CHESTERTON | Bowman Academy ventured into a Duneland Athletic Conference gym Tuesday for the first time in the school's seventh year of boys hoops, and suburbia didn't know what hit it.
"It's hard for people to prepare for our press if they haven't seen it before," Eagles' guard Arthur Haggard said. "We wanted to jump on them at the beginning and take the crowd out of the game."
The Times No. 1 Eagles played without junior star Davon Dillard, but it hardly made a difference. Their dizzying pressure forced 18 first-half turnovers, turning the game into a one-sided track meet. Bowman (3-0) seized a double-digit lead in the first quarter, pushed it into the 20s in the second quarter and cruised to an 82-60 victory over the No. 7 Trojans.
"Chesterton's a good, well-coached team. I was pretty surprised we were able to jump out to a (big) lead," Bowman coach Marvin Rea said. "I don't go against our guys, so I don't know, but we feel like our defense is our offense. We put in a lot of time on defense. We take a lot of pride in our defense."
Haggard poured 19 of his 30 points in a textbook 49-point Bowman first-half onslaught. He wound up with five of the Eagles' eight 3s.
"They were focusing on our big man (center Justin King)," Haggard said. "They were doubling down, so I had some open looks. I have to hit those to free him up."
The pressure, speed and athleticism didn't surprise Chesterton coach Tom Peller. The outside shooting did.
"They don't have a lot of weaknesses," Peller said. "Their quickness, athleticism, we can't simulate that. They just impose their will on you. I thought our kids competed. We just had so many unforced turnovers. You can't tell (your players) to hold the ball, they'll just come and trap you. Their pressure is very structured. They're not just running around. It's pretty impressive what Marvin's done there."
King shook loose in the second half to finish with 16 points. Anthony Cole added 11, while Raynard Perry came up with five of the Eagles' 18 steals.
"Moving up to 3A, we'll be facing some tough competition, so it's good to play this type of game in this type of atmosphere," Haggard said. "It's nice to get outside of our area and play some other teams."
Bowman dressed 13 players and 12 of them saw the floor before the final minutes.
"You're only as good as your last guy on the bench," Rea said. "Our expectations are the same. They have to play defense and they have to play hard."
Chesterton trailed by as much as 28 in the third quarter before chipping the deficit down to 16 in the final eight minutes. Chris Palombizio and Cole Teal each managed 14 points despite a combined 6-of-22 shooting night. Sophomore Niles Dilosa scored 11 and Jake Wasielewski 10.