CLARENCE — In a contest dominated by short burst of points, it was the one extended run that turned out to be the difference in Monday’s non-conference game between the Calamus-Wheatland and North Cedar boys basketball teams.
Through more than two-and-a-half quarters, neither the Warriors nor Knights had been able to string together more than two consecutive baskets.
That made for some close basketball. In the first quarter, the biggest lead for either side was four points; in the third quarter, it was five points.
With Cal-Wheat leading 46-42 in the third, however, the hosting Knights put together the game’s only true run.
North Cedar scored the final seven points of the third quarter to turn their deficit into a lead and then the first five points of the fourth quarter to create enough separation to keep the Warriors at bay in an eventual 76-66 victory.
Two early three-pointers gave North Cedar the biggest lead of the opening quarter — 6-2 — but it did not last long as Cal-Wheat scored eight of the next 10 points, capped off by a Brady Buchmeyer three that put the Warriors in front 10-8.
That lead, though, also evaporated and the two teams ended the stanza tied at 12.
North Cedar broke the tie with the first two points of the second quarter, but Cal-Wheat countered with back-to-back three-pointers by Chase Knoche to jump back in front.
The Warriors would stay there for the rest of the first half, going up by as much as seven points in the quarter before taking a 32-27 lead into the break.
The Knights closed the gap. They got within a point at 32-31 and even tied things up at 42, but the Warriors responded in both instances.
Back-to-back hoops by Austin Henning and Buchmeyer broke the latter tie, but that also proved to be the precursor to the Knights run.
North Cedar used its 7-0 push to close the quarter to go up 49-46 and then stretched its lead to eight with the completion of its run.
Kaden Schnede ended the push with a hoop, but the Warriors could not get the margin under six points the rest of the way.
Buchmeyer led a trio of Warriors in double-figures with 20 points, while Schnede added 16 and Knoche turned a trio of three-pointers into 13 points.
Caleb Banowetz added eight points and Brian Forret had six.
Buchmeyer added a team-high seven rebounds to his 20 points and dished out 11 assists, while also coming up with four steals.
Banowetz also had four steals, while Knoche grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists.