CERRO GORDO — West Bladen put the defensive clamps on Vikings star Jake Brownlee in the first half, but lost their grip on the 6-foot, 6-inch center in the second half en route to a 77-72 Three Rivers Conference loss.
The Knights fell to 4-16 overall, 1-12 in the conference.
West Bladen got a pair of three-pointers from Shyron Adams and one three-pointer from Keshawn Lewis to stay even with the Vikings by the close of the first quarter, 14-14.
Jaheim Lesane dropped in a three-pointer for West Bladen in the second stanza after the Knights opened the period with a 7-0 burst, and the visitors went on to win the quarter 21-14 and hold Brownlee to just six points in the half to take a 35-28 edge into the intermission.
But things turned in the second half.
Brownlee poured in 12 points in the third quarter as West Columbus went on a 24-11 romp through the period and opened a 52-46 advantage going into the fourth frame. West Bladen tried to keep pace behind three-pointers from Jimmy Williams, Kerron Washington and Adams.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, as Brownlee dropped in 15 points to finish the half with 27 and the game with 33, leading the Vikings to the win. Washington canned a three-pointer for the Knights and Williams hit a trio of baskets down the stretch.
West Bladen was led by Washington with 16 points, while Williams contributed 12 points.
West Bladen will host West Columbus on Wednesday in a Three Rivers Conference game at 8 p.m.