ELDRIDGE — Three conference rematches yielded three different outcomes for the Central DeWitt boys basketball team.
The Sabers started the week by avenging an earlier MAC loss to North Scott with a low-scoring 42-36 victory.
Three days later, Central DeWitt turned Friday’s rematch with Clinton into its second victory over the River Kings, bursting out of the gate for a 21-9 first quarter lead in an eventual 71-59 win.
The Sabers’ six-game winning streak, however, came to an end Saturday as Davenport Assumption got revenge for Central DeWitt’s victory 11 days earlier by knocking off the visiting Sabers, 53-41.
Points were hard to come by in Tuesday’s visit to The Pit, especially early, as the two teams combined for just 28 points during the first half.
A pair of late three-pointers by Gibson McEwen helped the Sabers to an 11-9 lead after a quarter and it was still a two-point game at the half after Central DeWitt held the Lancers without a field goal in the second quarter.
The scoring began to pick up in the second half as the Sabers received a spark from their outside shooting: Shawn Gilbert, Henry Bloom and McEwen all had threes during Central DeWitt’s 13-point third quarter.
Gilbert had seven points in the period and scored the first points of the fourth quarter as well to give the Sabers their biggest lead at 30-18.
The Lancers would cut that margin in half three times during the fourth, but never got any closer than six the rest of the way in the Sabers’ victory.
Gilbert paced the Sabers with 15 points, while McEwen joined him in double figures with 11. Bloom and Muhl both had five points and combined for seven assists and three steals, while Matthew Watters pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
The 36 points the Sabers allowed, meanwhile, were a season-low as North Scott shot 31.3 percent from the field, including just 5-of-17 inside the three-point line.
Outside shooting spurred Central DeWitt to a big early lead in Friday’s visit to Clinton.
The Sabers buried five three-pointers in the opening quarter alone and went 8-of-13 on their three-point attempts in their 12-point victory.
Four of those threes came in the early moments of the game as the visitors bolted out to a 15-4 lead, while the fifth trey capped the scoring in the Sabers’ 21-point first quarter.
Central DeWitt kept pushing, scoring 14 of the first 19 points in the second stanza to get its lead as large as 21 before heading into the break up 39-21.
Another big offensive quarter — 19 points — to start the second half put the Sabers in the lead for good and Central DeWitt led by as many as 27 in the fourth quarter before Clinton closed that wide gap late.
The Sabers traded points with Assumption early in Saturday’s meeting and the two teams were tied at 14-14 early in the second quarter.
The Knights, though, outscored their guests, 10-3, for the remainder of the opening half and never let their lead fall below that seven-point threshold the rest of the way in a 12-point victory.
Central DeWitt cooled off behind the arc, making just four of their 14 three-point tries, while Assumption made half of its 12 attempts from downtown, while also going 13-of-15 from the free throw line.
McEwen led the way for the Sabers with 14 points, while Bloom was right behind him with 13. Watters had six points, while McConohy matched that number with six rebounds.
Sabers part of highly-touted substate
The Sabers are part of a strong 3A Substate 4 field that features both the second- and fourth-ranked teams in the class.
Central DeWitt earned the third-seed in the class and will host Center Point-Urbana on Monday night with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Stormin’ Pointers are 9-12 on the season with all nine of those victories coming against fellow WaMaC West foes. The two teams last met a season ago — Center Point-Urbana, an eventual state qualifier won 55-32 — but both teams look very different: of the 10 players that started last year’s matchup, all but two were seniors.
A victory would create a semifinal matchup against either second-seeded Monticello (18-0) or seventh-seeded Vinton-Shellsburg (9-9) three days later in Monticello. The higher-seeded Panthers are currently ranked second in Class 3A and have had just two games decided by fewer than 10 points (both to Camanche).
Solon (17-2), meanwhile, has earned the top seed. The Spartans are ranked fourth in the class and had won 15 games in a row before falling to Mount Vernon last Tuesday. The start of that winning streak came after Solon fell to Central DeWitt — 61-56 in overtime — in both team’s season opener.