Boys basketball: Cathedral wins in Gordon's debut

Boys basketball: Cathedral wins in Gordon's debut

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Boys basketball: Cathedral wins in Gordon's debut

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Cathedral’s Tra Landers and Franklin Central’s Marcus Burk chase a loose ball in the first half of the game at Cathedral Saturday January 31, 2014.

Eron Gordon couldn’t contain a hint of a smile as he ran on the court in front of a packed gym at Cathedral High School on Saturday night.

The band was playing. The student section was packed. Finally, after 12 missed games and a lot of sitting and watching, it was back to basketball.

“A lot of kids here were anxious to see me play,” Gordon said. “Probably more anxious than I was.”

If there were nerves for the 6-4 Gordon in his Cathedral debut, they didn’t show. He finished with a game-high 29 points and a seven rebounds as the Irish knocked off visiting Franklin Central 70-62.

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Gordon hadn’t suited up for high school game since the sectional last March, when he was a sophomore at North Central. The Indiana High School Athletic Association declared him ineligible for a year after his transfer to Cathedral, citing his move as “primarily for athletic reasons.” After his appeals were denied through the IHSAA’s process, the Gordons took the case to court, where the ruling was overturned.

Through the process isn’t entirely complete — the Department of Education’s case review panel will issue another ruling — Gordon said Saturday’s game offered something of a return to normalcy. He found a familiar face in junior guard Jordan Walker, who also transferred from North Central to Cathedral over the summer.

“Jordan being out there felt good,” Gordon said. “Having a really good connection with somebody out there I played with my entire life was big. Overall it was a really good game.”

Gordon tossed an alley-oop to Walker in the second quarter, igniting the Cathedral crowd. Walker finished with 18 points.

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Cathedral coach Andy Fagan told Gordon not to worry about easing into the game. Gordon made his first two 3-pointers and had 11 points by the end of the first quarter. He pushed the ball in transition, either drawing fouls (12-for-16 from the free-throw line) when he didn’t finish or finding his teammates.

“He’s at his best when he’s attacking,” Fagan said.

Gordon finished 7-for-11 from the field and 3-for-7 from the 3-point line.

Franklin Central (4-11) never went away, rallying from 10 points down to cut it to 60-58 with 3:40 left. Northwestern football recruit Jared Thomas stepped out and hit a big 3-pointer and Walker followed with a driving layup to give the Irish breathing room.

The Flashes were led by junior Marcus Burk, who hit four 3-pointers and finished with 23 points. Franklin Central was coming off a double-overtime win over Bloomington North on Friday night and had little time to prepare for a Cathedral team that is now entirely different with Gordon in the lineup.

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“I wrote a bunch of stuff on him from his strengths last year,” Franklin Central coach John Rockey said. “He really turned it on for them. He came right out of the blocks like he hadn’t missed any time.”

Walker said he sensed Gordon was excited and maybe a little nervous. But he looked to be in midseason form already, playing in front of Butler coach Chris Holtmann and assistant Michael Lewis. An Arizona State assistant also attended.

“I think those 10 practices helped,” Walker said. “The team got more together during that time. We’re 1-0 with our full team.”

Gordon said he believes Cathedral, with a deceiving 6-7 record, can win state. He said he spent much of his time “off” working out with his father, Eric Gordon Sr., which kept him in game shape and ready when he got the chance to play again.

“I learned a lot about what my work ethic needs to be like and how I have to push through things,” Gordon said. “It was first time I’ve ever not played basketball for six months. I’ve watched, played and been around basketball my entire life. These six months have been absolutely different for me, obviously. I don’t ever want to have to go through six months like that again.”

High School Results, January 31

Gordon said he doesn’t harbor any resentment over his situation. He’s eager to look forward.

“I know not everyone wants me to do well,” he said. “I’m not mad at anybody. I’m happy for my teammates at North Central who are doing well and I’m looking forward to playing with this group of kids.”

Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.

Cathedral 70, Franklin Central 62

Franklin Central

15

17

15

15

62

Cathedral

21

20

16

13

70

Franklin Central (4-11) – Pedigo 6 0-0 12, Weinke 2 2-2 6, Burk 5 9-11 23, Kocken 0 0-0 0, Anderson 4 6-9 15, Cerbone 1 0-0 3, Proffer 0 0-0 0, Alting 1 1-2 3. Totals: 19 18-24 62.

Cathedral (6-7) – Walker 6 5-6 18, Gordon 7 12-16 29, Landers 2 1-1 5, Thomas 3 2-2 10, Ekiyor 1 2-2 4, Paligraf 0 0-0 0, Kendrick 0 1-2 1, Coleman 1 0-0 3. Totals: 20 23-29 70.

3-pointers: Franklin Central 6 (Burk 4, Anderson, Cerbone); Cathedral 7 (Gordon 3, Thomas 2, Walker, Coleman).

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Boys basketball: Cathedral wins in Gordon's debut

The junior transfer scored 29 points in his first game with Irish

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