WHEATLAND — Its first run of the second half was answered.
So was its second.
But the Calamus-Wheatland boys basketball team’s third run turned out to be the perfect capper to a perfect week.
Hosting Alburnett Thursday night, the Warriors built eight-point leads to start both the third and fourth quarters only to see the Pirates erase them down to two both times.
The Warriors’ answer was one final run — a 14-4 push — that finally put their guests away, 81-69, and clinched an undefeated first week in 2021.
The 81 points were a season-high for Cal-Wheat, which knocked down nearly half of their shots from the floor and made more two-point shots (25) than Alburnett did shots from both two-point and three-point land (24).
It was a three-point game (42-39) at the start of the third quarter and Alburnett’s hoop to start the second half made it even closer.
The Warriors, though, created some separation: Kaden Schnede scored on a put-back, Austin Henning added his own hoop inside, Brady Buchmeyer knocked down two free throws and Seth Beuthien finished a possession — in which he made a leaping save of a loose ball — by burying a three from the corner to make it 51-43.
Cal-Wheat, though, could not put away the Pirates. Alburnett rattled off eight of the next 10 points to get back within two and even had the score tied at 59 before Buchmeyer gave the Warriors the lead heading to fourth.
Again, the hosts pulled away. Cole VanderHeiden opened the fourth by knocking down two free throws, Beuthien turned a steal into a breakaway lay-up and Henning added his own hoop to make it 67-59.
Alburnett answered right back, scoring the next six points to make it a two-point game.
Buchmeyer ended the run with a big three, but the Pirates scored again to make it 70-67.
The Warriors had one more run in them. Henning scored twice and Schnede sandwiched a free throw between and Cal-Wheat followed Alburnett’s last basket of the game by tacking on six final points — a Schnede hoop, a Buchmeyer drive and two Buchmeyer free throws.
The Warriors started strong behind Schnede, who had a monster first half.
The seeds were planted early as the senior center scored the game’s first points on a three-point play and proceeded to score the next five points as well.
Schnede tallied Cal-Wheat’s first nine points and had 13 in the opening stanza as the Warriors opened a 15-7 lead.
Alburnett, though, fought back. It ended the first quarter with back-to-back threes and then scored the first five points of the second period to take its first lead at 20-19.
The Pirates got in front by as many as six points in the second quarter, but still had no answer for Schnede, who wrapped up a 25-point first half with 12 points in the second quarter.
Beuthien and VanderHeiden added key three-pointers and Buchmeyer beat the first-half buzzer with a lay-up to give the Warriors their three-point halftime lead.
Schnede finished with 30 points and added 16 rebounds for a double-double.
Buchmeyer had his own double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Henning had 10 points, Beuthien eight and VanderHeiden seven. Henning and Beuthien both dished out four assists, while VanderHeiden and Connor Scheer each had two steals.
The Warriors entered the game riding the momentum of back-to-back routs on Monday and Tuesday.
Cal-Wheat scored the first 13 points in Monday’s 2021 opener with Central City and never looked back in a 70-37 victory.
The Warriors continued to wreak havoc inside. They made over 50 percent of their two-point tries in the victory, while putting up a whopping 48 points in the paint.
Schnede’s 21 points were a team-high with seven other players — Henning (nine), Beuthien (eight), VanderHeiden (eight), Magnus Sands (seven), Scheer (six), Buchmeyer (five) and Josh Gronewold (four) scoring between four and nine points.
VanderHeiden pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Buchmeyer dished out seven assists, while Scheer and Beuthien both had four assists (the latter also came up with three steals).
A night later, the Warriors broke open a five-point game with Marquette Catholic by outscoring the Mohawks, 27-12 over the final quarter-and-a-half.
Schnede was again dominant, pouring in a career-high 34 points, while adding 12 rebounds.
Buchmeyer added 18 points and 12 rebounds of his own, while also dishing out six assists.
Beuthien chipped in seven points, while Scheer had six. VanderHeiden, meanwhile, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists.