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Cougars upset Miller in district semifinal

Feb. 22—All signs pointed to a close contest between the No. 3 seed College Heights Cougars and No. 2 seed Miller Cardinals before the start of their Class 2 District 12 semifinal game on Thursday at the College Heights Athletic Complex.

Sometimes signs are wrong, and the Cougars showed that with a 60-35 win over Miller on Thursday.

The Cougars entered the game at 16-10 and Mlller at 16-9 as College Heights looked to avenge an early December 66-59 loss to the Cardinals.

And avenge the Cougars did. Now they will return to the district championship. A game they lost by 14 to Marionville last season. This time no. 1 seed Ash Grove awaits College Heights.

Miller opened with a 3-pointer from Owen Weiss to take an early lead, but back-to-back scores by Adam Stanton and Caleb Quade gave the Cougars a 4-3 lead.

Miller regained the lead at 5-4 on an Owen Weiss bucket, but that is the last lead it would hold.

College Heights quickly regained the lead and extended it to four at 9-5 with 2:20 left off another Quade score. It held on to an 11-9 lead after the first quarter.

The Cougars outscored Miller 13-4 in the second frame to take a 24-13 lead into halftime.

By 4:30 of the third quarter, the Cougars had built a 30-16 lead and by 3:38 extended it to 20 at 39-19 off a Jadon Smith score. That lead swelled to 46-24 on a drive to the basket by Colsen Dickens at 1:22 and the Cougars went on to close out the quarter with a 46-31 lead.

The Cougar defense gave up just 4 points in the final frame to earn the 60-35 win and advance to Saturday's final at 6 p.m. against top-seeded Ash Grove.

"God is good, that's all I can say," CHCS head coach Stephan Harrel said after the game. "He was all up in and through that thing from beginning to end. My boys had so much energy, they just came out fired up. It went from the first quarter all the way through."

Quade led College Heights with 19 points. Dickens added 11 and Stanton 10.

Weiss paced Miller with 13 points, while John Snider chipped in 7.