INDIANAPOLIS | Had someone told Antonio Pipkin that he'd only play 11 minutes in Saturday's Class 2A state championship game, he probably would've choked on his Corn Flakes.
“Crazy,” Pipkin said after Bowman Academy's 86-73 win over Linton-Stockton to get the program's second state championship. Pipkin scored 12 fourth-quarter points to keep a talented Miners team at bay.
After one of his baskets he put the ball down and Bowman coach Marvin Rea asked the bench players if Pipkin swore at him. Pipkin denied any profanity with a curious smile.
“I wanted to stay in and foul out,” Pipkin said.
The 6-foot-3 senior finished with 16 points. Linton-Stockton got within five points four different times in a furious fourth quarter. Pipkin hit a free throw once to extend the lead, and Justin King scored twice in those situations.
Pipkin was 6-of-7 from the line in the final eight.
“Once my guys stepped up I just waited for coach to put me back in,” Pipkin said.
Bowman style: The Miners' Austin Karazsia, a 6-foot-8 post, scored a game-high 29 points with 10 rebounds. Dess Fougerousse, a 6-foot-5 senior, added 25 points and six boards.
That was kind of like Tipton's Mike Crawford last Saturday, who scored 40 against the Eagles in the semistate.
The Eagles press up court and don't seem to mind layups on the other end.
“That's Bowman basketball,” Rea said. “We get the game at our pace, the other team gets tired and we win it in the fourth quarter. They can get there's.”
Bowman style II: Rea was wearing a maroon lettermen's sweater with 'TB' on the chest, but he broke out some maroon Polo deck/boat shoes for the game at Bakers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“Hey, first time I wore them,” Rea said.
“Man, those are $200,” King said.
Bowman style III: On Wednesday morning Rea drove to Plymouth to get his team some new T-Shirts that the Eagles wore during warmups. They said, “Started from the Bottom.”
It referenced the Eagles 2-7 start in 2012-13.
“Nobody expected us to do anything,” sophomore Davon Dillard said. “They thought we stunk. But they're watching us win the state championship now.”
Second-chance points: Miners coach Joey Hart said the game was won in the first half, when the Eagles scored 16 second-chance points and held a 13-point lead.
“The second shots really hurt us in the first half,” Hart said. “They were relentless on the glass.”
At the end of the game, both teams had 32 rebounds each. Dillard led Bowman with six, Pipkin and King had five.
Virgil Sweet an Eagle?: Bowman was a remarkable 14-of-17 from the free-throw line. What a difference.
In 2010 when Bowman beat Barr-Reeve 74-52 to win the Class A state title the Eagles were 12-of-23 from the line. But it didn't matter. Bowman was too good.
In 2012 when Bowman lost to Park Tudor 79-57 in the Class 2A state final the Eagles were 10-of-20 from the line. It didn't matter either because Yogi Ferrell was too good.
This year it did matter. Without the free throws the Miners might've been able to get a win.
“When the game's on the line we need to knock those down,” Rea said. “We did today.”