HARROD — Some outstanding freshmen have been contributing to area varsity basketball teams this season, and another one stepped up Saturday: Temple Christian 5-foot-7 guard Brock Bowman.
Bowman — the son of Pioneers’ coach Bruce Bowman — hit two big 3-pointers in the final minute and a half, the last one coming with two seconds to play to give Temple Christian a 62-61 victory over home standing Allen East.
It was a wild back-and-forth game that featured some outstanding individual performances.
The Mustangs (1-8) have suffered with turnover troubles the entire season and started the game with three consecutive turnovers and found themselves down 7-0 only a minute into the game.
Five more first turnovers and Allen East found itself in a 17-7 hole after one quarter as Temple (7-3) got eight first quarter points from 6-5 Justin Kroehler.
“That first quarter hurt but we battled back and never quit,” Allen East coach Rick Sherrick said.
The Mustangs settled down and rode 10 second quarter points from Tanner Richardson and seven more from Logan Rex to get to within 30-24 at the half.
Allen East grabbed the lead when Clay Plaugher exploded for four treys in the third period to go along with seven more points from Richardson and the Mustangs took a 45-41 lead into the final quarter.
“We played well early but they fought back and made a game of it,” Temple Christian coach Bowman said. “They found some holes in our zone but we never quit.”
Two big treys from Taylor Zweibel kept the Pioneers close but they still trailed 58-51 when Bowman hit a 3-pointer to get Temple to within 58-54. The Mustangs then missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity and the Pioneers took advantage when Kroehler was fouled on a 3-point try and connected on all three free throws to make the score 58-57 in favor of the Mustangs.
Rex then hit a bucket for the Mustangs followed by a basket from Evan Sutton to keep the Pioneers in the game at 60-59 with 15 seconds left to play.
Allen East then hit the front end of a one and one but missed the second to set up the big Pioneers finish.
Bowman took a pass from Sutton in the left corner and fired up a trey over the outstretched arm of Richardson and the ball hit nothing but net to put the Pioneers up 62-61 and they claimed the win when the Mustangs misfired on a long trey as time expired.
“That is a good basketball team and a freshman hit a big shot for them,” Sherrick said. “Logan Rex played well for us and Tanner Richardson was outstanding.”
Richardson led the way for the Mustangs with a game-high 22 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Plaugher ended the contest with 17 points while Rex added 16 for Allen East.
The Pioneers got 21 points from Sutton, 19 from Kroehler, and 14 by Zweibel.
“It was just a crazy game but an exciting win for us,” Bowman said. “Sutton and Kroehler played well and Zweibel kept us in it. Brock knocked down a big one. To see your son make a big one like that makes you proud as a coach and also as a dad.”