The story of Bogan has been wildly unpredictable and hard to fully comprehend this year. The team beat Utah’s nationally-rated Lone Peak in December but has sometimes failed to live up to the gaudy expectations.
The Bengals were blown out by Simeon and have suffered some disastrous shooting games this year. “Some of our kids think we’re the Bulls, or Simeon and Morgan Park, and those schools are hoisting [state championship] trophies,” Bogan coach Arthur Goodwin said.
“We’ve just had some terrible shooting games: 4-of-32 on [three-pointers] against O’Fallon at Centralia and we shot 14 of61 against the other team [Wasatch Academy] from Utah last weekend.”
Bogan was ready to explode and Harlan found itself on the wrong end of a team on a mission.
Star guard Luwane Pipkins hit four three-pointers and scored 21 points as the No. 11 host Bengals converted a season-best 12 three-pointers in trouncing the Falcons 76-38 Thursday in Red-South play.
Bogan (13-4, 4-2) shot a stunning 11 of 16 on three-pointers in running out to a 51-19 lead at halftime. The offensive explosion marked a welcome return for a Bogan team that failed to break 48 points in either of its two previous games.
Bryce Barnes was the team’s energizer and distributor. He scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half. He punctuated Bogan’s blistering start by drilling corner three-pointers on the final possession of the first and second quarters.
Bogan’s first four baskets were from beyond the arc as the Bengals led 22-10 after the first quarter. Barnes added four assists and three steals. James Jones registered 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. He converted a four-point play during a second quarter onslaught that saw Bogan outscore Harlan 29-9.
“A lot of teams have been scouting us, and they probably think we can’t shoot so they’ve been playing a lot of zone against us,” Barnes said. “We worked hard on moving the ball around and getting open shots and that led to some good things.”
The Bengals also played with greater purpose and direction. Bogan did not commit its first turnover until 3:01 remaining in the second quarter. The team’s pressure forced 19 Harlan turnovers.
Pipkins scored 17 points in the first half, including eight consecutive late in the second quarter. He was encouraged by the signs the team showed, especially the more intense preparation and the greater urgency. “We try to put teams away early,” he said.
“But what we’re trying to do is get back to our old game and play tough defense and put the ball in the basket.”
Elias Jones, a talented 6-6 wing senior forward, generated the only highlights for the Falcons (4-13, 1-5), a program in rebuilding mode after reaching a Class 3A sectional semifinal a year ago. Jones scored 10 of his team-best 17 points in the second half. He also added eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
Divonte Lumpkin added seven points for the Falcons.
Harlan could not contain the Bengals’ depth as 12 different Bogan players scored as Goodwin was able to play his bench extensively. “We’re trying to get our swag back, and I liked how we played today,” Goodwin said.
“We played fast, we moved the ball and we were looking for each other and playing for each other.”