Boys basketball: Bowman ousts Noll in final for the second consecutive season
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent March 2, 2013 11:10PM
Bowman Academy's players celebrate their victory over Bishop Noll during the Wheeler boys basketball sectional championship game held at Wheeler High School on Saturday March 2, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 4, 2013 7:01AM
VALPARAISO — Motivation and intensity will only take you so far.
That’s what Bishop Noll found out Saturday night in the Class 2A Wheeler Sectional championship game against defending champion Bowman Academy.
And when the Eagles turned it on against the Warriors, it wasn’t pretty.
No. 7 Bowman came back from a four-point halftime deficit to beat No. 4 Noll 76-63, winning its second straight crown.
The Warriors, who were driven by the fact they lost to the Eagles in the sectional championship last year, came out firing and on all cylinders as Matt Sandoval (12 points) worked the long-range game (four 3-pointers in the first quarter) and Tyreon Gates, Larry Crisler and Jalen Hord worked the paint, outrebounding Bowman by six in the first half.
But the Eagles unleashed a flurry on Noll in the second half that proved to be the difference.
First, Arthur Haggard (15 points) drained a pair of 3s and another field goal with 40 seconds remaining in the third to give his team a 50-45 lead.
It didn’t help the Warriors, either, that Gates drew his fourth foul at the 3:03 mark in the third and Crisler was sitting on the bench himself with three fouls.
Then junior Justin King (game-high 24 points) hit the Warriors with the big blows in the fourth quarter, pushing his body around in the paint and dropping easy baskets. He finished off the Warriors, knocking down 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve been riding him a little bit,” Bowman coach Marvin Rea said. “He was talking about going back to state and I told him that he can’t take a backseat this year; he is going to have to be the one to take charge if this team is going back down.”
And if Bowman does make another run to the crown it won’t have to contend with two-time defending state champion Park Tudor.
Park Tudor was knocked out of the tournament on Friday night with a 69-67 loss to Indianapolis Broad Ripple. In fact, Park Tudor was the favorite to win the title according to John Harrell’s Indiana Basketball website, garnishing 46 percent of the votes. Bowman was second with 9.5 percent.
Haggard doesn’t want to look that far ahead, though.
“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves,” he said. “But getting back down to state was one of our goals.”
Beating Noll was step one.
And it wasn’t an easy one.
Rea’s first-half pep talk obviously woke up the Eagles.
“Coach told us to win or go home so we did what we had to do,” Haggard continued. “So we got on them in the second half. Before the game, we came here and had a walk-through, working on trapping and rebounding.”
Bishop Noll coach Drew Trost said the double-foul called in the third quarter involving Crisler hurt his team tremendously. That put Noll’s best player on the bench early in the third.
“I thought that was the difference in the game,” he said.
And gives the Warriors even more incentive next season.