Boys basketball: EC forces 24 turnovers in rout of Griffith
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent January 9, 2013 10:54PM
East Chicago's Jeremiah Ochoa takes the jumper over Griffith's Lawrence Mosley in the second quarter at East Chicago Central High School Wednesday evening. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 11, 2013 7:37AM
EAST CHICAGO — Right when its coach expected it to happen, East Chicago Central found its rhythm.
“I knew it was going to be around January before our guys started getting it together due to having five guys that played football,” EC coach Abe Brown said. “It takes a while to transition to basketball.”
The Cardinals forced 24 turnovers and shot 52 percent from the floor in a 70-50 win over Griffith.
“I was joking with some older players about this in the locker room: what sells tickets? Offense. What wins championships? Defense. That’s what we’re trying to instill in our guys,” said Brown. “When you can get transition baskets it makes the game fun. But the only way you’re going to get those baskets is if you play great defense.”
EC (4-5) held on to a small lead for much of the first quarter before ending the period on a 6-0 run, thanks to forcing some Griffith (6-4) turnovers.
That run extended to 11-0 to start the second quarter, as EC jumped out to a 22-11 advantage. Six points from Griffith center Ben Parish sparked a 9-0 run by the Panthers. But, again, Griffith turnovers started piling up and EC closed out the first half with eight straight points, taking a 34-20 lead into halftime.
“In the first half we were just a bunch of individuals taking quick shots,” Griffith head coach Gary Hayes said. “Then they shot the lights out on us because we didn’t get a hand up on the ball.”
The Cardinals shot 12-for-19 (63 percent) from the floor in the second half to put the game away. EC was especially lethal from behind the arc, hitting on seven straight 3-point attempts.
Anfernee Brown hit four of them, finishing with a game-high 21 points —16 of them in the second half. Hyrone Edwards added 15 points and Damien Jefferson had 11.
Griffith center Ben Parrish led the Panthers’ offense with 17 points.