INDIANAPOLIS | In their first state championship game played outside of breakfast time, the Bowman Academy Eagles needed a wake-up call on Saturday night inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Greensburg Pirates came out on fire in the first quarter of the Class 3A state championship games, shooting 9-of-17 in the first quarter while hitting three 3-pointers. It was Park Tudor all over again.
Top-ranked Greensburg hit 12-of-21 from beyond the arc and scored 14 points off breaking Bowman's press with excellent passing that resulted in wide-open layups to earn its second consecutive Class 3A state title, 89-76.
“They knocked 'em down, they knocked 'em down, they knocked 'em down,” Bowman coach Marvin Rea said after the loss in the Eagles third straight state championship game, their first in Class 3A.
Greensburg (28-1) jumped out to an 8-2 lead and led 22-15 after one quarter. They led 44-35 at halftime and were 9-of-16 from beyond the arc.
Bowman (22-5), which has led most of its postseason run, struggled offensively. The Eagles were 32-of-78 from the field for the game. Senior Justin King struggled against the Pirates size, 6-foot-7 Sean Sellers and 6-foot-8 Ryan Welage.
“I just didn't show up tonight,” said King, who finished with 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting.
Greensburg ended the game with a season-high 22 turnovers, even while handling the press pretty well. Bowman shrunk a double-digit lead down to four in the third period and a Greensburg miss was in Arthur Haggard's hands.
But he punched the ball to a teammate instead of grabbing the rebound, a Pirate picked it up and threw it into the corner where Collin Rigney was waiting. He hit the three and another Eagles' run was thwarted with a long-range dagger.
“Collin lives out there,” said Greensburg coach Stacy Meyer. Rigney was 7-of-10 from beyond the arc and finished with a 23 points.
Meyer said at his Monday practice his starters went against eight players. He said the ball was flying all over the gym. At first. Then the chaos subsided.
“You can't simulate what they do,” Meyer said.
Greensburg only played six players until the benches cleared in the final minute.
“We didn't have energy early on,” Rea said. “We came out flat.”
Davon Dillard led Bowman with 21 points, but was taken out much of the fourth quarter. Dillard seemed to have a shoulder injury, but his coach didn't want to hear about it.
“This is the state championship game,” Rea said. “Unless your arm falls off you need to be out there with your teammates. And playing defense.”
Sellers, a Ball State recruit, scored 27 points with 14 rebounds. Welage scored 21. Northwestern-bound point guard Ryan McIntosh scored eight points, but had 11 assists.
Greensburg had 25 assists. Bowman had 12 helpers.
Austin Daniels scored 14 for Bowman, Anthony Cole scored 12 and Haggard had 11. But the Eagles were only 4-of-20 from beyond the three-point stripe.
“They hit the open shots, it was unbelievable,” Rea said. “Hats off to them.”