Julie Colombell's four points won't stand out in the box score. But the West Springfield senior played a large part in the Spartans' surprisingly lopsided, 61-43 AAA Northern District victory over Robinson last night at Springfield.

For much of the game, Colombell defended All-Met forward Heather Phillips. And although Phillips scored 21 points, Colombell harassed her into an uncharacteristic six-of-22 shooting performance, including two of 11 in the second half when the Rams managed just three field goals and 17 points.

Colombell "is one of our keys and the kids know how valuable she is," said West Springfield Coach Bill Gibson. "When she went out with fouls in the first half, they stayed with us, but when she came back, we pulled away."

No. 2 West Springfield (18-1, 10-0) clinched the regular-season district title. For No. 5 Robinson, it was the second loss to the Spartans as it fell to 9-2, 16-3.

Robinson shot poorly all game, but a disastrous one-of-16 showing in the third quarter enabled the Spartans to show a 15-3 scoring edge in the period and a comfortable 48-29 edge entering the fourth quarter. For the game, Robinson shot 11 of 52 and connected on just three of 27 in the second half.

West Springfield scored the first seven points of the third quarter to build its advantage to 40-26 before Jennifer Beauchamp ended the Rams' drought with a layup with 4:26 left. Robinson could manage just one Phillips free throw the rest of the quarter.

In the meantime, the Spartans used a balanced attack to pull away. Julie Wight had four points and four rebounds in the quarter and finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Jen Terry, who totaled 20 points and 10 rebounds, also had four points in the quarter, which saw five Spartans score.

Wight's long, high-arching three-point goal as the buzzer sounded gave the Spartans a 17-12 lead after one quarter. But Robinson quickly closed the gap and later trailed by just 27-26 with 2:13 left in the half.

It figured to be another tense contest, much like the teams' first meeting, a 55-51 Springfield win. But Terry scored the final six points of the half for a 33-26 edge and the Spartans carried that momentum into the second half, scoring the first seven points.

West Springfield is happy with its regular-season title, but is cognizant of the fact the district tournament determines regional seedings. And with the Northern District matched against the Gunston District in the region tournament, winning the district tournament likely would put West Springfield in the opposite bracket from No. 1 Madison, which handed the Spartans their lone setback, by 24 points.

"We want to win everything," said Gibson. "Regardless of what happens in the other brackets, we just want to keep on winning. You figure to see them {Madison} sometime, so if you face them, you face them. There's no shying away from them. You just want to keep on winning."