HAMMOND | Anfernee Brown had plenty of motivation for Friday night's game against Bishop Noll.
"If he didn't get his points, he wasn't gonna eat tonight!" father of Anfernee and E.C. Central coach Abe Brown exclaimed jokingly.
All Brown did was go out and hit five of his first seven shots on his way to a team-high 27 points in E.C. Central's 86-66 drubbing of Times No. 8 and Class 2A No. 3 Bishop Noll.
To sum up how the night went for the Warriors, there was a play in the third quarter in which Cardinal forward Tre'Quan Burnett saved the ball from going out of bounds by tapping it to Brown for a wide open layup in one of the prettier assists you'll ever see.
That play highlighted a 12-2 run for E.C. Central midway through the third quarter, as it doubled its 37-30 halftime lead to 65-51.
"I fed off the team and the energy of the crowd," said the younger Brown, who added four rebounds and two steals. "We have to go from start to finish and never be satisfied until there's all zeros on the clock."
The first quarter was like the start of a classic heavyweight bout, with both teams coming at each other repeatedly with haymakers in a period that saw 41 points scored, including 21 from the Cardinals, who haven't been known to get out to a good start this season.
"When you lose three in a row, you gotta find some motivation," said Abe. "Earlier in the season we always dug ourselves in a hole, but with the good start we stayed out of that damn hole."
E.C. Central (9-9) shot the lights out from distance, going 5-of-6 from three-point land in the quarter with all of them coming from Brown and fellow guard Hyron Edwards.
"We talked all week about how they have three good guards that could shoot the three and they started out with five," Bishop Noll coach Drew Trost said. "When we don't execute our game plan, it shakes our confidence."
Noll guard Larry Crisler had some good jabs as well, as he hit his first five shots on his way to 11 points in the opening frame.
After a couple of defensive adjustments in which Noll (17-3) started doubling on the perimeter, the Cardinals started hitting some from the paint, as they went on a 7-0 run, which ended with a couple of Crisler free throws at the 2:37 mark.
"Larry is definitely a competitor and hates to lose," Trost said of Crisler, who had 27 points of his own. "He put us on his shoulders. (Tyreon) Gates played well for the most part also. We rely on younger guys to step up and they (E.C. Central) got the best of us tonight."
Cardinal guard Kenneth Lloyd added 20 and five boards off the bench and was one of four players in double figures.
"Lloyd's another one. He played football this year and is just getting his basketball legs back," Abe said.