O'FALLON — Standout junior center Francis Okoro produced 24 points and 12 rebounds Saturday to lead the Normal West High School basketball team to a 61-59 win over O'Fallon as part of the O'Fallon Shootout.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 7 in Class 4A, improved to 18-5 after surviving O'Fallon's 39-point second half.
"I just thought one of the things we didn't do well, when they pressed us we took a lot of quick shots," said West coach Brian Cupples, whose team led 29-20 at halftime. "We were open right away and we could've passed up the first look, but we got a little antsy.
"We scored easy baskets once we slowed down and were able to work it inside."
O'Fallon got within a point with less than 20 seconds to go before Okoro got free on a breakaway, was fouled and completed the three-point play. The Panthers made it a two-point final with a basket at the buzzer.
Shea Cupples added 11 points and Nate Duckworth 10 for the Wildcats. Duckworth and Drew Wollenschlager delivered six assists apiece.
Jalen Hodge scored 27 points and Teron Bowman followed with 19 for the Panthers, who connected on 11 3-pointers.
"They shot the lights out of it," said Coach Cupples. "They were hitting from 25 and 30 feet and it got them back in the game."