The wake-up call Burlington gave the Davenport West boys basketball team Friday did not go unanswered.
The Falcons ultimately claimed their fourth straight Mississippi Athletic Conference victory, but the scrappy Grayhounds forced West to earn its 78-59 win.
"They may not have a lot of size, but they came to play," Falcons senior Jamil Haymond said.
A quick check of the scoreboard after one quarter illustrated that point.
Turning turnovers into points, Burlington scored seven unanswered points in the final 51 seconds of the opening quarter.
The last two came on a buzzer-beating putback by Michael Alexander that left the Grayhounds in front 20-18, a lead Burlington couldn't keep.
Matching the intensity of the Grayhounds on the boards and on defense, West rallied.
A midcourt steal and sprint to the other end of the floor for a lay-in by Malik Westerfield fueled a 17-2 run by the Falcons.
Westerfield repeated that feat midway through the spurt, but baskets by Haymond, Aldane Barrett and Zach Trevino all sent West on its way to a 40-33 halftime advantage.
"Our defense made a difference then, and the thing I really liked about that stretch was that the guys were there for each other," Falcons coach David Robinson said.
"We picked up our intensity, and we moved the ball well. We played very unselfish basketball, getting the ball into the hands of the open guy, and it made a difference."
West opened the third quarter with more of the same, outscoring Burlington 11-3 over the first four minutes. The Falcons opened a 51-36 lead on a Payton Heath lay-in midway through the quarter, a margin which the Grayhounds were unable to trim to fewer than 13 points the rest of the game.
"We started to play the way we are capable of playing," Haymond said. "We were working the offensive boards, getting after loose balls, doing the things working together as a team that make a difference."
Barrett led West (5-6, 4-5 MAC) with 23 points and eight boards, including several offensive boards that helped the Falcons push ahead during a second quarter that saw teamwork lead to plenty of balance.
Haymond contributed 14 points, and Westerfield and Trevino finished with 13 apiece, while Nasir Beechum finished with eight points and an equal number of rebounds coming off the bench.
"Once we settled down, we did a lot of good things," Robinson said. "Their quickness had our big guys turning a lot of different directions early, but we calmed down, shared the ball well and put together a solid game."
Brendon Hale and Nate Spear led Burlington (2-8, 1-8) with 14 points apiece.