CLINTON — The road didn’t get any easier for the Clinton High boys basketball team Tuesday night.

Dubuque Wahlert took command with a big run late in the first half and put the game away with another spurt early in the second half on its way to a 72-43 win at Yourd Gymnasium.

It was Clinton’s third game in a row against a state-ranked foe. Wahlert (7-4) entered the contest rated ninth in Class 3A.

“We lost four games in a row on the road and then came home tonight to play a tough team like Wahlert,” said Clinton coach Dave Shovlain. “It’s been a tough stretch for us.”

Despite the final score, Clinton (4-8) actually led 18-16 in the second quarter before the Golden Eagles went on an 11-point run on their way to a 30-23 halftime lead.

Wahlert opened the game with a 7-2 lead before the River Kings raced back.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Michael Fullan and Evan Massey began a 12-1 run that put the River Kings ahead 14-8.

Massey also had a two-point basket during the spurt, while Mark Misiewicz added two close-range buckets.

However, Wahlert finished off the period with a flurry and managed to pull into a 14-all tie at its conclusion.

The teams traded baskets to open the second period before Clinton gained its final lead when Lance Dennis’ free throws with 5 minutes, 43 seconds remaining put the River Kings on top 18-16.

That’s when Wahlert caught fire and rattled off a dozen points in a row.

Bradley Kemp had five points during the run and Alex Brant added three.

Clinton’s scoring lull, which lasted more than 4 1/2 minutes, was finally broken when Misiewicz hit a basket and was fouled. He made the free throw, bringing the River Kings within 27-21.

After the teams traded baskets, Dan Schilling made a free throw for the Golden Eagles to put them up by seven at the half.

“We got a little tired in the first half and they capitalized on that, as well as their free throws,” said Shovlain.

Wahlert shot 14 free throws in the first half, making nine, while the River Kings went to the line just three times.

Wahlert kept up the momentum in the second half by putting together a 16-3 run.

The surge was sparked by four consecutive 3-pointers, the first two from Jake Weeber and others by Nick Kunnert and Nick Schulz.

By the time the Golden Eagles’ run was done, they were up 46-26.

They continued to cruise and led 53-30 at the end of the third frame.

“We were in the game at halftime, which has been the story all season,” said Shovlain. “We’ve just got to figure out a solution to the third quarter. We’ll be back to work on that tomorrow.

“The 3-pointers by Wahlert were a killer,” he added. “Not only did they hit the big shots, but we didn’t respond with baskets of our own.”

Weeber led Wahlert with 18 points, while Schilling was also in double figures with 13.

Misiewicz led Clinton with 11 points.

Even with the loss, Shovlain saw some positives from the game.

“I liked the effort — the effort was there,” he said. “We were on the floor for loose balls and went after things. People like Mike Fullan and Lance Dennis did a great job. We just didn’t shoot the ball very well as a team.”

Clinton was only 35 percent from the field, making 17-of-48 shots. Wahlert was nearly 50 percent on 23-of-47 shooting.

The River Kings jump back into Mississippi Athletic Conference play Friday at Muscatine. The sophomore game is at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity at approximately 7:30.

Score by Quarters

Wahlert 14 16 23 19 —72

Clinton 14 9 7 13 —43

Scoring

WAHLERT (72)

Dan Schilling 4-7 5-8 13, Jake Kunnert 1-1 0-0 3, Jake Weeber 5-9 4-4 18, Garret Uhlik 2-2 0-2 4, Neil Mehta 0-0 0-0 0, Walter Link 0-0 0-0 0, Steven Digmann 0-0 0-0 0, Bradley Kemp 4-6 1-1 9, Andrew Ernst 0-0 0-0 0, John Eggers 0-1 0-0 0, Brian Didesch 1-1 1-1 3, Chris Swift 1-1 2-2 4, Nick Kunnert 1-2 2-4 5, Nick Schulz 2-5 0-0 5, Alex Brant 3-9 2-4 8. Totals 23-44 17-26 70.

CLINTON (43)

Michael Fullan 3-10 0-0 7, Brad Williams 1-2 0-0 2, David Lakin 2-4 0-1 5, Lance Dennis 2-6 2-2 6, Shamus Kenney 1-1 0-1 2, Brandon Lackland 0-0 0-0 0, Levelle Horne 0-0 0-0 0, Curtis Howard 0-0 0-0 0, Kurtis Brondyke 1-2 0-0 2, Evan Massey 3-7 0-0 8, Mark Misiewicz 4-12 3-3 11, Taylor Swanson 0-2 0-0 0, Tony Bassett 0-2 0-0 0, Tom Baughman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-48 5-7 43.

3-point goals—Wahlert 7 (J. Kunnert, Weeber 4, N. Kunnert, Schulz); Clinton 4 (Fullan, Lakin, Massey 2). Rebounds—Wahlert 26 (Brant 8, Kemp 5); Clinton 22 (Misiewicz 4). Steals—Wahlert 10 (Schilling 4, Weeber 3); Clinton 10 (Dennis 3, Brondyke 3, Fullan 2). Turnovers—Wahlert 15, Clinton 20. Total fouls—Wahlert 14, Clinton 23.

Records—Wahlert 7-4, Clinton 4-8. Next game—Clinton at Muscatine, 7:30 p.m. Friday.