David and Goliath met once again in the 2A boys basketball regional at North Judson Saturday night.
Only this time, Goliath won.
Bowman Academy, sporting a roster with five players standing 6-5 or taller, withstood all the slings and arrows the Westview Warriors, whose tallest player stands 6-3, could throw at them en route to a 70-51 victory.
“To beat a team as good as Bowman you almost have to play the perfect game, and we did not,” said Westview head coach Rob Yoder. “We missed too many shots from the perimeter and turned the ball over way too often.”
It was a scoring drought of biblical proportions which began the Warrior downfall. Trailing by only three (31-28) in the waning seconds of the first half, Westview had the ball with a chance to cut its deficit even further.
Instead, Elijah Ray of Bowman made a steal and launched a shot from just inside the half-court line. The ball sailed cleanly through the hoop as the buzzer sounded for a triple that extended the Eagles’ lead to 34-28.
“That was a huge momentum play in the game,” Yoder admitted. “Our guys were a little deflated in the locker room.”
Bowman carried its new-found momentum into the third quarter, scoring the first 11 points of the frame to boost its advantage to 17 points (45-28). Brant Yoder’s three with 3:14 left in the period finally broke the 14-0 Eagle run, bet the damage had been done.
“Once they got a double-digit lead, we had to come out a little more on defense which made it tougher for us to guard them and keep track of them on the boards,” said Yoder. “It changed the game completely.”
The Warriors got as close as 12 points (49-37) after the Bowman burst, but could get no closer.
DeJuan Marrero, a 6-5 senior headed to DePaul University next fall, topped the Bowman scoring chart with 21 points. Marrero tallied the Eagles’ first 10 points of the second quarter to help keep his team in the lead.
Ray, a 6-6 senior who has already signed with IUPUI, finished with 14 points. Carlos McCormick also hit double figues with 11 markers.
Brant Yoder made his final game in a Westview uniform a memorable one. The 5-7 senior guard, whose four, three-point buckets in the first half kept the Warriors close, wound up with a team-high 17 points.
“It’s disappointing to lose and right now it hurts,” said Yoder, whose club finished the season with a splendid, 21-6 mark. “But our guys have nothing to hang their heads about. Westview has had a lot of great teams over the years, but I don’t know if we’ve ever had a team win 20-plus games after losing almost all of its leading players from the previous year. It’s a tremendous accomplishment and our players should be very proud.”
Bowman (16-8), which won the 2010 Class 1A state championship, will attempt to advance to the 2A state finals this Saturday when it takes on Tipton (24-3) in the semi-state at Lafayette Jeff. Tipton won its own regional with triumphs over Fountain Central (75-56) and Northfield (53-38).
Bowman Academy 70
Scoring by quarters
BA 18 16 17 19 -70
WV 15 13 9 14 -51
DeJuan Marrero 7, 7-8, 21; Arthur Haggard, Jr. 0, 0-0, 0; Tyler Core 0, 0-0, 0; Carlos McCormick 3, 5-5, 11; Antonio Pipkins 0, 0-0, 0; Justin King 3, 0-0, 7; Michael Ford 4, 1-2, 9; D’Mario Smith 0, 0-0, 0; Elijah Ray 6, 1-3, 14; Stephan Hawkins 3, 2-3, 8; Anthony Cole 0, 0-0, 0; Totals 26, 16-21, 70
Three-point field goals 2 (King 1, Ray 1); Team Fouls 19 (Fouled Out: None)
Jordyn Bontrager 1, 2-2, 5; Jerry Schwartz 2, 0-0, 6; Judah Zickafoose 2, 2-3, 6; Brant Yoder 6, 1-2, 17; Adrian Brandenberger 1, 0-0, 2; Chandler Aspy 0, 1-2, 1; Kyle Miller 3, 2-2, 9; Nic Raber 1, 0-0, 2; Nate Raber 0, 0-2, 0; Devin Aspy 0, 1-2, 1; Nick Miller 0, 0-0, 0; Totals 17, 9-15, 51
Three-point field goals 8 (Yoder 4, Schwartz 2, Bontrager 1, K. Miller 1); Team Fouls 14 (Fouled Out: Zickafoose)