West Springfield outscored W.T. Woodson by 14-0 in the first 4:14 of the fourth quarter to rally to a 67-57 victory in a key AAA Northern District boys basketball game last night at Woodson.

The result lifted No. 13 West Springfield to 7-2 in the district and 15-3 overall. The Spartans are a half game behind Woodson, which fell to 8-2, 10-9.

The fourth-period burst began with the Spartans' main man, Jamie Warren, hitting a three-point shot and a layup to give West Springfield the lead for good at 48-47. Warren, who scored 21 points and had nine rebounds, was shut out in the third period with no points, rebounds or shots, after scoring 16 of the Spartans' 28 first-half points.

The Cavaliers just couldn't get started in the fourth quarter as they missed their first seven shots and committed three turnovers in their nightmarish stretch.

Barry Stunson, who came off the West Springfield bench to contribute 13 points and 10 rebounds, made two free throws for a 50-47 lead. Layups by Omid Mianegaz and Jim Lyons, two free throws by Ryan Contreras (16 points) and one by Stunson gave the Spartans a 57-47 margin before Greg Williams's two free throws ended Woodson's famine with 3:46 left in the game.

"They're tough to play when they get ahead," said W.T. Woodson Coach Red Jenkins. "If we're ahead, we can go inside to our big guys and make it tough on them."

Woodson starts 6-foot-8 and 6-5 players in the frontcourt and Stunson is the Spartans' tallest at 6-4. But excellent post defense by Warren and Stunson and solid outside defense from Lyons, Contreras and Jerrick Hester helped keep the swift Williams from penetrating and then dishing off to the big players. And Williams was sufficiently harassed into six-for-18 shooting and appeared slightly off most of the game.

"The first time we played them, we played zone and we didn't check out on the boards," said West Springfield Coach Jim Warren. "Our number one priority is take away penetration and number two is post defense. Jamie and Barry really stepped up in the post and we made him {Williams} shoot difficult shots."

Williams was at his best in the third quarter as the Cavaliers rallied from a 41-38 deficit to a 47-43 lead at period's close. Williams made all three of his third-quarter shots and contributed two assists. But then came the Spartans' rally.

"We have to play well against everybody," Coach Warren said. "We have no height and no quickness. But we have a lot of heart. This is a gutsy bunch of kids."

And the Spartans can frustrate teams with their patient motion offense and tight defense. Last night, they used another of their strengths -- free throw shooting -- to aid the win.

Woodson was whistled for 19 fouls, compared with 11 for the Spartans, and West Springfield made 22 of 29 free throw attempts, including eight of eight by Warren. The Cavaliers were eight of 14 from the line.