BARRETT — The West Central Area boys’ basketball team battled back from a double-digit deficit to pick up a 59-55 victory over the Ashby Arrows Tuesday.

The Arrows came out of the gates on fire in the first half as they built a 22-8 lead. The Knights got back into the game as they cut the lead to 32-27 before the break.

Ashby opened the second half like the first, but a quicker response got West Central back on track as they took a 54-51 lead late. With key free throw shooting from Gage Staples and Gavin Paulson with under a minute to play, the Knights held on for the victory.

“First off, it is nice to see Hall-of-Fame coach John Holsten back on the sidelines,” Knights head coach Kraig Hunter said. “He has a nice team. We were fortunate that our kids showed grit and perseverance to hang in there to have a chance. Then they executed and made some clutch plays down the stretch to beat a very talented and experienced basketball team.”

The Knights were led in scoring by Jack Van Kempen with 14 points, while Staples (12) and Grant Beuckens (10) were also in double figures.

The Arrows were led in scoring by Scott Johnson (15), Jaden Norby (14) and Christian Norby (11).

The Knights will head out on the road to take on Battle Lake at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.

The Arrows will look to right the sail as they host New York Mills at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.

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