posttrib
FLIGHTY 
Weather Updates

Boys basketball: Missed free throws doom East Chicago

Updated: January 24, 2013 6:48AM



INDIANAPOLIS — While perusing the box score, it didn’t take East Chicago coach Abe Brown long to find the main reason for his team’s struggling offense — Missed free throws; lots of them.

The Cardinals didn’t make even half of their attempts from the free-throw line in a 59-48 loss to Broad Ripple in the IPSAC vs. Midwest Boys Basketball Showcase at Indianapolis Marshall High School on Saturday.

“With the exception of Munster, we could be undefeated if we hit half our free throws,” said Brown of his 2-4 team. “We lose to Michigan City by one point and miss 17 free throws. We lose to Mishawaka by two and miss three free throws. So who’s going to win a basketball game like that?”

East Chicago made just 13 of 28 free throws, shooting three airballs and another that hit the backboard, but not the rim.

“Every game it comes down to if we hit our free throws to win a ball game,” Brown said. “I think we’re getting them in a position to score by getting to the free-throw line, we just have to now put it on the board.”

At this point, Brown says it’s a mental issue with some players.

“Some guys are starting to get better at it and others are still lagging behind,” Brown said. “It’s just a matter of getting it done. We’re going to break the curse soon.”

Broad Ripple (3-4) began the second half on a 7-1 run to increase its lead to 33-19. The Rockets never led by less than eight the rest of the way.

East Chicago had its chances, limiting Broad Ripple to a pair of field goals and two free throws during a eight-minute stretch over the third and fourth quarters.

Hyron Edwards, who had Indiana coach Tom Crean in the crowd watching him, along with assistants from Purdue and Michigan, scored 15 points. However, he was held without a field goal for a 26 minute stretch from early in the first quarter until late in the fourth quarter.

“We have to put the ball in the hole — bottom line,” Brown said. “We missed wide-open layups, we missed short shots. We have to put the ball in the basket, but that will take time. We have four or five guys that are coming off football that we didn’t have all summer and are just now starting to play.”

East Chicago freshman Damien Jefferson added 12 points, while Broad Ripple had three players — Muta Irving (14), Darian Fitzgerald (13) and J.W. Summerhill (10) — score in double figures.

“I’m glad we hopefully get this out of our system so when the tournament comes,” Brown said. “One of my assistant coaches said these are practice games, so hopefully when they do count we’ll put the ball in the hole when it counts. I know we’re a much better team.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.