The 6-foot-4 center’s instincts told him to look for a pass and get back to the post, but when he realized the Sidwell Friends defense had sagged away, the shot came quickly and sailed true.
The last of Maret’s 11 three-pointers, the basket midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament final helped the Frogs hold off a charge by the Quakers in a 74-65 victory at Potomac School in McLean.
A defensive end who has signed to play college football at Towson, Bowens brings that physicality to the hardwood, but on Sunday he flashed a surprisingly versatile game. He matched his season high with 17 points and added 11 rebounds as the Frogs locked up their first outright MAC title.
“I’ve been working on it in the past week just to get my shot right,” said Bowens, who picked the right time to deliver his fourth three-pointer of the season. “There was an article out there about me just going to the basket and being aggressive. I knew they were going to scout me looking for the charges, so I had to be able to hit that shot.”
On the way to its third win of the season over the Quakers, top-seeded Maret built its lead with outside shooting. The Frogs made all five of their three-point attempts in the opening quarter and eight before halftime.
Senior Marlon Beck gave Maret (25-3) the lead for good at 13-12 when he hit a three-pointer through contact five minutes into the game. Senior Adam Zeitler and junior Steffen Davis each drilled three deep balls in the first half as the tournament’s top seeded team took an 11-point lead to the break.
The barrage must have triggered a familiar feeling for the Quakers (21-8) as they ceded nine three-pointers in a 59-55 loss to Maret on Jan. 8.
“We were hot,” said Beck, a Binghamton-bound point guard who had 13 points. “I just kept feeding [Davis and Zeitler] the ball. I wanted to set them up for good shots, and they kept rewarding me.”
After halftime, Maret maintained the lead thanks in large part to Bowens’ rugged work on both ends of the floor. He scored 11 points in the final period and ended several important defensive trips with authoritative rebounds.
The Quakers cut the lead to four with baskets on their first three trips of the fourth quarter, but the Frogs responded with a 14-2 run to pull away again. The burst included a three-pointer, a layup and two free throws from Bowens.
“It’s funny because not a lot of teams will say that your center is the one that steadies you,” Maret Coach Garrett O’Donnell said. “He really kind of calms us down. When he gets his hands on the ball, it’s not going anywhere.”
Villanova-bound senior Josh Hart scored 18 of his game-high 27 in the second half for Sidwell Friends, which will now wait to see if it will join Maret in the inaugural DCSAA tournament field via an at-large bid.