Forget what the calendar says, East and Taylorsville broke the winter chill with a sampling of March Madness Friday.

Intensity was in no short supply as the Leopards outlasted the Warriors, 54-53 in overtime."We feel fortunate to get the win," said East coach Kerry Rupp.

Numerous lead changes, including five in the extra session, left the outcome in doubt until a defensive stand in the final 12 seconds.

"We had chances," said Taylorsville coach Ken Rasmussen. "We had a chance to win it in the end and I don't feel bad about the way we played."

The Warriors, who fell to 5-2 in non-region play, missed several short-range shots down the stretch. However, the pesky Leopards (3-3) may have had something to do with it.

"We played good defense," said Rupp. "We made it tough for their big guys to shoot over us."

Trailing 39-33 at the end of three quarters, East intensified its motion offense and clamped down defensively - especially in the post.

While limiting Taylorsville to a pair of three-point shots and two free throws in the final eight minutes, the Leopards clawed their way back and actually took the lead in the last minute of regulation. However, Jess Gustafson hit two foul shots for Taylorsville with 15 seconds remaining to force the extra session. A last second shot by East missed the mark.

The lead bounced back and forth in overtime, but Darin Zwick, who led all scorers with 13, had the last say. The East senior scored five points, including the winning basket with 1:38 to play, to cap the seesaw affair.

John Hammer and Josh Gardner added 16 apiece to the winning effort, while Ryan Higley and Mark Michaelis led Taylorsville with similar numbers.

The Warriors led 25-22 at halftime after Higley connected on a three-pointer just prior to the intermission. East opened the game with a 5-2 burst before Taylorsville fired back to take a 10-8 advantage by quarter's end. The lead change contributed to 14 such transfers in the contest.

East managed to stop the switches with timely shots by Hammer, Zwick, Gardner and R.L. Ellis down the stretch. Defensively, the Leopards shut down Taylorsville big men Michaelis, who fouled out with 1:20 left in overtime, and Gustafson, who scored just six points. The two giants, both towering over 6-foot-8, were stymied by East's motion attack.