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January 26, 2013
Richmond High School


Troy Derengowski 

Richmond’s win Friday night at Marion may have been a signature win simply because the Red Devils were losing in the 4th quarter by 15 and rallied to win.   To me the turning point was during a timeout in the third when Coach Joe Luce called a timeout, got the team together away from the bench, put his arms around the team and got them re-focused.  Luce didn’t yell at them, he didn’t excited, he just calmly talked to them.   Coaching basketball isn’t always the x’s and o’s.  Much of it has to do with how you handle various situations.  Much of what you see in coaching has to with emotions, how to deal with each player individually and knowing when to be more vocal and knowing when to be quiet.  Luce could have jumped their case but he didn’t need to.  He got his message across and they responded.     I have watched Coach Luce in practice, in game warm-ups, pre-game and in the post game and he handles each situation differently as he should.


If Richmond girls coach Casey Pohlenz isn’t the coach of the year in the NCC there should be an investigation in the conference.  Pohlenz does have Mackenzie Taylor, a 20 ppg performer.  Casey will get a good performance from Brooklyn Taylor, Bailey Hilliard and Alexis Davis but not consistently.  Coach Pohlenz has no post play to speak of and his bench is almost non-existent.    Yet he has found a way to win 11 games including Friday night’s win over Marion.   It would be easy to say anyone can win 11 games with Mackenzie Taylor on your team but remember, Mackenzie will draw double and triple teams just about every time she gets the basketball and yet the Red Devils still find a way to scores over 50 points per game.    It doesn’t mean anything coming from me but Casey is the Coach of the Year in the NCC!


As I am writing this I am watching IU East play Berea at the Tiernan Center.  The crowds for IU East men’s basketball has dwindled steadily over the last couple of seasons.  Why?   I believe there are a few reasons why.   One, they charge too much to get in.  $7.00.     Two, they need to get out of the KIAC.   Fans in this area know nothing about the KIAC nor do they care.   Earlham went through this when they played in the NCAC.  No one cared because the conference was primarily located in Ohio.  KIAC teams are scatted around Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio.    When Earlham moved into the HCAC the interest went up as did the attendance.   IU East needs to find a conference that involves more Indiana schools that will provide more rivalries and draw more local interest.   Another reason might be the lack of local talent on the team.  I am not just referring to Richmond and Wayne County but Eastern Indiana.  Recruit the NCC like Muncie Central, Anderson and New Castle.  There is plenty of talent to recruit but I have seen just one player, Huston Clark, from the NCC.


Finally, Richmond is blessed to have Josh Chapin as the sports editor of the Pal-Item.  The man works long hours, sees and writes about hundreds of games and events and yet still has a little time to be a family man.    He does a great job covering Richmond and Wayne County sports and he does it with very little fanfare or acknowledgement.   I know the sports section is the first part I read in the Pal-Item because of what Josh does.  And don’t forget he is an excellent writer!

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