SPRINGFIELD — Urbana beat Shawnee handily on Saturday to win the Division II boys sectional, 51-27.
The first five minutes of the game were among the best offensive minutes Urbana had played all season, as the Hillclimbers leapt out to a 12-0 lead. They had a 16-2 advantage when a couple of subs came in and the squad committed a few turnovers.
“We respect them a lot defensively, but we also knew that we had a bit of a size advantage,” UHS Coach Jeremy Dixon said. “Those first five minutes, I felt like we executed to a tee, moving the ball, getting what we wanted – the matchups we wanted. It was a little uneven after that, but because of the way we played defense tonight, it was never really in doubt.”
That trend continued for much of the game, as Shawnee struggled to stop the bigger Urbana boys and also had to fight for daylight against a suffocating zone.
“Tonight, defensively, was as good as we’ve played,” Dixon said. “That first half, I told the guys, was almost as perfect as we could play defensively.”
The Hillclimbers led 18-4 after a quarter and 29-11 at the half.
After the break, Urbana pushed the lead beyond the 20-point mark and then checked in to perform routine maintenance on that lead now and then.
For Urbana, Riley Emmons scored 17 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Jace Underwood added 13 points for the Hillclimbers.
Urbana made the victory – and the sectional – look easy. The Hillclimbers shared the basketball, swarmed on defense and made shots from inside and outside.
“Tonight’s a battle. I never felt comfortable. Coach McGuire does a fantastic job with those guys and they play great defense, so I was never comfortable until the final horn,” Dixon said. “We’re pretty happy to get out of here with a win. I’m not sure getting Trotwood in the district finals is much of a reward, but we’ll see what we can do.”
Urbana will advance to play Trotwood Madison at the University of Dayton Arena on Wednesday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.