BOYS BASKETBALL

Basketball regional notes

2013-03-10T19:15:00Z 2013-04-09T23:37:08Z Basketball regional notesTimes Staff nwitimes.com
March 10, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

Reverse the curse: Andrean became the first Lake County team since Roosevelt in 2003 to win a Class 3A regional in Plymouth.

The 59ers' 70-60 overtime victory Saturday was their first regional title since 2000 and only their fourth since the start of class basketball.

“I didn’t even know that (Plymouth) had that good of a homestand here,” senior Nick Davidson said. “...That’s pretty good. What can I say, this team keeps working and keeps working.”

The last time Andrean played Plymouth for the regional title in 2006, Luke Harangody lost his final game in a Niners uniform.

No time for the pain: Bowman Academy's Antonio Pipkin left in the third quarter of Saturday's Class 2A regional championship after apparently getting his finger jammed, only to return within the next couple minutes, the injured finger taped to another.

"He likes to show the dramatics," Eagles coach Marvin Rea said. "I told him, 'Tony, Tony, I don't have all day.'"

Pipkin was no worse for fear, scoring nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, when Bowman put Fort Wayne Luers away with its dominant inside play.

"He's a football player. He's a tough kid," Rea said. "I knew he'd be back. He's a senior. He's been here before."

Not your average bear: Luers junior James Blackmon scored 26 points against Bowman, but nearly half of them (12) came in the first quarter, before the Eagles dialed back their pace offensively.

"We couldn't rush shots," Rea said. "We couldn't trade buckets with the Blackmon kid. The kid's an All-American, a (2014) Mr. Basketball candidate. He's going to ring it up. All that's doing is waking up the bear. We had to slow it down, lure the bear back to sleep."

That meant more patience on offense.

"Before we went out, coach said, 'No jump shots. Take it right to the rack,'" Justin King said.

Family love: Merrillville senior Jelani Pruitt spoke with his cousin, Kenya Stines, on Saturday afternoon, after the Pirates beat Munster in the Class 4A Michigan City Regional semifinal.

Stines is an assistant coach at Bowman Academy.

“He told me about his game and I told him about ours,” Pruitt said. “He told me to go out and play hard.”

That Pruitt did. He scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Pirates' win against South Bend Adams.

Pruitt was hoping his Pirates would be placed in the same semistate site as Bowman, but on Sunday afternoon that did not happen. Merrillville is going to Lafayette Jeff and Bowman is going to Huntington North.

Deja boo: Munster coach Mike Hackett relived the same scenaro in the Mustangs' 55-52 loss to Merrillville in the semifinal. B.J. Jenkins nailed a 25-foot 3-pointer from the top of the key in the final seconds for the win.

Two years ago in the 4A semistate, Kokomo's D.J. Balentine drained a 3-pointer from the same spot to give his team a 47-44 win. Jenkins' trey gave his coach, T.J. Lux, the win.

Hacket is tired of his team losing close games to these “Something Js.”

“We haven't had much luck in situations like that the last few years,” Hackett said, "but I knew we were going to get a good shot. I thought we would make it.”

Balentine's shot fell with 2.7 left on the clock. Jenkins' was at 3.0.

Against Kokomo, Joe Crisman took a half-court shot that drew iron before falling out. On Saturday it was Michael Schlotman's three-quarter court shot that hit backboard and iron before missing as the buzzer sounded.

“One of these times the breaks are going to go our way,” Hackett said.

Deja vu: On March 11, 1995, Lux was a senior on Merrillville when his Pirates beat Andrean to win the regional. On Saturday he was the coach cutting down the net. He seemed happier watching his players do the same.

“Basketball has been very good to me,” Lux said, holding a piece of the net. “It has done a lot of great things for me. I took this job to help our kids realize the same things. I am so happy they got to experience what I did as a player.”

Bloody knees: Merrillville senior Jake Raspopovich's knees looked awful after the Adams game. He had scrapes, cuts and blood all over them.

That's what happens when you spend much of the game on the floor, going after lose balls.

Raspopovich was Merrillville's quarterback when he led the Pirates to the 5A semistate, losing to Fort Wayne Snider 42-39. Now he gets another shot when the Bucs play Carmel in Saturday's semistate.

His older brother Josh lost to Carmel in the 2005 football semistate. The middle brother, Zach, lost to Carmel in the 2009 football semistate.

“I couldn't ask for anything more in my senior year, another shot,” Jake said after beating Adams. “We had a great year in football and came up short at semistate. I do not plan on losing this one. We all want to get to state.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News