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Vincz returns to lead EH over Knightstown


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KNIGHTSTOWN — The boys basketball season officially tipped off for Eastern Hancock Nov. 21.

In many ways, however, the Royals’ season truly begins this weekend.

Last year’s leading scorer, Victor Vincz, entered the EH lineup Friday for the first time this season and helped the Royals beat Knightstown 54-37.

Vincz, a senior who notched 52 points in a game last winter, was dealing with concussion-like symptoms since March. He was finally cleared this week, and he made an immediate difference against the rival Panthers.

With the Royals (2-3) opening the second half ahead 26-22, Knightstown pulled within 28-26 at the five-minute mark of the third quarter. Vincz responded by scoring eight points during an 11-1 run to give EH a 39-27 lead, and the visitors led comfortably the rest of the evening.

“When Victor, in that third quarter, kind of got going … that’s what he does for us,” EH coach Aaron Spaulding said. “That’s kind of just scoring because you’re good, not because of anything exceptional you’re drawing up. That’s the offense we’ve been missing to this point.

“Him being out there just opens everything up for everybody else. Everybody’s going to benefit from him being back.”

Vincz finished with 10 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Royals, who lost three games by a combined 17 points in his absence. Projected starter Cooper Henderson (leg) played in only his second game of the season Friday. And Shane McCormick, who saw action in all 23 games for the Royals last year, will make his first appearance of 2012-13 tonight when the Royals host common sectional foe Cambridge City Lincoln (2-2).

“So, for the first time, we’ll be at full strength,” Spaulding noted.

Garrett Hancock and Cody Wallace have been holding down the Royals’ castle while the team dealt with key absences, and they were pivotal again Friday.

Each player registered 14 points, with Hancock knocking down the Royals’ first seven points as they pulled ahead 7-2 to start the game, and EH had a 14-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Wallace was charged on the defensive end with containing Knightstown six-foot-5 senior forward Dakota Smucker, and the Panthers’ big man finished with only two points, seven below his season average.

Knightstown’s other key post, 6-6 freshman Coleman Wyatt had a game-high 16 points, but EH’s Garrett Lee and Spencer Gilbert made him work for every point. Wyatt was 4-of-7 from the field in the first half and 3-of-6 the rest of the way.

“That kid’s a good player,” Spaulding said of Wyatt. “He’s a freshman; he’s going to be a horse to deal with for a long time.

“We thought the key to the game … we had to have good ball pressure and good effective defense in the post and then we had to rebound. I thought we did a decent job in the first half but did an exceptional job in the second half.”

Wyatt grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, but the Royals had the overall edge on the boards 33-22.

Wallace had seven rebounds, while Lee pulled down five rebounds.

The Royals hope to put together their first two-game win streak tonight against Cambridge City Lincoln. The teams met March 2, with EH taking a 71-64 sectional semifinal overtime victory. It was the first game Vincz missed after suffering a concussion in a quarterfinal win over Hagerstown.

Vincz, who averaged 18 points last season, suffered another knock on the head away from the basketball court this summer.

“He was having all kinds of dizziness,” Spaulding summed up. “We assume it was a concussion. It’s one of those mysteries of life, I guess. Last couple weeks it’s really cleared up for him, so hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here on.”

BOYS VARSITY

Eastern Hancock 54, Knightstown 37

EH — Vincz 5-9 0-0 10, I. McCormick 2-6 0-0 6, Hancock 5-15 2-2 14, Lee 0-4 0-0 0, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0, Noel 2-6 0-0 4, Wallace 7-11 0-0 14, Gilbert 1-1 2-2 5, Fout 0-0 0-0 0, Splater 0-0 0-0 0, Hicks 0-1 1-2 1. Totals — 22-53 5-6 54.

KN — Peggs 1-1 0-0 2, Edwards 3-8 0-0 7, Pugsley 0-1 0-0 0, Kwisz 3-14 1-2 8, Kane 1-2 0-0 2, Craft 0-1 0-2 0, Smucker 1-2 0-0 2, Wyatt 7-13 2-5 16. Totals — 16-42 3-7 37.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

EH (2-3) 14 12 16 12 — 54

KN (1-4) 9 13 7 8 — 37

Three-pt. field goals: EH 5-13 (Vincz 0-2, I. McCormick 2-4, Hancock 2-6, Gilbert 1-1), KN 2-8 (Edwards 1-2, Kwisz 1-5, Kane 0-1).

Rebounds: EH 33 (Hancock 4, Wallace 7, Vincz 5, I. McCormick 3, Gilbert 2, Noel 4, Hicks 2, Lee 5, Henderson 1), KN 22 (Edwards 1, Kwisz 4, Craft 3, Smucker 6, Wyatt 8). Assists: EH 12 (Vincz 6, I. McCormick 1, Lee 2, Wallace 1, Noel 1, Henderson 1), KN 7 (Peggs 1, Edwards 1, Kwisz 2, Kane 1, Smucker 1, Wyatt 1). Steals: EH 6 (Vincz 1, I. McCormick 1, Lee 3, Gilbert 1), KN 6 (Kwisz 6). Blocks: EH 1 (Noel 1), KN 1 (Wyatt 1). Total fouls: EH 13, KN 12. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: EH 10, KN 14.

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