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Consistent effort, balance help make winners of Lancers

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Win-loss records don’t always tell the entire story of what a boys basketball program has gone through during the course of a season.

Edinburgh, which at 8-4 is closing in on a fourth consecutive winning season under coach Drew Glentzer, serves as a shining example.

Life has been mostly good between the walls of one of Johnson County’s cozier cement octagons. However, the what-ifs become progressively louder the more impressively the Lancers perform.

What if Kyle Pendleton was playing?

Edinburgh’s football season had barely begun, and already the school’s boys basketball program was hurting.

Pendleton, a 6-foot sophomore guard who was being touted as perhaps the Lancers’ top offensive player, would require surgery to his left knee to repair, among other damage, an ACL after injuring it over the summer.

“It started at Ball State when I dove for a loose ball and couldn’t get up. I was out for the rest of the day after that,” said Pendleton, referring to the Lancers’ team camp in June. “Then, at an (August) AAU practice at the school, I just

jumped up for a rebound, and when I came down, it just snapped.”

So did any chance the Lancers could possibly contend for a Mid-Hoosier Conference title, winning season or Class A sectional championship.

Or so it seemed at the time.

“Kyle hasn’t practiced one day and he hasn’t played one game. He’s a double-figure scorer we could have counted on,” Glentzer said. “When he first got injured, we were like, ‘Where are we going to get our points?’”

Sophomore guard Collin Hoskins, for one. The roster’s lone senior, 6-foot-3, 265-pound interior space-eater and future Butler University offensive lineman Dakota Sneed, for another.

Tally the contributions of junior guard Matt Heagy, sophomore guard Bobby Simpson, Elliott Parmer and assorted Lancers reserves, and 8-4 it is.

Edinburgh is not only an old school, it’s old-school. A blueprint of how 32 minutes of lung-searing all-out effort, basketball smarts and every player performing his assigned role to the best of his ability pays dividends more often than not.

“The biggest factor is we come out with a chip on our shoulder and play hard every game,” Sneed said. “We’re not the most talented team, but we make up for it with scrappy play.

“Every game we play our hearts out.”

In a season filled with uncertainty due to this winter’s one-two hay-maker of cold temperatures and snowfall, Edinburgh finds itself preparing for upcoming road games against a pair of county rivals.

The Lancers are at Class 3A Indian Creek on Saturday before making the trek north to Greenwood on Thursday to face the Class 4A Woodmen.

This weekend marks the second meeting this season between Edinburgh and the Braves. The Lancers scored a 60-57 victory at Indian Creek on Jan. 14 in the opening round of the Johnson County Tournament.

Later come critical Mid-Hoosier Conference contests against Eastern Hancock, South Decatur, Southwestern and Knightstown.

Regardless of what transpires, the 2013-14 regular season already is special to Glentzer, who led the Lancers to sectional and regional championships in 2012.

Staring adversity in the eye, the Lancers have yet to blink.

“It’s something that’s made us better. The kids have gritted it out. I’ve never had a kid blow his knee out before practice even started, but you play the hand you’re dealt. The timing of it gave us an opportunity before the season started to set up our offense according to the kids we did have,” said Glentzer, who is 64-20 (.762) since taking over the program prior to the 2010-2011 season.

“Our defense is very aggressive. Our rotation isn’t as deep, which means some kids are tired,” Glentzer added. “But tired isn’t an option, and this group is very resilient.

“Have they overachieved? I don’t think that’s a good word. I’ve told our players I only know one way to approach the game and that’s to win.”

Meanwhile, on the Edinburgh bench during games sits Pendleton, who remains hopeful he can find a way to contribute to this Lancers’ squad before it’s all said and done.

While happy his teammates are enjoying success, the sophomore so wishes he could be a bigger part of it.

“It’s been very hard. Last year as a freshman I’m playing a lot, and this year I’m still on the bench,” Pendleton said. “But I like the way the team is playing. They’re playing a lot of team ball and sharing it real well.”

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