PAXTON -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda girls basketball team was tied at 17-17 with Urbana with 30 seconds left in the first half of Thursday's game.
 
Urbana then claimed the lead as two turnovers each led to a basket by the Tigers' Akierra Bufford, including a buzzer-beating fastbreak layup, that gave Urbana a 21-17 halftime lead before the Tigers outscored the Panthers 39-13 in the second half en route to a 60-30 victory.
 
"We just never really recovered after that," PBL head coach Nathan Lawler said about the first-half scores by Buford.
 
The Panthers' defense held Urbana without a field goal hrough the first 7 1/2 minutes of the first quarter as Brooke Walder scored on a Mackenzie Bruns assist, Baylee Cosgrove tallied a bucket, Madi Peden made a free throw with 3:34 left in the quarter and Bruns scored on an offensive-rebound putback to tie the game at 7-7 for PBL.
 
Chian Scott, Alarea Jackson and Amya Bahler combined to make 7-of-8 free-throw attempts during that time span for Urbana before Scott nailed a jump shot with about 30 seconds left in the opening quarter to give the Tigers a 9-7 lead.
 
A free throw by Raevyn Russell and two baskets by Chian Scott, including one on an offensive-rebound putback off a missed fastbreak layup, extended Urbana's lead to 14-7 with 5:11 left in the second quarter.
 
Bruns made a free throw with 5:04 remaining in the quarter and scored on a Peden steal after a 3-pointer by Schwarz to cut PBL's deficit to 14-13. Scott made a 3-pointer before Schwarz and Peden each scored a basket to tie the game at 17-17 with 38 seconds left in the first half.
 
"We played hard," Lawler said. "We played really good half-court, man-to-man defense."
 
Urbana started the third quarter with a 7-0 as Scott converted on a three-point play via an assist by Ezri Vesely before Jackson and Bahler each made two free throws to extend the Tigers' lead to 28-17 with 6:36 left in the third quarter. 
 
Cosgrove made a free throw before Schwarz made a two-point field goal and a 3-pointer to cut PBL's deficit to 28-23, but from there, Urbana went on another spurt of 10 straight points.
 
Bufford scored on two fastbreak layups via steals, with Russell making a free throw in between, to extend the Tigers' lead to 33-23.
 
"Protecting the ball’s a big thing right now. It’s hurting us, so we’ve got to find a way as coaches to brainstorm and get it fixed," Lawler said. That’s our job."
 
Bahler converted on a three-point play with 2:01 left in the third quarter to make the score 36-23 before Vesely made a basket to extend Urbana's lead to 38-23 with 1:15 left in the third quarter. A basket by PBL's Kirra Lantz with less than 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter made the score 38-25 as the quarter came to an end.
 
The Tigers started the fourth quarter with a 15-0 run as Jackson made a basket and two free throws before Russell tallied a basket, Scott scored on a Vesely assist, Bahler made a couple of fastbreak layups and Russell drained a 3-pointer to extend Urbana's lead to 53-25.
 
After Lorena Arnett made a 3-pointer and Lillie Frichtl tallied a two-point basket to cut PBL's deficit to 53-30, Urbana ended the game on a 7-0 run.
 
Jackson made a free throw with 1:28 left in the game, drawing Cosgrove's fifth foul in the process. Walder also fouled out for PBL.
 
Russell made a basket before Jackson scored on a steal and fastbreak layup and tallied two points on an offensive-rebound putback of a missed layup attempt.
 
Schwarz was PBL's lone double-digit scorer as she finished with 10 points while Bruns scored five points and Arnett, Cosgrove and Peden each had three points. Frichtl, Lantz and Walder each had two points as well for the Panthers (9-9).
 
For Urbana (12-7), Scott (17 points), Jackson (13 points) Bahler (11 points) each scored in double figures.
 
"They’ve beaten some teams that have beaten us this year. We’ve just got to keep competing," Lawler said. "When things get hard, we’ve got to overcome it and learn from it and grow. I’m not really worried about the outcome of the game. It’s how we learn from the mistakes and get better from it."
 
Junior varsity
The Paxton-Buckley-Loda junior varsity girls basketball team lost 41-20 to Urbana.
 
Lorena Arnett led the Panthers with six points while Mia Sifuentes had five points, MaKenna Ecker had four points, Mallorie Ecker and Lillie Frichtl each had two points and Abbi Williamson had one point.
 
HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY GIRLS
Urbana 60, PBL 30
URB 9  12  17  22  -- 60
PBL 7  10   8    5   -- 30
Urbana (12-7)
Akierra Bufford 4-0-8, Alarea Jackson 3-7-13, Kynzee Bostrick 0-0-0, Amya Bahler 3-5-11, Raevyn Russell 3-2-9, Ezri Vesely 1-0-2, Chian Scott 6-4-17, Townsend-Cooper 0-0-0. Totals 21-16-60.
PBL (9-9)
Lillie Frichtl 1-0-2, Macie Rudin 0-0-0, Mackenzie Bruns 2-1-5, Madi Peden 1-1-3, Hannah Schwarz 4-0-10, Baylee Cosgrove 1-1-3, Kirra Lantz 1-0-2, Clarisa Wieneke 0-0-0, Brooke Walder 1-0-2, Lorena Arnett 1-0-3, Abbi Williamson 0-0-0. Totals 12-3-30.
3-pointers -- Urbana 2 (Russell, Scott). PBL 3 (Schwarz 2, Arnett).
 
JUNIOR VARSITY
Urbana 41, PBL 20
URB 9   9  12  11   -- 41
PBL 10  6   1    3    -- 20  
Urbana
Nakiyah Bufford 0-1-1, Sariah Townsend-Cooper 5-0-11, Eleana Scott 1-3-5, Tiarra Townsend-Cooper 0-0-0, Nizeria Carter 0-0-0, Jaden DeBerry 3-0-6, Ziniera Edwards 0-0-0, A'mareah Howard 0-0-0, Syrinthiah Butler 1-2-4, Timiya Johnson 4-1-9, Destiny Miller 1-3-5. Totals 15-10-41.
PBL
Macie Rudin 0-0-0, SkyLer Eaker 1-0-2, Lillie Frichtl 1-0-2, Lorena Arnett 2-0-6, Jacey Parrish 0-0-0, Maisy Johnson 0-0-0, Jordan Parrish 0-0-0, Mia Sifuentes 2-0-5, MaKenna Ecker 1-2-4, Sara Hewerdine 0-0-0, MaKynlie Hewerdine 0-0-0, Abbi Williamson 0-1-1.
3-pointers -- Urbana (S. Townsend-Cooper). PBL 3 (Arnett 2, Sifuentes).