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Morning Sports Report - Friday, Dec. 27, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- For decades, Ozark-area sports fans have avoided the mall the day after Christmas and flocked to Missouri State University for the annual Blue and Gold Tournament.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- For decades, Ozark-area sports fans have avoided the mall the day after Christmas and flocked to Missouri State University for the annual Blue and Gold Tournament.

Since the late 40s, it's been a boy’s basketball tradition.

The Blue and Gold is actually two, 16-team, double elimination tournaments that run at the same time at both JQH Arena and the Hammons Student Center.

On the gold division side, the Nixa Eagles are the top seed and opened the tourney yesterday against Conway.

And the Bears out to a quick start, Andrew Huckaby to Nathan Neal for the hoop: It's 5-2 Conway.

Nixa starts to heat up, the Eagles swing the ball to Jacob Ruder, who knocks down the three from the wing, it's 8-5 Eagles.

Then it’s Nixa with a little inside-outside action. Inside to Ruder who kicks it back out to Logan Middleton in the corner, he splashes the three. It's 11-5 Eagles.

Later it’s Nixa with the defense. Middleton gets the steal, down the floor to get the hoop and the foul, he finished with 25 points and Nixa advances 85-57.

Republic won the gold last year and opened tonight against Willow Springs.

And this was a tiger mauling.

The inbounds pass to Canyon Smith with the catch and shoot three, it's 6-nothing Republic.

Republic swinging it around the horn to Dylan Bekemeier, who swishes the three pointer: 11-nothing Tigers.

Republic's defense shut Willow Springs down. Jordan Kerr with the steal, down the floor and the pass to Bekemeier for the layup: 15-nothing.

More Tiger perimeter work: Dakota Fortner with the three, 18-nothing after one quarter.

And Republic wins 71-15.

The top seed on the blue side is Kickapoo. Coach Dick Rippee is looking for his first Blue and Gold title as the Chiefs coach.

Kickapoo faced off against Fair Grove.

And the Eagles on a run early second quarter, Fair Grove's Jayden Happel with the three, it's a three point game.

But Kickapoo would pull away. Matt Ridder gives it up, and then gets it back and hits the jumper from the elbow. It's 24-19 Chiefs.

Kickapoo shares the ball nicely. Parker Dean drives to the hole, then dishes to Tyson Batiste for the easy hoop, Chiefs by seven.

Then Batiste gets it, takes a look from three, and then drives to the hole with the finish.

It's 30-19 kickapoo and the chiefs go onto win 64-45.

The Blue and Gold continues today.

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