WHEATLAND — The big leads never seemed to last long enough, but the Calamus-Wheatland boys basketball team kept building them in its 2020 opener with Lisbon Friday night.
The Warriors saw a nine-point first quarter lead disappear, a 12-point third quarter advantage dwindle to four and a 12-point fourth quarter lead suffer the same fate.
But the one thing the Warriors did not do is face a deficit as they handled each of the Lions’ rallies in a 52-43 victory.
Cal-Wheat started fast, bolting out to a 5-0 lead on a Kaden Schnede hoop inside and Caleb Banowetz three-pointer and steadily adding to it. Two more Schnede buckets, a Brady Buchmeyer offensive put-back and two Austin Henning free throws made it 13-4 Warriors late in the first quarter.
The Lions, though, scored the final three points of the stanza and then the first five of the second quarter to pull within one before tying things up at 14.
Undeterred, the Warriors broke the tie with a Chase Knoche three-pointer and began to stretch their lead again. By the time the first half came to a close, Cal-Wheat’s advantage had grown back to six at 24-18.
And it kept growing. Schnede opened the second half with a hoop, while Buchmeyer scored four straight points to make it 30-18.
The Lions had another answer, reeling off an 11-3 run (another Knoche three provided the Warriors’ points) to get back within four.
They could get no closer. Instead, the Warriors picked up hoops inside from Brian Forret, Seth Beuthien and Schnede to push the margin back to 10, and it was 43-35 Cal-Wheat heading to the fourth.
Four more points by Buchmeyer to start the final stanza made it another 12-point game before Lisbon made one final push, hitting back-to-back three-pointers and then a hoop inside to make it 47-43.
The Lions, though, would not score again. Instead, Forret struck for two baskets inside and Buchmeyer added a free throw to create the final nine-point margin.
Schnede led the way for the Warriors with 16 points, while Buchmeyer was right behind him with 15, while also grabbing 10 rebounds.
Knoche chipped in nine points on three different three-pointers, while Forret scored all five of his points after halftime.