GARY | By the time Davon Dillard cradled an alley-oop pass in front of him and dunked behind his head facing away from the basket, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers was tired.
By the time he drove baseline for a thunderous one-hander, Luers was searching the short bench for help that simply wasn’t there with only 10 players dressed for the game.
And by the time it was all over, the Times No. 1 Eagles had lanced the Knights 78-72 -- a score that belied the true lopsidedness of the game -- for their second home win over an Eastern time zone foe in as many nights.
Because the relationship between Luers and Bowman dates back to the days of Deshaun Thomas suiting up for the Knights and the road warrior Eagles having seemingly more postseason wins than home games, Bowman coach Marvin Rea resisted the urge to go crazy against a rebuilding team that entered the game at 8-5.
“The first half we jumped on them, and then we played a lot of our younger guys, including a lot of freshmen,” Rea said. “This is what the IHSAA is all about, good sportsmanship.
"We got our young guys into the game and saw which freshmen we might want to bring up for sectionals, and Luers got to work on some things they need for the postseason. It was good for everyone.”
Only a furious final few minutes where the Knights ran roughshod over the far end of Bowman’s bench made the score look closer than the game.
Bowman led 48-28 at halftime, but Luers outscored the Eagles 44-30 in the second half.
Bowman center Justin King volunteered to sit the second half so more players could see action, and starters played sparingly after the break. Of the 15 Bowman players who entered the game, 12 scored.
Dillard had 14 points in the first quarter, 22 in the first half and 28 for the game to lead everyone. His dunks and his chemistry with pass-happy teammates overwhelmed Luers early and often.
Arthur Haggard, Raynard Perry and Anthony Cole had eight points each for the Eagles (14-3).
Luers point guard J.J. Foster scored 10 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth period.
Prior to Friday night’s home win over Indianapolis Cathedral, Bowman hadn’t played since Jan. 25 due to postponements and other rescheduled games.