phillips had 16 to lead the Mountaineers, while Chandler Myers scored 15 and Shane Williams 14 points. Krisik led the way for the Tigers with 17.
The game stayed close throughout, with Ozark holding a 19-18 edge at the end of the first quarter and a 32-27 lead at halftime. The Tigers were up 49-45 after three, and Mount Vernon took the lead 58-57 on Luke Call's three pointer with 2:25 to play.
Ozark will take on fellow Central Ozark Conference rival Nixa. The Eagles are playing in their third straight Blue Division championship game, beating West Plains 81-51 in the first semifinal game of the night. The title game tips off at 6:00 p.m. Saturday at JQH Arena.
Nixa jumped out to a 15-2 lead and the Zizzers could never get close. The Eagles had a 26-17 lead after the first quarter, then scored 30 points in the second period to go up 56-22 at the half. With Nixa leading 73-38 at the end of three, the clock kept running in the final frame and the Eagles emptied their bench.
Jalen Norman and Austin Ruder had 17 points each for Nixa while Bryce Dulin scord 15. Taylor Gill's 13 points led the way for the Zizzers.
The Eagles have won the last two Blue Division championships.
Here are the final scores from Friday night's winner's bracket semifinals at the 67th Annual Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament:
Blue Division Semifinals:
(1) Nixa 85, (4) West Plains 51
(7) Ozark 59, (6) Mt. Vernon 58
Gold Division Semifinals:
(1) Parkview 47, Bolivar 41
(2) Republic 58, (6) Branson 55
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