Urbana and visiting Bellefontaine met Friday night in what used to be a spirited cross-divisional rivalry between CBC schools, with the Chieftains coming out on top, 43-40.
Often a chippy game to begin with, the stakes were raised when Urbana moved to the Kenton Trail Division this season. That added a little extra passion, which spilled over and led to a spirited crowd.
Bellefontaine took advantage of some transition baskets off of Urbana misses or turnovers, which helped put the Chiefs up at the half, 24-18.
After the intermission, Urbana rallied to tie the game and actually led, 31-29, entering the fourth quarter.
It seemed as though whenever the Hillclimbers needed it, Jace Underwood was able to provide some offense and keep the squad in the game. Underwood had a trio of three-pointers – all coming after halftime –- to fuel the attack.
In the fourth quarter, the teams were tied with just over a minute remaining. Bellefontaine (4-1) managed to get a basket and put the pressure on Urbana (3-2).
The Hillclimbers in-bounded the ball with under 10 seconds left and got what they wanted: Underwood going to the rim. But the ball went wanting off the front iron and Bellefontaine rebounded to seal the victory.
A free throw at the other end made it final.
“It doesn’t feel good at all. We played very, very passively tonight and I’m very disappointed,” UHS Coach Jeremy Dixon said. “We tied it up a couple of times, took the lead, maybe. But the overall effort for 32 minutes was a disappointment.”
For Urbana, Kalen Howell had 15 points and Underwood had 14. Levi Boettcher added 9 points in the effort.
In the jayvee game, Bellefontaine won, 56-51. For the ‘Climbers, Grant Hower had 17 points and Isaiah Fonseca had 12.
Urbana hosts Alter on Tuesday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.