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Republic beats Smithville for girls Class 4 title

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Alice Heinzler made three free throws and forced a steal in the final minute Saturday to lead Republic to a 53-51 victory against Smithville in the Missouri Class 4 girls state championship game.

Heinzler scored 16 points and Sarah Kreul added 12 points for Republic (23-8), which had seen its 10-point second-half lead evaporate before Heinzler's two free throws with 31.2 seconds put the Tigers up 52-51.

Republic scored the final five points in the game and won its third state title.

Bethany Pierce led Smithville (26-6) with 15 points and Paige Imhoff scored nine in the final six minutes, but the Warriors' rally fell short and they finished as state runners-up for the second straight year.

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