Climax Springs will be playing for some hardware and the right to advance to the Class 1 state tournament Friday night.

Climax Springs will be playing for some hardware and the right to advance to the Class 1 state tournament Friday night.

The Cougars met Wheatland in the Class 1 District 7 semifinals Tuesday night at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar and the third-seeded Cougars took down No. 2 Wheatland 64-56 to advance to the championship game.

“We’ve come a long way in two years, super proud of these young ladies,” Climax Springs coach Ron Rhodes said. "We’ve basically been playing with five players since C.J. Dake tore her ACL three weeks ago. The team is maturing and we will have our hands full with defending state champion Walnut Grove."

A good start helped make the opportunity happen as Climax Springs jumped out to a 21-11 lead after the first quarter against Wheatland and commanded a 32-25 lead at halftime. That was all the Cougars needed as the team was able to protect its lead the rest of the way.

Autumn Wallace led Climax Springs with 21 points and collected 11 rebounds for another double-double night. The Cougars were fairly balanced overall offensively as Maranda Burke finished with a career high 18 points, Abi Wolfe knocked down 10, Hailey McIntosh put up nine and Jayden Butterfield recorded six.

Climax Springs (19-8) meets top-seeded Walnut Grove (23-5) for the title on Friday at 6 p.m.