INDIANAPOLIS | If you're a young man and have no one to take to the prom, it might be time to grab a comb and some cologne.
E.C. Central sophomore Damien Jefferson felt like a wallflower at Monday's eighth annual IPSAC Midwest Showcase as his Cardinals took on Indianapolis Shortridge.
Purdue assistant coach Jack Owens was in the stands.
“No one is recruiting me now,” Jefferson said. “That got me going a little bit.”
The 6-foot-5, ultra-athletic forward exploded in E.C.'s 68-41 win over the Blue Devils (4-2). He scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
After one-point losses to Munster and Chesterton back home, it was the Cardinals (5-3) second big win in Indy in the last nine days.
“Maybe we ought to get in a conference with the Indy teams because we seem to play better down here than back home,” E.C. coach Abe Brown said. “Hopefully, that will mean something down the road.”
Hyron Edwards had an off shooting night, but the rest of his game was plain sick. He scored 12 points with nine steals and 12 assists, one coming from half court to a streaking Martayveus Carter and the pass was behind the back.
“Against a scrappy team like this, I needed to get the ball in other people's hands,” Edwards said. “(Jefferson) was on fire so I had to keep feeding him. He is a big key to this team.”
Joachim Smith scored 11 for E.C., while Jeremiah Ochoa and Jalen Blackmon each scored eight.
The Cardinals were up 30-plus for most of the game.
“Last year I was a freshman here, I knew I had to step up,” Jefferson said. “With all the guys leaving, I knew I'd be in the starting lineup. I didn't know Purdue was here, but like coach always says, 'No matter who is in the crowd there is always somebody watching.'
“We played defense and we hit our free throws. That's what we have to do when we get back home and maybe we'll see them in March.”