By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
The lead changed hands four times in the fourth quarter between the eighth grade West Warriors and Kepley Cubs Tuesday, but the final lead change was the only one that mattered.
West was able to move to 5-1 with a 42-40 win.
Britton Abbott led the way for the Warriors with 14 points, Lorenzo Pando had seven, Blake Stout scored six, Mario Neal had six, and Blake Brenneman scored five.
The Warriors fell behind early, 15-10, but a strong defensive effort in the second quarter reduced the Kepley lead to 21-20 at half.
The Warriors were abel to tie the game, 29-29 heading in to the final quarter.
The Cubs jumped out to a 33-29 lead before Stout and Neal combined for four points to tie the game.
Kepley crawled back out to a three-point lead, but Abbott was able to hit four straight free throws to give the Warriors a 38-37 lead.
Kepley immediately responded to reclaim the lead, and with 38.3 seconds to play, Kepley hit a free throw to take a 40-38 lead.
Stout tied the game with 31 seconds to play.
Kepley had a chance to take the lead but missed the front end of a one-and-one with 27 seconds remaining.
Junior Acosta also had a chance to put the Warriors ahead with 21.4 seconds. but he missed two free throws.
Abbott broke the deadlock after stealing an inbounds pass and putting the ball in with 13.1 seconds to play.
Kepley attempted a final shot but Abbott blocked the attempt and preserved the 42-40 Warrior win.
“We had a hard time getting down low in the first half,” West coach Nick Zimmerman said. “In the second half we were abel to get the ball down low and kick it back out. These guys fought hard. They hustled and got a win.”
Zimmerman was complimentary of the Cubs.
“This was the best team we’ve faced so far,” he said. “It feels good to pull a win out against them.”
West will travel to Guymon Monday.