Urbana defeated visiting Riverside, 43-37, in non-league girls basketball on Monday.
The ’Climbers hung tough early but stumbled to a small deficit on the scoreboard thanks to a big one on the glass. Offensive rebounds for the Pirates led to second-chance points and haunted the ’Climbers.
It was 18-16 Riverside at the half.
Alaina Lyons provided most of the Hillclimbers’ offense, knocking down a trio of bombs and a transition jumper in the first half. She finished with 11 points.
The second half went a little smoother for Urbana, with the girls fighting for rebounds and actually claiming an edge on the boards.
“That was definitely the focus. We only had six rebounds in the first half. So we told them, ‘You have to rebound in order to be in this game.’ And they went out and did that,” UHS Coach Amanda Mounce said. “I’m very proud of them. We’re undersized. And we’ve been undersized all year. So for them to come in there and fight like that and win the rebounding game in the second half was huge.”
Kacie Martin hit a jumper with 10 seconds left in the third quarter to give Urbana the lead at 23-22.
In the fourth, Riverside jumped out to a two-possession lead midway through, but the ’Climbers fought back and took a lead that forced the Pirates into a press with a couple of minutes remaining.
The rest of the work was done at the free-throw line against an over-zealous Riverside defense. Urbana was 12-of-18 from the stripe.
“That was them in the moment learning how to win a game,” Mounce said. “I told them they were in a one-and-one and two-shot situation the rest of the way. All they had to do was take care of the ball and be aggressive and we’d be on the line. And then we just had to hit it. They did that. I’m very proud of them tonight.”
Marissa Horn finished with 10 points and Shelby Stoops had 8 for UHS. Eight of Horn’s 10 and seven of Stoops’ 8 came in the fourth-quarter run that put the game away.
Urbana (3-14) hosts Northwestern on Wednesday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.