EAST CHICAGO | E.C. Central's Tiajaney Hawkins tied her career high of 27 points in the first half of Wednesday's game against Gavit.
She didn't need any more, sitting most of the second half of a 69-33 girls basketball win over the Gladiators.
"We've talked to Tiajaney about becoming more of a scorer," E.C. Central coach Eric Kundich said. "Tonight, she didn't pass up any opportunities to shoot."
For the record, Hawkins' record-tying night came with 14 points in the first quarter, another 13 in the second quarter. She was 1-of-3 from the line and all 13 of her baskets were 2-pointers.
"I understand that my team wants me to score also," Hawkins said. "It's not that they think I'm hogging the ball, and I understand that."
Hawkins also led her team with eight rebounds as she went mostly unguarded in the post.
Gavit will play the rest of the season without top scorer and center Hattie Andrews, who tore her ACL on Nov. 27 against Highland.
Instead, the Gladiators turned to sophomore Shanika Thorton, who scored 11 of her team's 13 first-half points and a game high of 28. She finished with seven 3s and rarely left the floor.
"We spent the whole summer as a post-oriented team," Gavit coach Ken Anderson said. "Maybe we put too many eggs in one basket, but in two weeks, it's hard to retool."
Gavit committed 19 turnovers in the first half and cut that number to 10 in the second half.
E.C. Central jumped out to an 8-0 lead and led 20-4 after the first quarter behind quick layup after quick layup by Hawkins.
Kiana Clark added nine points for E.C. Central, and Shareese Billups scored all six of her points in the third quarter. The Cardinals (5-4) nearly matched their season high offensive output of 72 points, set Nov. 19 against Hammond.