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Bloomington's Ilijah Donnelly drives to the basket against Urbana during a game last season at BHS' Robert Frank Sports Complex. Donnelly has committed to accept a full scholarship at the University of Illinois Springfield.

BLOOMINGTON — The Bloomington High School basketball team was a conundrum on Friday night. 

How else can you explain the Purple Raiders playing defense well enough to force 27 turnovers, yet poorly enough for Urbana to shoot 58 percent from the field en route to an 80-76 victory? 

"I told our team before the game we can't give up 20 points a quarter like that," said BHS coach Micheal Mosley. "Our goal was (to allow) 40."

Unfortunately, the Tigers had 40 and a four-point lead by intermission.

"When we give up 80 points, that is just 40 too many," said Mosley, whose team fell to 5-9 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12 Conference ahead of Saturday's 6:30 p.m. home game against Decatur MacArthur. 

"We better guard tomorrow or it will be the same type of game."

Urbana improved to 5-8 and 2-4 with its third win in four games. 

"We're starting to get it figured out," said Tiger coach Vashoune Russell. "We're starting to jell."

Urbana looked like it was starting to fall apart as BHS twice built five-point leads in the second half. The first came after a 9-0 run to open the third quarter made it 45-40.

A 7-0 run later made it 60-55 with 7:15 left. The Tigers were still down, 70-67, with 4:11 to go when Jalen Jones ignited a 6-0 surge with a shot from 3 feet. His two free throws with 3:02 left put Urbana ahead to stay at 73-70.

Jones finished with 15 points while Greg Boyd added 13. Moaso Bumba and Shandon Hillsman scored 11 apiece.

"Tonight was the best scoring balance we've had all year," Russell said. "We added two more press offenses yesterday."

Hillsman sank three clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The last made it 76-72 with 2:01 to go. 

"We didn't guard," Mosley said. "We gave them driving lanes. We left open shooters. We didn't defend well. That comes on me."

The crowd came to life as a Charles Payton dunk, Deion Thompson jumper and Jordan McGill layup pulled BHS within one on three occasions in the final 2:42, but Urbana answered each time.

A Raider turnover with 48 seconds left preceded a layup by Boyd, who moments earlier had blocked a shot by Payton.

"We didn't value the basketball," said Mosley, whose team committed 18 turnovers. "We didn't make layups. We fumbled the ball inside on easy passes."

Martiece Arrington of BHS missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 11 seconds left and a Boyd free throw ended the scoring with 9.4 to go. 

Thompson led the hosts with 15 points while Jalen Euman had 12. Payton, McGill and Illijah Donnelly added 11 apiece.



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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