NORTH JUDSON | Too big, too strong, too good.
Bowman Academy's triumvirate of Davon Dillard, Justin King and Antonio Pipkin was more than Fort Wayne Luers could handle in the championship of Saturday's Class 2A North Judson Regional.
The Eagles pulled an inside job, bruising the Knights on the boards and in the paint in an 82-72 victory.
"We were better inside. We were stronger inside," Bowman coach Marvin Rea said. "We've been pretty tough on the boards all year. There was a lot of hype early. We told them, 'Let's slow it down, don't get caught up in the hype. Let's pull it out, get a lead and make them play man to man.'"
Dillard, Pipkin and King all scored 19 points and combined for 23 rebounds to wear out Luers in the second half.
"I started off the regional kind of bad," Dillard said. "I came into the game with more intensity. You've just go to go hard and make the refs make a good call."
Luers (16-7) led 22-19 after an opening quarter in which junior Division I recruit James Blackmon dropped 12 points, but Bowman's depth and muscle showed in the second quarter. Seven Eagles scored, led by King. Anthony Cole's putback in the final second sent Bowman (16-9) to the locker room with a 44-37 lead.
"We knew they were a little small (inside)," King said. "We had to turn it up a little more every time."
Dillard picked up in the third quarter where King left off, scoring 11 of Bowman's 15 points in the period, and Pipkin applied the finishing touches with nine in the fourth quarter.
Blackmon led all scorers with 27 points. Randon Jackson, a Marion transfer who wasn't eligible to play when the Eagles and Knights beat Luers 94-76 on Feb. 3, added 18.
"I think over the course of the season, we've matured," Rea said. "They've learned their roles. Early on, I had some of the best AAU talent you can assemble. Now we're more of a team."