It has come out this boys basketball season from the mouths of the Bowman Academy Eagles: the Class 2A state champs have a chip on their shoulders.
On Sunday, the road map to prove doubters wrong was revealed as the IHSAA drew the state tournament pairings.
“Our guys want to win, they want to win bad,” Bowman coach Marvin Rea said.
The Eagles were bumped up to Class 3A this season due to the IHSAA's Tournament Success Factor. The team has played in Indianapolis in late March three of the last four years.
The road this March begins at the Hammond Civic Center where Bowman (15-3) plays Lighthouse (9-5). The winner will meet the survivor of Hammond vs Griffith in the semifinal.
Four-time defending sectional champion Lew Wallace opens against Roosevelt.
At the Class 4A East Chicago Sectional, the host Cardinals took a tough draw. E.C. opens against West Side, with the winner likely to get Lake Central in the semifinal. The semifinal victor will likely play defending sectional champion Munster in the final.
The Indians are coming off a monster win at Crown Point on Friday night, a 77-43 win.
“A game like this gives the kids a lot of confidence,” Milausnic said on Friday night. “This is a good Crown Point team, much improved over last year. You want to be playing your best basketball at the end of the year and this was one of our best efforts this season.”
The draw has 403 teams involved in the IHSAA's 104th annual state tourney. Sectional play will begin on Tuesday, March 4, with the sectional finals on March 8. The regional will be played on March 15 and the semistate on the 22nd.
The state finals will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 29.
In the Class 2A Hebron Sectional, favorite Bishop Noll (16-3) opens against Lake Station (14-5), the programs with the best records among the field.
In the Class A Morgan Twp. Sectional, defending champion 21st Century (10-5) opens against the host school. Six of the seven schools in this sectional have winning records.