Hillclimbers take 20-point halftime lead and coast to 71-58 win over Indian Lake.
SPRINGFIELD — Urbana got revenge against Indian Lake on Tuesday to advance to a sectional final. The Hillclimbers took a 20-point halftime lead and led by at least 10 points through the second half on their way to a 71-58 win.
Tuesday’s sectional tournament win came a month after Indian Lake beat the Hillclimbers on their home court by 10 points. The loss was Urbana’s first in CBC Mad River play since 2013.
“We felt like the last game (against Indian Lake) was one of our poorest efforts focus-wise, communication-wise and effort-wise,” Urbana head coach Jeremy Dixon said. “We wanted (to go) 10-0 in our league bad and that cost us. So it stuck with our guys. They were looking forward to tonight.”
Urbana’s anticipation showed early. The Hillclimbers jumped out to a 17-6 lead by the end of the first quarter after Jordan Underwood and Levi Boettecher scored multiple times in the paint. Underwood, who scored 20 points in the first half, continued to hit shots in the second quarter to help Urbana take a 40-20 halftime lead.
After the Hillclimbers extended the lead to 56-32 by the end of the third, Indian Lake trimmed the deficit to 10 points in the final minutes. Urbana slowed its pace down on offense in the fourth and struggled to rebound late. But the Hillclimbers finished strong at the free-throw line and never let their lead get any smaller than 10.
Urbana’s fast guards caused problems for Indian Lake throughout the game. The Lakers committed 16 turnovers and didn’t find a shooting rhythm until the fourth quarter.
Underwood scored a career-high 37 points and added three rebounds. He hit 13-of-19 foul shot attempts, including several in the fourth quarter to help secure the win.
“Sometimes he has a tendency to be passive,” Dixon said. “We just told him, ‘You’ve got to be aggressive.’ He was really aggressive for us tonight. He’s had a fantastic year for us, and this on a big stage may have been the best of the bunch.”
Boettecher finished with 16 points. Urbana shot 21-of-34 (61.7 percent) from the field and made 26-of-43 free-throw attempts.
Urbana will play Tippecanoe in a sectional final on Saturday at Springfield High School. The Red Devils beat Benjamin Logan on Tuesday to advance.
Tippecanoe beat the Hillclimbers 39-26 on their home court on Feb. 2 in a CBC crossover game. After avenging a home loss to Indian Lake in the tournament on Tuesday, Urbana will try to do the same on Saturday.
“They’re good, they guard like crazy,” Dixon said of Tippecanoe. “We feel we can guard pretty good too. We played pretty good for three quarters against them last time and then kind of gave it up in the fourth quarter. We’re going to have our hands full, but it’s going to be fun.”
Beau Hefner led Indian Lake with 23 points and Parker Grothaus scored 13.
Indian Lake finishes with a 16-9 record. The Lakers will lose will lose six seniors to graduation, including Hefner.
Tippecanoe 59, Benjamin Logan 41
After a close first half, No. 1 seed Tippecanoe ran away from Ben Logan in the second half.
Ben Logan hit a three with about three minutes left in the third to pull within 40-37. But the Red Devils shut down Ben Logan the rest of the game. Carter Mann and Nathan Shirley hit key baskets over the game’s final 11 minutes to help Tipp finish the game on a 19-4 run.
“I thought we made some good adjustments at halftime,” Tippecanoe head coach Joel Visser said. “We did some things differently offensively that helped us get going. But really it all came down to defense. We were having some issues knocking down some shots and we had to make some adjustments.”
The teams were tied 29-29 with about two minutes left before Tippecanoe finished on a 5-0 run.
Mann led Tippecanoe with 16 points, while Zach Wildermuth added 10.
Grant Ricketts led the Raiders with 10 points. Ricketts is the only senior on the team that saw significant playing time. Benjamin Logan finishes with a 6-17 record.
Tippecanoe, who was 3-20 last year, now has a chance at a sectional title on Saturday against Urbana.
“It’s the next game, it’s the next road block,” Visser said. “We have to play as hard on Saturday as we can possibly play.”