BUFFALO CENTER - Alex Krantz scored 24 points and Aric Runge scored 22 as North Union won its first-round game opened the season with a 69-48 victory over Corwith-Wesley-Luverne on Monday.
The Warriors had beaten the Panthers in two previous meetings in the regular season. North Union (5-11) now faces Belmond-Klemme (18-3) at Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona on Thursday. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
Against CWL, Krantz had the hot hand early with a 3-pointer and seven points in the first quarter as North Union led 12-8. The 6-3 junior hit two 3-pointers early in the second quarter to push the lead to 18-11 and start a 14-3 run. Trent Pedersen, Jacob Braddock all contributed as North Union built its biggest lead of the first half, 26-11.
But CWL scored the next five points and the teams traded baskets to end the half with North Union leading 28-18 at the break.
Runge picked up the pace in the second half, scoring eight of North Union's first 11 points with Krantz also hitting another 3-pointer for a 39-23 Warrior edge. Krantz' fifth 3-pointer started an11-4 run which included contributions from Runge, Kaleb Olson and Braden Ortman for the biggest lead of the third, quarter, 48-30. North Union led 50-35 to start the final frame.
The Panthers got as close as 11 points, 58-47, but North Union ended the game on a 11-1 run.
Krantz finished 9-of-18 from the field including 6-of-13 from 3-point range while grabbing eight rebounds. Runge was 8-of-12 from the field and 6-of8 from the free throw line. Runge also had eight rebounds
Braddock finished with nine points, including 5-of-6 from the free throw line, along with seven rebounds.
Colin Runksmeier contributed six points, five assists and three steals. Pedersen, Ortman and Olson each had two points.
Jared Haler led CWL with 18 points and Esden Carroll had 13.