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Cougars win the first game in region play

Clearwater Christian went into the South Region tournament as the number 4 seed with a region record of 7-5. Their first round opponent was the host team, Johnson University. The Cougars topped the Suns in the two previous meetings, but the last meeting was only a 5 point win. The game was close throughout, with the Suns taking an early lead, but the Cougars erased the deficit and went into the intermission with a 4 point advantage. Both teams shot over 50% from the floor in the first half. The second half was almost identical to the first with the exception of each team scored 14 more points in the second half than they did in the first. The high scoring event was a fitting way for the Cougars to start out the tournament.
Clearwater had 4 players in double figures led by Mike Key with 37, Devin Paularinne had 18, Caleb Thompson shipped in 17, and Erik McRae added 14. Key also had 5 assists. Paularinne and Danny Favaro each had 6 rebounds.