2006: Dee Dee Jernigan
December 14: Rich East (IL) 57-37 W
December 21: @ Lake Central 50-44 W
December 28: Hamilton (OH) 52-55 L
December 29: Marion 69-50 W
January 5: Gary West 63-35 W
January 7: @ South Bend St. Joseph's 58-69 L
January 14: @ South Bend Adams 57-45 W
January 16: Marian Catholic (IL) 59-57 W
January 20: @ Warsaw 51-37 W
January 25: Munster 57-40 W
Dee Dee Jernigan scored 19 points EC Central rolled past visiting Rich East 57-37.
Jernigan led EC Central in four statistical columns against a scrappy Lake Central team in a 50-44 win. Jernigan had 20 points, nine rebounds, four steals and five assists and helped EC fend off a 21-point Lake Central fourth quarter blitz. EC took the game at the line. The team was 7-of-7 when Lake Central began fouling in the fourth quarter, and was a perfect 16-of-16 for the game.
Following a 55-52 loss to Hamilton (OH) in the opening game of the North Central tournament, denying a matchup between AAU teammates and future Purdue teammates Dee Dee Jernigan and Amber Harris in the final, EC Central regrouped to rollover an inexperienced Marion Giants, 69-50. Jernigan ran the point, finishing with 20 points, eight assists and four steals on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, 1-of-1 from the perimeter and 3-of-4 from the line.
Gary West came into the game with EC Central with bragging rights. Sure EC has beaten Westside by double-digits the past three years during the regular season. But come sectionals, Gary West has always come out on top. Every year since 2002. Westside came to EC with the No. 1 ranking in the Region and a record of 9-3. They left with a 28-point loss to Region No. 5 EC Central. Dee Dee Jernigan had 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals and five assists, while helping EC hold Westside to 13-of-68 shooting for the game. EC also held Westside's leading scorer, Erica Simpson, to just one point.
The last game South Bend St. Joseph's girls team had lost was 24 games ago -- to East Chicago. Since then they went undefeated last season, took the 3A state title, and had been perfect and ranked No. 1 in class 3A in 2005-06. St. Joe's did not let their streak end against EC this year, taking a six-point lead through the game and extending it in a fourth quarter run that led to a 69-58 win. In a game with three guards going to elite-level women's programs, Jernigan finished with a double-double, 23 points and 13 rebounds, before fouling out.
East Chicago Central (11-5) erased a 15-point deficit to beat Illinois No. 1 Marian Catholic 59-57. Valencia Cottom, with an assist from Dee Dee Jernigan, scored the game-winner with 11 seconds left. EC finished the game with a 14-4 run. Jernigan finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, six steals and four assists.
In yet another test of the EC will to win, Region No. 1 Munster came to EC's house with a 16-3 record and the early favorite to win Sectional 1 once the IHSAA tournament begins. EC responded to an evenly fought first half with a 19-9 third quarter to pull away with the 57-40 win. Dee Dee Jernigan had 18 points, two rebounds, seven assists and four steals.