Moore received solid support from 6-11 forward Angel Garcia and 6-4 center Kawaan Short. Garcia scored 25 points and took nine rebounds and Short, who is built like a tank yet has nimble feet and good hands, scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Garcia and Short combined to shoot 19 of 36 from the field.
“This is a team game,” Trgovich said. “Again, it wasn’t going to be Eric versus E’Twaun, it was going to be [North Central] against [East Chicago] and that [balance] was the difference in the game, I feel.”
Moore fittingly wore one of the nets around his neck following the game. Gordon likely had the Mr. Basketball award wrapped up before the state finals, but Moore showed he deserved consideration too — and more importantly, his team won.
“It feels great,” he said. “It’s hard to explain. It don’t get better than this. … For my whole team, my whole city to be here behind me [is great]. Everyone can enjoy this win.”
Moore also picked up the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award following the game. He carries a 3.2 GPA and ranks No. 33 in his senior class of 236.
“Oh man, that was great,” Moore said. “I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t know when I came that I was going to get the award. That caught me by surprise.”
East Chicago (23-3) avenged a regular-season loss to North Central with the championship win. The Panthers beat the Cardinals 73-62 on Dec. 29 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Gordon scored 50 points in that game.
“E’Twaun Moore had a bad ankle and he did not play his best game,” Trgovich said. “We played a weak 2-3 zone for a fraction of a time; [Gordon] hit three [3-pointers] and I panicked. I came out of it. [Also] Angel Garcia drove up that afternoon. He drove 21/2 hours to get there. It was a different story [Saturday].”