PRESTON — Facing off against one of highest-scoring squads in Class 1A, the Calamus-Wheatland boys basketball team kept pace with fifth-ranked Easton Valley early.
But the Warriors then went cold at the end of the opening quarter and stayed that way for the remainder of the first half.
The River Hawks took advantage, turning their 11-9 lead into a 37-15 advantage at halftime en route to an 81-45 victory (Easton Valley’s sixth game already this season over 70 points).
The Warriors struck first on a Kaden Schnede hoop inside and answered the River Hawks’ early success from three-point land — the host’s first nine points came on threes — with five straights points, a Brian Forret put-back and Caleb Banowetz three, to make it 11-9.
That proved to the last of the Warriors’ scoring in the first quarter, however, allowing Easton Valley to score the stanza’s final 10 points and push the margin to 12 heading to the second quarter.
The Warriors’ offensive troubles followed them into the second quarter. Cal-Wheat made just two of its attempts from the floor — a three-pointer by Brady Buchmeyer and a Schnede put-back — and another big River Hawks run to close a quarter, this one a 12-0 push, helped give the hosts a big lead at the half.
Cal-Wheat nearly doubled its first-half offensive output with 14 points in the third quarter — Banowetz, Buchmeyer and Schnede combined for all but two of them — but the River Hawks caught fire, too, scoring a game-high 28 points in the quarter to extend their advantage.
Warriors junior Seth Beuthien had a monster fourth quarter, scoring all of his team-high 10 points in the stanza.
Schnede added nine points, while Banowetz chipped in eight, Buchmeyer seven and Josh Gronewold five.