Sophomore Jen Terry converted an off-balance offensive rebound into a three-point play with 17 seconds remaining in the game, lifting sixth-ranked West Springfield over fifth-ranked Robinson, 55-51, in a AAA Northern District girls basketball game last night at Robinson.

Terry, who scored 10 of her team-high 24 points in the final quarter, grabbed a miss by Lisa Henderson, spun toward the baseline, swished the short jumper over three Rams and was fouled. Her free throw gave the Spartans (10-1, 4-0) a 53-51 lead with 17 seconds to play.

"I just knew the clock was running out and we were behind," said Terry. "I fought really hard for the ball and I was just hoping it would go in."

Robinson (10-2, 4-1) turned over the ball on its next possession and Julie Wight (15 points, nine rebounds) hit two free throws to seal the win for the Spartans.

Heather Phillips led the Rams with 25 hard-earned points as Julie Colombell shadowed the All-Met forward most of the game, forcing her into eight-of-18 shooting.

"I thought {Colombell} did a real good job," said West Springfield Coach Bill Gibson. "She made {Phillips} earn her points and that's what you have to do with a player like that."

The game was tight throughout but plagued by turnovers and fouls (49 free throws) as both teams pressed full court and sufficiently defensed their opponents' strengths.

The Spartans, who shot 18 of 48 from the floor, hit 19 of 25 from the free throw line but committed 19 turnovers.

The Rams shot 17 of 41 from the field while hitting 17 of 24 from the line but turned over the ball 18 times in a contest that included 10 ties and seven fourth-quarter lead changes.

"When they pressed we couldn't get the ball upcourt," said Phillips. "We counted on our point guard {Anne Metzger} to do too much."

With Phillips providing enough first-half offense to make the difference, Robinson led 28-25 after a first half loaded with miscues and free throws.

Phillips, who has failed to score in double figures only twice in her three varsity seasons -- including last year against the Spartans -- had 14 by intermission. She added 11 in the second half, hitting five of six free throws and three of four from the field.

But Springfield came back to tie at 35 after three quarters, setting up the final-period drama. WS (10-1) -- Wight 15, Newman 2, Henderson 1, Patton 6, Terry 24, Smalls 1, Colombell 6. Totals 18 19 55. R (10-2) -- S. Metzger 2, A. Metzger 4, Anderson 2, Phillips 25, Williams 2, Beauchamp 2, Fitzwater 1, Sheehan 13. Totals 17 17 51.

Halftime: Robinson, 28-25.