GARY | A win is a win, especially when it gets a team over .500.
That's how Bowman coach Marvin Rea looked at his team's 79-63 win over Hammond Wednesday.
"We got a win, but it wasn't one of our best performances," Rea said. "I think we came out flat, without any energy and we grinded it out."
The Eagles (9-8) came out sloppy, by their own admission, and weren't able to pull away from the Wildcats until the second half.
Hammond (10-7) scored 32 points from the free throw line.
"They scored about 500 points at the free throw line," Rea said. "It's just our starters out there, taken guys for granted and coming to the game to play, not moving their feet and getting ticky-tack fouls."
Both teams committed several turnovers early while shooting poorly.
Rea pulled left several starters on the bench for long periods of the first half. Standout Justin King didn't get his first bucket until there were only two minutes left in the second quarter.
"Some of our older guys are getting a little comfortable and they just have to turn it up a little," Rea said. "I'm going to lose my way, not anyone else's way. I don't do the cool player stuff."
"You're going to come out and you're going to hustle, dive on the floor and play defense."
Levon Hamilton III kept Hammond alive when it looked like the Eagles were about to pull away in the second quarter. The senior guard scored 28 points, 17 of which came at the charity stripe.
Davon Dillard led Bowman with 19 points. Michael Kirkendall had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Cats.