DECATUR - Junior center Cody White scored a game-high 27 points and guard Todd Albert hit two crucial free throws in the last 30 seconds of the game to give the Normal West High School basketball team the lead in a 50-48 Big 12 Conference victory over Decatur MacArthur.
The Wildcats battled back from a five-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 48-all before Albert was fouled on a steal attempt by the Generals with about 20 seconds to play. The sophomore drained both free throws to give Normal West the lead and the Wildcats had two defensive stops at the end of the game to seal the victory.
"It wasn't a pretty game and we didn't play very well, but it's a win," Normal West coach Brian Cupples said of his Wildcats, who evened their record at 10-10 overall and 5-5 in conference play. Decatur MacArthur dropped to 4-11, 2-6.
Normal West jumped out to an early lead in the see-saw affair to take a 12-10 lead after one quarter before the Generals rallied in the second period to take a 26-21 lead at the half. The Wildcats pulled to within 37-36 at the end of the third quarter before MacArthur went up 41-36 early in the fourth.
Sophomore Matthew Paska added nine points for the Wildcats and led Normal West with 10 rebounds and four assists. White had seven rebounds to go with his 27 points.
The Wildcats played without senior forward Luke Stewart, who missed the game with a foot injury.
"Obviously, Cody White had a great game, and Austin Myers played well defensively and handled the ball well," Cupples added. "He provided us with senior leadership and made a lot of plays that don't show up in the box score."