SPRINGFIELD – Urbana defeated Shawnee, 64-49, in the Division II boys basketball sectional Friday night.
The Hillclimbers took a one-point lead after a quarter and parlayed it into a 29-18 halftime lead, looking every bit as good offensively as they had all year.
“We only have two guys that have ever played in a tournament game. So I thought we looked a little nervous in the first quarter, but once we got over that, we looked good,” UHS Coach Jeremy Dixon said.
The third quarter saw Urbana push the margin to nearly 25 points, with a small letdown near the end of the period as Shawnee picked up the energy.
“Shawnee’s going to keep coming. We talked about that at halftime. We just needed to weather that and take care of the basketball,” Dixon said.
The Braves cut the lead to as few as 11 points, but never really threatened the ’Climbers down the stretch.
Grant Hower had 18 points to lead Urbana, including a putback dunk that added a bit of juice back into a reeling UHS squad during a Shawnee run. Reid Taylor added 17 points and Isaiah Fonseca had 15.
Urbana was 9-of-11 from the free-throw line and hit five shots from three-point range in the win.
UHS clinches its 11th consecutive winning season with the victory – something Dixon wanted to hang his hat on.
“I’d hate to see that streak die,” he said.
Urbana (12-10) advances to face Benjamin Logan here on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The CBC/MRD opponents split the regular season series, but the Raiders won the division.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.