OVERTIME DEMONS EXPELLED: In the 104 years of boys basketball state championship games, Marquette was the fourth Region team to play in an overtime game, but first to come out on top after the extra session.
Roosevelt lost in double overtime to Plymouth in 1982 in a classic that included future NBA player and coach Scott Skiles hitting a 25-foot shot at the buzzer for Plymouth to send the game into OT.
Renaldo Thomas was part of that Panthers’ team, and he was also the head coach of Lew Wallace in the most recent NWI overtime disappointment — a 65-62 loss to Washington in 2010.
The other Region loss was Valparaiso falling to South Bend Clay, 93-88, in 1994. The Vikings were led by future Valparaiso University star player and coach and Indiana Mr. Basketball Bryce Drew.
BIG LOVE TO EAGLES: Bowman Academy assistant athletic director Jamaal Bradley had a heart-felt memory looking out on Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night. He remembered what happened last year on this floor.
After Bowman beat Linton-Stockton to win the Class 2A state title, Bradley rushed on the floor. Many told him the Eagles won it for him.
His wife, Kristen, passed away from leukemia right before the tourney started.
"These boys on the team were so uplifting to me," Bradley said. "They are not just basketball players. They were at the funeral home. They were always asking me if they could do anything for me. These are great young men."
OOPS: Bowman coach Marvin Rea forgot his scorebook, so score keeper Donnie King had to borrow two score pages from a media member. Also, the rosters handed out by the IHSAA did not have the Bowman's players names on it. They had last year's 3A finalist Fort Wayne Concordia.
New ones were brought out before tipoff.
BEHIND THE SCENES HEROES: Much has been made of Lake Central’s return to the state finals after a 30-year absence, but little was said of the coaches and administrators behind that memorable team.
Jim Hammel was the head coach, Joe Andrews his varsity assistant, Wayne Svetanoff the JV coach and former LC star Dirk Fehrman led the freshman program.
Hammond High Hall of Fame football coach Bernie Krueger was LC’s principal for 10 years.
“The highlight for me in ’84 was beating Anderson in the (Lafayette) semistate. It was a surprise to everyone and we kept building off that momentum,” he said.
Krueger, now 88, greatly admired Hammel.
“I thought he was what we needed at the time. He taught discipline and he taught really good defense,” Krueger said.
TOUGHING IT OUT: Marquette’s Braxton Miller came up gimpy in the first quarter when his left foot landed on the foot of a Barr-Reeve player after he hit a 3-pointer.
“It's the worst ankle roll I’ve ever had,” Miller said. “But I knew I wasn't coming out.”
His coach knew it, too.
“He could barely walk, but he toughed it out,” Blazers’ coach Donovan Garletts said.
Miller had the ankle taped and returned in the second quarter. He finished with eight points, including a pair of threes in the win.
“We've been in situations where it's looked bad, but we know we can turn things around. We just had to keep chipping away at the lead,” he said. “It's crazy. It hasn't set in yet. I may not realize it until (Sunday).”
LOCAL OFFICIAL HONORED: At halftime of the Class 2A final, Steve Kvachkoff of Crown Point was given the Interscholastic Athletic Official Award for excellence for boys basketball. The IHSAA honors one official in 11 sports each year.
A member of the Lake County Officials Association and 1979 Crown Point High School graduate, Kvachkoff has officiated boys basketball for 32 years with 20 sectionals, 17 regionals, 10 semistates and three state finals under his belt.
Times Correspondent Steve T. Gorches, and staff writers Al Hamnik, Steve Hanlon and Jim Peters contributed to this report.