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Most of the elite Public League teams have young, inexperienced point guards this season. That’s the case with Simeon, Young, Curie and Morgan Park.
Bogan’s Luwane Pipkins is only a junior, but he has two years of varsity experience and more than enough confidence.
“I’m not going to lie,” Pipkins said. “I think I’m the best guard in the city. All these young guys, they can’t stop me.”
Pipkins opened Tuesday’s game at Morgan Park by draining four consecutive three-pointers, setting the tone for the No. 15 Bengals’ 51-47 upset of the No. 5 Mustangs. He finished with 24 points and seven rebounds.
“[Pipkins] stuck it to us,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “Luwane is just fearless. He seized the moment.”
Pipkins’ initial burst gave the Bengals (7-1, 1-0 Red-South) a 14-3 lead. The Bengals led until a three-pointer from Jarrin Randle tied the game at 35-35 at the end of the third quarter.
Morgan Park’s Kain Harris scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. His jumper with 1:56 to play tied the game at 44-44, but the Bengals shot 7-for-10 from the free-throw line from that point to seal the win.
Sophomore James Jones scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds for Bogan. The Bengals shot 14-for-52 from the field but outrebounded Morgan Park 43-37.
“Luwane has been lighting it up this so far this year, he’s been feeling it,” Bogan coach Arthur Goodwin said. “He’s averaging 28 or 29 points a game.”
Pipkins didn’t manage a field goal in the second half, but shot 8-for-10 from the free-throw line.
Morgan Park played without sophomore point guard Charlie Moore, who is out for another week with a thigh injury. He will not play against Simeon on Thursday.
“Lamont Walker is only at 45 percent and we are playing without our point guard,” Irvin said. “We’re banged up, but I’m not going to make any excuses. Bogan is a scrappy team.”
Josh Cunningham finished with eight points and 13 rebounds and Markus Johnson added nine points and six rebounds off the bench for the Mustangs.
Jarrin Randle, a sophomore transfer from Simeon, led Morgan Park (5-1, 2-1) with 12 points, all in the second half. He electrified the crowd with his crossover dribble and three three-pointers. Despite the loss, it was a coming out party for the talented guard.
“It was fun to get out there and show my talent,” Randle said.