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During pre-game warmups, Bogan sophomore guard Luwane Pipkins could sense that he would have a special night.
“It felt like my shot would fall tonight,” Pipkins said.
It did. Pipkins put on perhaps the greatest single-game performance in the second round of this year’s Proviso West Holiday tournament by scoring 32 points and going 8-of-11 from beyond the arc Thursday in an 80-59 victory over St. Joseph.
After his seventh three-pointer, Perkins pointed to a member of the crowd. It was his father Duwane, who helped develop the rising star’s game.
“My father always says, ‘The light is on [to shoot],’” Luwane Pipkins said.
Pipkins wears a No. 2 jersey to honor his family. His father wore the same number when he played and his older brothers wore the number during their football careers.
Pipkins has scored 58 points in his first two games at Proviso West. He finished with 26 points, but only 2-of-6 from three-point land Wednesday, in an 83-64 first-round win over Crespi Carmelite of Encino, Calif.
His 32 points in the second round came on 11-of-19 shooting overall and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. He had 19 points on 5-of-6 three-pointers in the first half against the Chargers (7-5).
Bogan (8-3) will play Proviso West or Morgan Park in the quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday. St. Joseph plays the losing team between Proviso West or Morgan Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“They’ve got the St. Joseph guy, (Jordan) Ash, ranked higher than Luwane (among sophomores),” Bogan coach Arthur Goodwin said. “There is no question that Luwane is one of the top guards in the state, for sure.”
The individual single-game record for three-pointers at a Proviso West tournament game is 10 by Glenbrook North’s Chris Stamas in 2005.
Pipkins wasn’t the only standout for the Bengals. Senior Brandon Berry scored a season-high 24 points, including 6-of-7 3-pointers, as Bogan outscored St. Joseph 26-12 in the third quarter after leading 34-30 at the half.
“The one thing this team can do is shoot the ball,” Berry said. “I’ve been practicing since middle school when I got cut by the seventh grade.”
The Bengals shot 15-of-21 3-pointers compared to St. Joseph’s 3 of 12.
St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore said both routs his team has suffered were due to 3-pointers. The previous worst loss of the season for the Chargers was a 71-53 defeat to host St. Charles East at the Thanksgiving tournament Nov. 23.
“We didn’t get high enough (defensively),” Pingatore said. “We didn’t get them enough help to push them back out (of 3-point range).”
A.J. Patty led St. Joseph with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Ash added 13 points.
The Chargers trailed only 21-20 at the end of the first quarter, but Pipkins already had 13 points at that point. At one point, Pipkins noticed that his AAU teammate, Joffrey Brown of Meanstreets, was assigned to guard him.
“Joffrey is a friend of mine,” Pipkins said.
Friend or foe, it was hard to find anyone capable of guarding Pipkins Thursday night.