Edinburgh boys the talk of the county in ’12

The noise is something Kyle Wuest still can’t describe eight years later.

A few minutes earlier, Edinburgh’s semistate basketball opponent had taken the floor for pregame warmups. The Lancers, wanting to heighten the suspense inside a sold-out Southport Fieldhouse, were willing to wait.

Once Wuest and his teammates finally hit the floor, the building shook.

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“It was just chilling, really,” said Wuest, 26, who now works as a sales representative for Cintas in Columbus. “You feel the whole building shaking like that, and it was amazing to see the support we had that made it as special of an experience as it was.

“If anyone had never experienced Indiana high school basketball, I would hope they get to play in or attend a game like that.”

Most everything about the 2011-12 Lancers was special.

The starting lineup was made up of all seniors — forwards Caleb Allen and Patrick Kennedy, 6-foot-8 Jordan Burton at center and guards Wuest and Corey Burton. Head coach Drew Glentzer, then in his second season after leading the Lancers to a 20-4 mark the year before, appreciates how special those months were.

“Just Indiana basketball at its finest,” said Glentzer, now the boys coach at Indian Creek. “We were traveling to road games with almost 800 people supporting us. It was a great sense of community, and it brought our town together.”

Approximately three times that many Edinburgh supporters showed up at Southport for the Class A semistate showdown with Loogootee.

A week earlier, the Lancers won the regional at Martinsville, extending their win streak to 15 games and putting their record at 23-2. Edinburgh’s setbacks had come to Center Grove, 68-55, in a Johnson County tournament semifinal and in a four-point home loss to Indianapolis Lutheran.

Only now the Lancers were rolling, defeating their first five postseason opponents by an average of 14.8 points a game and winning a regional for the first time since 1951.

Loogootee went on to defeat Edinburgh, 61-50, at semistate, the point spread in no way indicative of how well the Lancers played the first three and a half quarters. Glentzer’s squad led at the end of the second and third quarters and on two occasions held a five-point advantage in the fourth.

Loogootee trailed 46-42 before nailing consecutive 3-pointers to take the lead for good.

“We had the ball ahead by four,” Glentzer remembered. “We were contemplating spreading the floor. Loogootee got the ball, hit a 3, we had a turnover on the inbounds and they hit another 3. It was kind of a right-left cross. We were kind of stunned at that point.”

Jordan Burton went for a double-double against the Lions with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Wuest’s final time in a Lancers uniform resulted in 15 points for a career total of 1,426; he’s the school’s all-time scoring leader.

Wuest continued his basketball career at Elmhurst College, a Division III school just west of Chicago. He finished his collegiate career with 1,335 points, currently 11th in the Blue Jays’ record book.

In June, Wuest is scheduled to marry his college sweetheart, Hannah, at The Loft at Walnut Hill Farm in Bedford. Serving as the groom’s co-best men will be Corey Burton, Wuest’s best friend since they were 5, and former Elmhurst teammate Bryant Ackerman.

Ackerman, oddly enough, scored 25 points for Loogootee in that semistate victory over Edinburgh.

At some point of the wedding reception, expect stories of the game a little more than eight years ago to surface.

“The first thing that jumps in my head is that we should have a state championship trophy and a state championship banner in our gym,” Wuest said. “It bugs me we weren’t able to seal the deal. The whole experience was special, but I really wanted that for the community.”