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Boys basketball notebook: Bowman has unfinished business at state

Bowman Academy players Antonio Pipkleft JustKing celebrate after an IHSAA boys 2-A semi-state victory 67-64 over TiptSaturday March 16 2013

Bowman Academy players Antonio Pipkin, left and Justin King celebrate after an IHSAA boys 2-A semi-state victory 67-64 over Tipton Saturday March 16, 2013 in Huntington, Ind. |Joe Raymond ~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 29, 2013 4:03PM



Some say the toughest thing to do in any sport at any level is to repeat as a champion.

Just ask Bowman Academy, which lost to Morgan Township in the sectional final in 2011 after winning the Class 1A state title the previous year. But getting back to the state championship game after getting blown out in the final the previous season might be a close second in difficulty.

Just ask Bowman Academy, which has done exactly that this spring after being beaten by Yogi Ferrell and Park Tudor by 22 points in the 2A final last year.

It hasn’t been easy with close games along the way in the postseason — regional games against LaVille and Bishop Luers were nerve-wracking — culminating with a 67-64 win over Tipton in Saturday’s Huntington North Semistate. But this season that started with losing four straight and seven out of nine has been all about getting back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for redemption.

“I told the guys it’s about winning eight straight — I don’t think we’ve done that all year,” Bowman coach Marvin Rea said. “We talked all year about our rocky start and getting back downstate. These guys have done well fighting adversity and staying together.”

The Eagles did win six straight from Jan. 8 to Jan. 26 and they’re on a seven-game win streak that started with the regular-season finale against East Chicago. But not getting one more would be unacceptable to the players who watched Park Tudor celebrate last year.

“We have to win this time,” said Justin King, who had 10 points on Saturday.

Too much outside shooting: Carmel made three 3-pointers in the first quarter to open up an eight-point lead in Saturday’s semistate game against Merrillville. The hot shooting was a bad sign for the Pirates, who lost 66-36.

“We’ve been able to do good things defensively,” Merrillville coach T.J. Lux said. “Full court, especially half court. That’s the thing. And there are a lot of things that happened (Saturday) that didn’t go according to plan. Hat’s off to Carmel for executing.”

Carmel finished with six 3-pointers.

“Even though they don’t have a true interior post-up player they still find ways to get the ball inside via the dribble,” Lux said. “They force the defense to collapse and they find shooters.”

— Deputy sports editor Steve T. Gorches and staff writer LaMond Pope contributed



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