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Gary Bowman (Ind.) coach Marvin Rae could not have looked more dejected than he did after his team’s gut-wrenching 54-51 overtime loss to four-time Class 4A state champion Simeon.
He took took full accountability for the loss, blaming he and his staff for a pivotal missed alley-oop with 30 seconds remaining while his team had a four-point lead.
“Just one play and we are up four points with the ball and we just have to get some things worked out,” Rae said. “It wasn’t the players fault we had coaches yelling ‘Throw the alley-oop’ from the bench and that wasn’t the time to do that.
“This one is on the staff.”
The Eagles (4-1) had the No. 1 Wolverines (6-1) on the ropes in regulation, leading 47-39 with 2:06 left. They led almost the entire game. The Wolverines managed an 8-0 run capped by an off-balance layup by Donte Ingram to force overtime.
From there, the Wolverines scored the first three points, leading for the first time since 25-24 in the second quarter. They never looked back, outscoring the Eagles 7-4. Justin King had 15 points but fouled out with 45.3 seconds left and his team trailing 52-51.
“We need to get back in the gym and work on it,” King said. “We were really pumped up but we lost. We’ll get better.”
Davon Dillard finished with 15 and just missed slamming home the alley-oop that would have iced the win. Dillard sat most of the first quarter for what Rae called a minor arm injury.
The Eagles led 19-9 early in the second quarter before the Wolverines got back in the game with an 11-0 run for a 20-19 lead. The Eagles recovered and led 28-25 at the half and 38-36 after three. They were up 38-30 with 3:26 left in the third.
“This was great for our kids coming back,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “It just shows the character of our young guys.”