What began Monday with 32 boys basketball teams vying for winter break glory, widdled down to four with just two games left for all the marbles.

Our first heavy-weight fight of the night came from the Blue bracket, pitting Sparta, the 5-seed against the 2-seed, Republic who still hasn’t forgotten their finals loss to Hartsville in 2020.

With just over five minutes to go in the third, Kamari Edwards doing the dirty work inside to get the put-back and give the Tigers 29-24 lead.

Next Republic possession, Renley Hagewood pump fakes, then gets to the rim for the duece. Republic up seven.

With 90 seconds left in the quarter, Alante Askew gets the and-1 as nothing goes askew for Republic! They beat Sparta 51-44 to claim the Blue bracket championship.

Then there’s the Gold bracket. You got top-seeded Nixa and 2nd-seeded Logan-Rodgersville vying for King Midas’ crown.

From the opening tip, the Eagles set the tone. Especially when Corey Kemp drills a corner 3 to draw first blood in this championship bout.

A little later in the period, Josh Peters hoists up a 3-pointer of his own ringing the bell to make it 8-4, but he wasn’t done yet.

Peters drilled at least six triples in the first half helping the Eagles ultimately build a 23-point cushion as Nixa clinches the Gold championship winning 59-38.