If last night's girls basketball game at West Springfield is any indication, it's going to be a Wight Christmas for the Spartans.

Led by junior guard Julie Wight and a tenacious defense, West Springfield came from behind to defeat Lee, 69-64, in a nondistrict Northern Region contest.

Wight led the Spartans (3-0) with 22 points, 16 of them in the second half, as West Springfield erased a 10-point halftime lead by the Lancers. Sophomore Jen Terry added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who outrebounded the Lancers by a 43-22 margin.

Zeki Blanding, Lee's All-Met center, paced the Lancers (1-2) with 23 points, but could manage only six after intermission as the Spartans' sagging defense began to take effect.

"She is so tall it's hard to get the ball {from her}," said Wight of the 6-foot-3 Blanding. "But if you collapse on her . . . It's hard for anybody to shoot the ball like that."

The Spartans trailed the entire night until managing to tie the game at 49 on a three-point play by Wight with only 1:05 left in the third quarter.

Shannon Carlin (12 points) answered with a three-point shot for Lee, but nonstarters Madeleine Falco and Mashiya Newman each converted two free throws to give West Springfield a 53-52 lead after three quarters.

After the teams virtually traded baskets for much of the final quarter, Amber O'Conner got her only basket of the night to cut the Spartans' lead to 62-61 with 1:27 to play.

But Falco hit two more free throws and Meleata Smalls came off the bench to put in two baskets and give the Spartans a comfortable 68-61 lead with about 15 seconds left.

"Our bench was the key. We can go nine players deep and that makes it tough," said West Springfield Coach Bill Gibson.

Poor shooting and an inability to defense Blanding inside led to West Springfield's 10-point halftime deficit. The Spartans connected on only 13 of 39 (33 percent) first-half shots as the Lancers took a 40-30 halftime lead.

Blanding, operating exclusively from the lane, scored 17 points in the first half. Tasha Courtney assisted Blanding inside in the opening period with 12 points.

Lee jumped out to an 11-4 advantage on the strength of two Courtney rebounds for baskets. West Springfield was never able to get closer than five points in the opening half.