ST. PARIS – Graham hung tough with Urbana for a while, but the visiting Hillclimbers proved too tough and pulled away to a 54-35 victory in Thursday’s CBC/MRD boys basketball game.
Urbana leapt out to an 18-12 lead after one quarter and widened it behind some early three-pointers.
But Graham fought back and cut the lead to four points, prompting a timeout from UHS Coach Jeremy Dixon.
“I thought we played it a little cool after we got up a bit, and I didn’t like that. Our effort was inconsistent,” Dixon said.
After the timeout, the Hillclimbers came away with an empty possession offensively and Graham got an easy score to trim the lead to two points.
Dixon wouldn’t stand for it, substituting the entire lineup out of the game for the remaining couple of minutes in the half. Urbana went into the locker room with a 31-27 lead.
The Falcons cooled off after halftime, notching just four points in each of the final two quarters, while Urbana seemed to take advantage of Graham’s mistakes.
“Our hustle and our intensity in the first half was awesome. The second half we struggled,” GHS Interim Coach Jacob Wagner said. “We missed a couple of easy layups that hurt our confidence. We just struggled finding easy looks – open looks like we got in the first half.”
Despite the struggles, Urbana found a way to win behind 13 points from Jordan Underwood and 10 each from Cameron Logwood, Riley Emmons and Levi Boettcher. Andrew Ford poured in 11 points for Graham.
“I was not happy with our effort all night tonight. I’m very upset with the inconsistency of our effort, because I know what we can be,” Dixon said. “We’ve got a great bunch of guys that I love to be around every single day. We’ve got a bar that we’re trying to reach and we didn’t reach it tonight.
“I’m not mad at anybody. I remember I was 3-18 one year and I’d have taken this and been happy for a month. But we’ve got some places we want to go and some things we want to do and tonight was not a step in the right direction.”
In the jayvee contest, Urbana earned a 54-50 overtime victory. Alex Lohnes scored 14 points and Reid Taylor had 12 for Urbana, while Brevin King scored 24 points for Graham.
Urbana (8-4) plays in the early game at 10 a.m. at the Flying to the Hoop tournament in Dayton on Saturday, while Graham (4-9) plays at Tecumseh on Jan. 19.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.