Bowman Academy sophomore Akil McClain got a call around 7 p.m. Tuesday from coach Marvin Rea. Senior Arthur Haggard was too sick to participate in the Rumble's 3-point contest.
“I told you he could shoot,” Rea said after McClain led the first two rounds with 18 points. He got six points in the championship round.
“When I got the call I went to a gym and shot,” McClain said. He went to Robbins, Ill., to a gym where his father had keys to. On New Year's Eve, mind you.
“I shot 300 shots,” McClain said. “I love competitions like this. I just couldn't find my rhythm in the last round.”
Rebound rights: West Side outrebounded Logansport 42-21 in the girls game, including two players with nine rebounds each and two with seven.
At 5-foot-5, Amari Ferguson had seven for the Cougars, and DeJah Joshua and Lexus Fox had nine each. Junior post player Tinon Hunter also had seven for West Side.
Whitney Jennings led Logansport with nine.
"We outrebound people every game," Joshua said. "We box out constantly, and we use our athleticism. We're such an athletic team."
Not the same team: Pioneer went 21-4 last year and reached a Class A regional final before losing to Triton. Coach Pat Skaggs then took the job at nearby Logansport and took his son Carter with him.
The 6-foot-5 junior is now averaging 25 points a game for the 6-1 Berries, while the Panthers, under Austin Cowley, came into the Rumble 1-6.
The Cedar Lake Arch: As a sophomore Rylie Singleton hit two 3-pointers in The Times Region Roundball Rumble 3-point contest. The Hanover Central guard did not turn any heads.
But she did on Wednesday in the 15th RRR. Singleton had 11 points in the first two rounds and finished one point from making the finals.
Considering she's returned from two ACL surgeries the past two years, not bad. Not bad at all.
“I missed the first five games this year, too,” said Singleton, who returned to hit five 3s against Andrean scoring 15 in a win. “I feel 100 percent, better than ever.'
Singleton's arch was higher than any other competitor. It seemed to almost hit a beam inside the Hammond Civic Center.
“When I was little my grandpa always told me to put arch on my shot,” she said of Walter Singleton.
Home court blues: Kortrell Caston scored a combined 17 points in the first two rounds of the Times Region Roundball Rumble Shootout at the Hammond Civic Center and had a good shot at winning the event.
The Hammond senior plays just a few hundred feet away during home games. Though he admitted to being nervous his first two rounds, Caston was still pumped up to show his skills on what is basically another home court for him with family watching.
Unfortunately for Caston, he scored six points in the final round to finish tied for third with Bowman Academy's Akil McClain.
"I knew somebody was going to get hot, and I was hoping it was me," said Caston, who shoots 35 percent from 3-point range this season.
Instead, it was Matt Meneghetti's 14 points in the final round that made everyone else's shooting seem as cold as ice.
"It was a lot of pressure," Caston said of trying to match 14 points. "He set the bar. Everyone else was like 'Whoa, 14.'"