GARY | At Monday's meeting inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Bowman boys basketball coach Marvin Rea was happy with the history his program had made along with the shared history of Northwest Indiana.
For the first time since 2010, the region has teams playing in three of the four state championship games. In 2010 Bowman Academy won the Class A title, Wheeler won the 2A title and Lew Wallace finished second in the 3A game.
On Saturday at Bankers Life, Marquette will play in the Class A game, Bowman in the 3A and Lake Central in the 4A.
"I thought it was going to be a region Mardi Gras," Rea said. "I thought we'd get four down here this year."
With Westview coach Rob Yoder a table away, it's amazing to see how close the area was to having four teams playing Saturday. In the Class 2A North Judson Regional semifinal, Westview outscored Bishop Noll 15-3 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
Westview won 75-64 in double overtime. Noll had potential game-winning shots at the end of regulation and the first OT.
"I keep up with all my colleagues at Noll," Bowman sophomore guard Martin Schiele said. "I wish they were all still playing."
Schiele was one of three Warriors who transferred to Bowman after Drew Trost resigned at Noll. Akil McClain and John Mitchell were the others who left Hammond for Gary.
Schiele made the varsity jump first. He played some varsity at Noll last year, so he was ready for the speed of the varsity game.
"We lost to Bowman last year in the sectional championship game," Schiele said. "Now I'm here."
As good of a hoops talent as the 5-foot-8 guard is, basketball is not his first love. Playing the drums is. He's hit the sticks in church since he was young and has taken lessons from George Furgye in Hammond, the home town of both.
"Drums are my main thing," Schiele said. "I love it. I love playing in church."
Coming off the bench, Schiele is just another piece to Marvin Rea's puzzle. Schiele has scored 16-17 points in a game. In another he's played defense and got assists.
Every night is a different night and a different name can get the headlines. That's Bowman basketball.
"Martin works harder than the young guys, that's why he's where he is now," Rea said. "He's more serious, more mature. For a sophomore he's had games that's gotten us over the hump.
"His speed has put him in our guard rotation."
Darrion Riddle is the linebacker of the group. Raynard Perry is the quick corner who takes away the other team's top target. Austin Daniels is a wild card, who can shoot and dribble penetrate.
Meanwhile, Schiele can also do it all.
"If I want to change tempo I change my guards," Rea said. "We want to give (Greensburg) 32 minutes of hell."
Schiele, who wants to be a pastor one day, knows what Greensburg has. Bryant McIntosh is a 6-foot-3 point guard headed to Northwestern. Sean Sellers is a 6-foot-7 post headed to Ball State.
The Pirates are the defending state champs and have gone 53-2 over the past two seasons, with one big yearleft.
"This game is indescribable," Schiele said. "I thank God for it. They are good with some good players. But when we pass the ball and execute, play Bowman defense, we're one of the best teams in the country.
"And that's what we want to be on Saturday."