WHEATFIELD | Bowman Academy’s tournament run continued Saturday night in dominating fashion.
The Eagles cruised past South Bend St. Joseph 82-63 to win the Class 3A Kankakee Valley Regional title.
Bowman (21-4) faces Fort Wayne Dwenger in next Saturday’s northern semistate at either Lafayette Jeff or Huntington North in its quest for a third state championship.
“It’s just playing hard and playing as a team,” said senior forward Justin King, who finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Eagles did it not only offense but also with their defense, collecting 15 steals and winning their fourth regional in school history.
Bowman led 19-17 at the end of the first quarter and turned up the heat at both ends of the floor in the second.
Austin Daniels drained a 3-pointer to jump start the scoring for Bowman in the second, putting it on top for keeps at 22-19. Anthony Cole and Davon Dillard combined for eight points in the middle of a 17-3 run.
Raynard Perry’s 3-pointer put Bowman up 39-22 with 2 minutes and 35 seconds left before halftime. Bowman opened up a 43-26 lead at the break.
Bowman maintained a 62-47 lead after three quarters before eventually putting the game away in the fourth, outscoring St. Joe 21-16 in the final stanza.
Bowman coach Mavin Rea always challenges his squad, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
“Just like last week, we’re either going to play defense or we’re not going to play defense,” said Rea after the win over Andrean in the morning semifinals. “I asked my guys if they’re not going to play defense, let me know so that way I can make adjustments.
“We can either go to a half-court 1-3-1, or we can go full. I just need to know what you guys want to do.”
Dillard finished with a team-high 22 points, and Cole added 15.
The Eagles wanted another regional title and to take the next step in the tournament trail.
“Oh, yeah, definitely,” King said.