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Boys basketball: Bowman dominates paint to reach second straight semistate

Bowman Academy's DavDillard heads basket during Class 2A regional finals against Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers Saturday night March 9 2013

Bowman Academy's Davon Dillard heads to the basket during the Class 2A regional finals against Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers Saturday night, March 9, 2013, at North Judson-San Pierre High School. Bowman won to advance to semi-state. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 11, 2013 7:12AM



NORTH JUDSON — Don’t get caught up in the hype.

That was Bowman Academy coach Marvin Rea’s message to his team before Saturday’s Class 2A North Judson Regional final game against Fort Wayne Bishop Luers.

It’s a message he has told different groups of Eagles numerous times over the last four years of IHSAA tournament play.

After all, he’s been through the grinder himself numerous times.

And his newest group of players looking to make history listened to him after a frenetic start to the final, slowing it down, executing and eventually pulling away for an 82-72 victory and another semistate trip.

“He told us he’s done this a lot and knows more than us,” joked sophomore Davon Dillard, who was a big key to Bowman (16-9) reaching the semistate for the second straight season and third time overall.

Dillard, Antonio Pipkin and Justin King were monsters inside.

The paint was their playground and they weren’t getting off the teeter-totter until they were satisfied.

“Dillard really stepped up tonight,” Rea said of the smiling kid who scored 19 points.

Pipkin scored 11 of his 19 points — do you see a theme here? — in the fourth quarter after returning to the game following an injury to his hand early in the third quarter.

But he rubbed some dirt on his fingers — actually, it was tape around two of those digits — and came back with a vengeance.

“Antonio was down and I said, ‘I don’t have all day,’” Rea said, only half joking. “Tony’s a tough kid and a football player and he came back strong.”

The other post monster was King, who had 13 rebounds to go with — yep, you guessed it — 19 points with 14 coming in the first half.

“We knew we had to play hard in the middle,” King said. “It felt good, but we knew we needed to turn it up even more.”

That goes for the defense, too, as the Eagles held Luers (16-7) All-America candidate and Indiana University recruit James Blackmon Jr. to 25 points. Now before you say, that’s not really “holding” a player down, Blackmon had 12 in the first quarter while being able to go anywhere he wanted on the court, and five of the points came in garbage time at the end.

“We wanted to lure Blackmon to sleep,” Rea said. “He’s a (future) Mr. Basketball candidate and we didn’t want to wake the bear. We slowed it down and got it inside.”

Bowman will have a rematch in the semistate with Tipton, which defeated Wapahani 60-58 to win its regional final.



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