Bowman fans come out in full force
By Mike Hutton and Steve T. Gorches Post-Tribune staff writers March 23, 2013 11:24PM
The Bowman Eagles pose for a photo after defeating The Linton-Stockton Miners at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, March 23, 2013. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 25, 2013 7:30AM
INDIANAPOLIS — There was a sea of Bowman fans at the Class 2A state title game against Linton-Stockton on Saturday.
Bowman coach Marvin Rea said that the school sold its allotment of 1,200 tickets. Unofficially, it looked like there were significantly more than 1,200 Eagles fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Rea said he wasn’t sure if the turnout was greater this year than in 2010 and 2012 when Bowman made its other two trips.
“It was nice to have fans here,” Rea said. “I don’t think we got support earlier like we did today. It’s a time when we need the support. I told the kids they have to earn the support. You can’t expect support.”
Alumni party: Not only was Bowman’s fan section seemingly bigger than in the two previous times the Eagles made it to state, but there were several former players on hand to support the program that keeps getting better.
“We have guys who literally drove 30 hours to be here,” said Rea, tossing out names like DeJuan Marrero, Carlos McCormick and Nick Moore, who was the long-distance driver of the group.
Spreading out the wealth: Bowman finished with four players in double figures.
Davon Dillard led the Eagles with 24 points, Antonio Pipkin and Justin King each had 16 and Arthur Hillard had 15 points. It was a group effort.
King had seven straight points in the fourth quarter when Linton-Stockton cut the lead to five pints.
“I have total confidence in Justin and his ability,” Rea said. “We wanted to put the ball in his hands. Justin wanted it and his teammates trusted him. We had to ride that pony until he was done, just like we rode Antonio (Pipkin) and Arthur (Haggard).”
Sense of humor: Linton-Stockton coach Joey Hart was light-hearted after his team’s loss to Bowman. When asked if Bowman’s depth was an advantage, he responded straight-faced.
“You want me to answer that honestly? In all seriousness, I thought it hurt them a lot,” he said without a hint of a grin. “We played our best five players most of the game.”
Then he got seriously serious instead of jokingly serious.
“Really, it does help them,” he said. “They can have one position use up 15 fouls and Marvin does a great job with that.”
Toughness pays off: Bowman’s extremely tough regular season schedule has been talked about numerous times. The Eagles lost seven of their first nine games against mostly 4A schools. But the schedule only got tougher in the postseason, based on state rankings.
Bowman, which was ranked No. 7 in the final Associated Press poll, defeated four other top-10 schools. Linton-Stockton was No. 10, while semistate foe Tipton was No. 2, regional final foe Fort Wayne Luers was No. 9 and sectional final foe Bishop Noll was No. 4.