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Luwane Pipkins and Juwan Henry are mirror image players. Either is comfortable playing the other’s position and both are capable of lighting it up.
The starting Bogan guards combined for 33 points and directed a devastating floor game as the No. 19 Bengals ran out to the early lead en route to a 65-39 victory over host Vocational Monday.
Henry, a 6-foot senior, scored a game-high 17 points and added four steals and two assists. His early steals and transition baskets fueled an 11-2 Bogan first quarter run that created the template for their early dominance.
“It’s just all defense,” Henry said. “The coaches said to pressure because they didn’t think [Vocational] could handle our pressure, so we just extended the defense at the top.” The Bengals’ early run pushed their advantage to 18-7 after the first quarter.
“We both can do the same things out there, especially the drive and kick if I have to, or [Pipkins] can drive and kick if I’m open,” he said.
Pipkins, the team’s leading scorer, opened the game with a three-pointer and used his quickness and speed to run by and through the Cavaliers in scoring 16 points and contributing three assists and three steals.
“We’re just working harder and harder to come together and get our team chemistry right,” Pipkins said. He said the team was not happy about Bogan’s 3-2 record at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament that included some one-sided losses to Red-South rival Morgan Park and Benet.
With the new year, Bogan (9-5, 4-0 Red-South) was ready to pounce. “That was not us, and we were not happy about the Morgan Park and Benet games, and you saw that today, with a 30-point, 28-point lead,” Pipkins said.
Senior forward Brandon Berry (seven points) drilled a deep three-pointer for a 34-21 Bogan lead. Behind a steal and dunk and baseline jumper by Mike Wallace (11 points, six rebounds), Vocational used a 6-2 run at the start of the third quarter to momentarily cut the lead within single digits.
Pipkins and Berry responded with baskets and freshman guard Bryce Barnes, who added 10 points off the bench, ended the third quarter with another deep three-pointer that pushed the Bengals’ lead to 50-30.
Eight different Bogan players scored. Junior forward Dontrell Whitaker added six points and punctuated the victory with an emphatic drive in the lane he finished with a tomahawk dunk.
Amari Walker and Michael Taylor added nine points apiece for the Cavaliers (9-5, 2-2).