WRIGHT CITY — Sophomore guard Matthew Weber connected for a game-high 19 points — including five 3-pointers — as the Thunderbirds fended off the Wildcats in an EMO win in Thursday night's regular-season finale.
North Callaway (12-12, 6-3 Eastern Missouri Conference) was on top 14-11 after one quarter and owned a narrow 27-24 lead at halftime. The Thunderbirds outscored Wright City 15-9 in the third quarter to extend their advantage to 42-33.
North Callaway turned away the Wildcats by edging them 17-16 in the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Cody Cash also tallied 18 points, nine steals, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Thunderbirds. Freshman guard Sam Pezold responded with all 13 of his points in the second half, while senior forward Noah Scrogum pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds.
"We played with good defensive energy and we did a really good job of moving the basketball and sharing it," North Callaway head coach Matt Miller said. "It was a good night on both ends of the court.
"The last four minutes, we played really good, sound basketball to close out the game."
Brandon Contreras countered with 13 points to lead three players in double figures for Wright City (7-16, 4-6). Hayden Beck was next with 12 points and Kyle Johnson contributed 10.
The Thunderbirds (4-13) bowed in the junior varsity contest 61-34. Freshman forward Isiah Craighead produced 17 points.
North Callaway is the sixth seed for next week's Class 4, District 7 Tournament. The Thunderbirds travel to No. 3 seed Hallsville for a quarterfinal matchup at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
North Callaway lost at Hallsville 82-71 on Dec. 29.
"We have to focus on the defensive end," Miller said. "Hallsville has a talented team and they shoot a lot of 3s — they're quick and athletic.
"Defense has been a point of emphasis for us the last month, month-and-a-half. We've been playing pretty well (on that end)."