LEWISTOWN – Urbana defeated Bellefontaine, 40-38, Tuesday night in CBC crossover action.
It was the latest in a line of tough, low-scoring matchups between the two squads. This edition was played at Indian Lake High School, as Bellefontaine’s home court suffered damage over the weekend and the Chieftains were unable to host as scheduled.
“We always have to grind it out when we play them,” UHS Coach Jeremy Dixon said.
Urbana got out to an early lead with a 10-4 advantage after a quarter of play. Kalen Howell was able to convert a basket and got fouled just before the buzzer to give Urbana some breathing room.
Bellefontaine saw to it that the lead didn’t stand, battling back to a 16-15 deficit at halftime.
“I was still confident in our guys,” Dixon said. “We only had one bad turnover. Our guys played with poise, once again. For the second game in a row, the other team made a run and we made the plays that we had to.”
The second half was more of the same, with a late outburst by the Hillclimbers pushing the margin to nine points – the largest of the night – with just a minute remaining.
Bellefontaine extended the game by fouling and made a frantic push in that final minute, which seemed to stretch onward for an eternity.
“Some things we need to work on there at the end, but we’re not going to complain,” Dixon said.
Kalen Howell led Urbana with 16 points and Jordan Underwood chipped in 9. Isaiah Miller scored 12 points for Bellefontaine.
“An absolutely huge game by Kalen Howell,” Dixon said. “We’re happy about this win.”
Urbana has won 7 of the last 10 meetings between the two rivals. While Bellefontaine has taken two out of three in the tournament, that will not be the case this season, as the Chieftains have moved up to Division I.
Urbana won the jayvee contest, 51-40. Logan Rooney had 15 points to lead UHS in that game while Alex Lohnes scored 12 and Reid Taylor added 9.
The Hillclimbers (10-4) host Indian Lake on Friday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.