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|2/13/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Warriors take over in third quarter to topple Irish
|Cal-Wheat senior Justin Alden pulls up for a shot in the lane during the Warriors’ district opener with Prince of Peace, Monday night. Alden led a trio of Warriors in double-figures with 18 points (Jake Janssen had 17 and John Diercks 12) as Cal-Wheat knocked off the Irish for a third time this season, 63-48.|
By Ross Eberhart
The Calamus-Wheatland boys basketball team had already proven that it could make up for a slow start during Monday night's district opener with Prince of Peace.
But the Warriors were not about to take any chances when the second half began.
Instead, Cal-Wheat made sure it was the Irish who would be fighting to make up for a slow start.
Up 25-22 at the break, the Warriors took control of the game by scoring the first nine points of the second half and never looked back in a 63-48 victory.
Cal-Wheat exploded offensively in the third quarter as the Warriors nearly matched their first half output with 23 points, but Warrior head coach Greg Rickels also credited a change in his team's defense.
"We switched our defense on them and gave them a new look," Rickels said of the Warriors, who switched to a triangle-and-two (and, depending on the personnel, a box-and-one). "I like our kids effort - we wanted to get out and run during the second half and we were able to grab some rebounds, get some outlet passes and force the issue."
The Warriors set the tone in the second half by scoring twice in the opening minute of the third quarter.
Jake Janssen tallied the first two points as he grabbed two of his own misses and put in the third one. Justin Alden added a hoop of his own and Cal-Wheat was off and running.
The Warriors went back inside to Janssen, who scored again before John Diercks gave Cal-Wheat its first double-digit lead of the night with a three-pointer.
Prince of Peace got on the board with a banker in the lane, but Cal-Wheat came right back with Janssen scoring again in the paint before Alden made it a 13-point game (37-24) with a free throw.
The two teams traded the next 14 points (Alden drained a three and added a hoop inside, while Nolan Christensen drove in for a lay-up) before Spencer Kerr pushed the lead to 15 with a long jumper.
Prince of Peace had their own small run with three-straight free throws, but it was the Warriors who scored last in the quarter as Diercks got behind the defense for a lay-up.
Another Janssen hoop to start the fourth quarter gave Cal-Wheat a 16-point lead (50-34), but the Irish came back with a 6-1 run to pull back within 11.
Cal-Wheat stretched the lead back to 15 on an offensive put-back by Austin Houzenga and a pair of Janssen free throws, but the Irish knocked it back down to 11 with four minutes to go.
Both teams went a minute without scoring before the Warriors put the game away with Janssen scoring inside and Christensen bounding in for a lay-in.
Alden added two points of his own for the Warriors before Lucas Looney finished Cal-Wheat's scoring with a hoop in the paint.
The baskets were hard to come by for the Warriors in the first half and Cal-Wheat was held to just three free throws (Austin Bumann had two, Janssen one) during the first five minutes of the game.
The Irish, though, scored just five points during that same stretch and the Warriors held Prince of Peace scoreless for the final four-plus minutes of the period.
The defensive effort helped the Warriors climb back in the game as Diercks kicked off a stretch of eight-straight points to end the quarter with Cal-Wheat's first field goal of the game.
Janssen added a bucket of his own on an offensive put-back and Diercks scored again on a drive. Christensen added a short jumper and the Warriors went into the second quarter up 11-5.
Alden opened the second quarter with a bucket to add to the Cal-Wheat lead and the Warriors still led 17-9 with five minutes to go in the first half.
Cal-Wheat, though, would go more than three minutes without scoring and a 9-0 Irish run gave Prince of Peace the lead.
The Warriors finally got back on the board with an Alden hoop and Cal-Wheat would not trail again.
Diercks followed Alden's bucket with two free throws and an offensive put-back by the Warriors made it 23-18 Cal-Wheat.
The Irish scored twice more to pull back within one, but Alden scored his seventh and eighth points of the period on a hoop inside with two minutes remaining to set the stage for Cal-Wheat's big second half.
Alden led all scorers with 18 with Janssen right behind him with 17. Diercks made it three Warriors in double-figures with 12 points, while Christensen added six of his own for Cal-Wheat, which returns to action tomorrow night for a quarterfinal matchup at Preston against the Trojans.
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