GARY | It was home, sweet home for Holy Cross junior Alajowon Edwards on Saturday afternoon.
The Gary native and Michigan City grad came off the bench to score eight points, add two steals, two rebounds and an assist in the Saints’ 86-62 victory over IU Northwest in the Lakeshore Classic at the Genesis Convention Center.
“This is my home, you can’t be nervous,” said Edwards, a 2011 Wolves grad. “It was a nice to have a game back here. I saw a lot of familiar faces and even some old teammates.”
Edwards said he grew up with IUN’s Nicholas Moore (Bowman Academy) and the two played AAU ball together for years.
It was no coincidence the scoreboard wasn’t operating at the Genesis Center and the RedHawks (3-5) couldn’t buy a basket. IUN shot 25 percent from the floor (9 of 36) in the first half when it fell behind 45-22. Long-distance shooting was worse, as the RedHawks hit just 3-of-18 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Holy Cross (7-4) shot 55 percent for the game, including 19-for-33 in the second half.
“It was a rough game for us,” IUN coach Jason Hawkins said. “Give Holy Cross credit. They ran their offense, played good defense and shot the ball extremely well.”
Hawkins wasn’t looking for excuses, but Griffith product and captain Ben Parish went down hard under the basket with 9:14 left in the first half. IUN only trailed 19-15 when Parish injured his back and had a lot of worried fans looking on. He was down on the court for 15 minutes while medical personnel attended to him. He never returned.
“My first thought was I was paralyzed,” said Parish, who was still walking gingerly after the game. “I played football for 10 years in Griffith and never had anything happen like that.”
Holy Cross went on a 28-7 run to end the first half after Parish exited.
“Ben is our energy guy and he always sets the tone for our team,” Hawkins said.
Jordan Small had 10 points to lead IUN.