By THE HERALD-WHIG
EWING, Mo. -- The Palmyra boys basketball team put the ball in the hands of the right player with a good look at the basket. The shot simply wouldn't go down.
Brock Butler's 3-point attempt in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter rimmed out, and third-seeded Highland claimed a 69-66 win over second-seeded Palmyra in a Highland Tournament semifinal game Thursday night.
"We got Butler a good look, and it just went in and out on us," Palmyra coach Brian Meny said. "I know he was upset that he missed it, but things happen.
"We missed plenty of shots throughout the game, or else we wouldn't have been in that position."
The Cougars will play top-seeded Canton in Saturday's championship. The Tigers defeated No. 5 Clark County 58-29 in the other semifinal.
Palmyra (6-5) and Highland were tied at 28 at halftime before the game turned more up tempo in the third quarter, when the Panthers scored 21 points and took a one-point lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Highland opened up an eight-point lead midway through the fourth quarter before Palmyra rallied to make it a one-possession game.
Austin Richmiller and Derick Smith scored 22 points apiece for Highland. Brandon Davie added 12 points and created plenty of chances for Richmiller.
"When (Davie) gets in the lane, he finds Richmiller pretty well," Meny said. "Richmiller, I thought, was the difference.
"You know what Smith is going to bring to the table, and he was good, but Richmiller was the difference."
Butler led Palmyra with 19 points. Trevor Meny added 16 points and Bazil Keller had 11 for Palmyra.
Brandon Berhorst, Gabe McKenzie scored 17 points apiece for Canton, and Tyler Niemann added 12.
The Tigers (10-0) were up 12-4 after one quarter and 28-15 at halftime.
Kyle Kovar led No. 5 Clark County (5-5) with eight points.
No. 7 Macon beat No. 6 Knox County 61-54 to advance to face No. 4 South Shelby in Saturday's consolation championship.
The Eagles (5-7) trailed 33-21 at halftime.
Knox County eventually tied the game at 40 going into the fourth quarter, but Macon used an advantage on the glass to earn the win.
Royce Poore led the Eagles with 21 points, and Lee Tague added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Knox County's Donovan Edwards chipped in 10 points and nine assists.