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Chiefs show their maturity in crunch time against rival Hillclimbers

Bellefontaine makes plays late to oust Urbana 59-54

BHSUrbana

Bellefontaine’s MacKenzie Brunswick puts up a shot over an Urbana player during Wednesday’s game at Bellefontaine. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

In a sign of its growth, Bellefontaine’s girls basketball team refused to buckle under pressure Wednesday night.

The Chiefs trailed visiting Urbana by three points early in the fourth quarter, but they came up with several key plays down the stretch to grab a 59-54 victory over the rival Hillclimbers in a Central Buckeye Conference crossover game.

The win was the latest bright spot in what has been a breakout season for Bellefontaine. The Chiefs are now 6-3 and have already matched their win total from last year.

“I feel like some of our past struggles are finally paying off,” said BHS head coach Brian Hogan. “We have grown up and are showing some maturity as a basketball team.”

Urbana led 46-43 with six minutes remaining in the game.

Bellefontaine surged back with five straight points to go up 48-46 at the 4:22 mark. The Chiefs never trailed again.

Junior forward Jazmyn Haley, who led the Chiefs with 19 points, hit two free throws to push Bellefontaine’s lead to four (50-46) with 2:19 left.

A basket by senior center Whitney Rader gave Bellefontaine a six-point cushion.

Urbana did not go quietly. Braxton Rogan scored inside and Trischa Lacy buried a three-pointer to cut Bellefontaine’s lead to one point (55-54) with 38.3 seconds remaining on the clock.

The Hillclimbers followed with a crucial mistake, though. Lacy, who led all scorers with 21 points, picked up her fifth foul when she made contact with Carter as she dribbled the ball down the court.

Carter hit both of her foul shots to put Bellefontaine up by three points with 32.5 seconds remaining.

With its go-to player Lacy out of the game, Urbana could not muster any offense in the final seconds.

Bellefontaine iced the game with a layup by Jazmyn Haley with six seconds to go.

“I was really pleased with the way the girls kept their focus,” said Hogan. “That last two and a half minutes was as about as mentally focused as I’ve seen these girls.”

Urbana (4-5) struggled containing the Chiefs’ inside combo of Jazmyn Haley and Rader. In addition to the 19 points from Haley, Rader contributed 12 points.

“Our post players are strong,” said Hogan. “The other girls do a good job of getting the ball to them when they are open.

“We said earlier in the season that Jazmyn is going to make us go. She has so much athletic ability, size and strength. When she is playing well, it opens everyone else up.”

Carter had nine points and Regan Price added eight points for the Chiefs.

Lacy and Rogan (17) combined for 38 of Urbana’s 54 points.

“The Lacy girl can play,” said Hogan. “I thought Sajah did a good job defensively on her. She played her about as tough as you can get.”

In the junior varsity game, Bellefontaine won 37-23. Maddie Mitchell led the Chiefs with 14 points.

Bellefontaine now turns its attention to a key CBC game Saturday at home against Tecumseh.

BELLEFONTAINE 59, URBANA 54

URBANA (4-5)

Lewis 2 0-0 6; Griggs 2 0-0 5; Lacy 9 0-1 21; A. Curnutte 2 1-6 4; Rogan 7 3-4 17. Totals: 22 4-11 54.

BELLEFONTAINE (6-3)

Brunswick 1 0-0 3; Hunt 2 0-0 4; Carter 3 2-2 9; Price 2 4-6 8; K. Haley 1 0-0 2; Johnson 1 0-0 2; J. Haley 7 5-9 19; Rader 6 0-2 12. Totals: 23 11-19 59.

Hillclimbers    13    18    10    13      —     54

Chiefs    18    11    14    16    —    59

Three pointers: Urbana 6 (Lacy 3, Lewis 2, Griggs); Bellefontaine 2 (Brunswick, Carter). Turnovers: Urbana 11; Bellefontaine 9. Team fouls: Urbana 18; Bellefontaine 16.

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