WEST LIBERTY – Isaiah Fonseca hit a last-second layup that gave Urbana a 55-54 win over West Liberty-Salem in non-league boys basketball on Tuesday.
“We actually tried to foul him at the top of the key on that last drive and the official didn’t call it. He got pretty deep in the lane and the second line of defense didn’t take him out either. We actually had a foul to give, so we were trying to foul him,” WL-S Coach Darrin Leichty said.
Fonseca looked like a freight train driving to the basket early and could not be stopped – except by a blood timeout that forced the teams to clear the floor after Fonseca’s nose was laid open. He left midway through the second quarter with 14 points and returned halfway through the third quarter sporting a protective mask over what appeared to be a broken nose.
Fonseca finished with 24 points in the abbreviated effort, with Grant Hower adding 14 for Urbana. Holden Nease was the high point man for WL-S with 17 and Jack Eggleston had 12.
“At this point in the season, we want wins. And we got one. We found a way to make enough plays at the end of the game. And even plays that we didn’t make, we just didn’t finish them for whatever reason,” UHS Coach Jeremy Dixon said. “That’s what practice is for. We’ll take the win and go home.”
Urbana trailed, 13-11, after a quarter of play and led 30-29 at the half after WL-S hit a buzzer-beater with less than a second to play.
The Hillclimbers (10-9) dominated in the opening stages of the third quarter, but had very little to show for it as they struggled to hit layups and free throws.
But the home team also struggled, turning the ball over repeatedly.
The Tigers (11-10) finally came back with a couple of baskets off Urbana miscues late, pulling the deficit back to a single possession at 40-38.
“The guys just kept battling. I think we did a pretty good job on the boards tonight. And guarding their sets was pretty good. I think we got a lot of transition baskets in there and a lot of things into the paint, which is good for us,” Leichty said.
Dixon was also pleased with some of the things he saw.
“The effort was great. We played hard. We’ve just got to be more consistent executing both offense and defense. We just had some mental breakdowns time and time again,” he said.
In the jayvee game, West Liberty-Salem prevailed, 58-47. Lance Baldwin had 18 points. For Urbana, Wyatt Teets scored 18 and Max Keely had 11.
In the freshman game, WL-S won, 41-11. Logan Saylor scored 10 points in that game for the Tigers.
On Friday, WL-S plays at Mechanicsburg while Urbana plays at Benjamin Logan.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.