News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

November 27, 2013

Prep preview: Ryan Luce steps up to fill Dave Mahurin’s shoes

TERRE HAUTE — A man of many hats, Ryan Luce probably won’t be bored anytime in the next several months.

Luce, 36, now serves as assistant principal, athletic director and boys basketball coach at Rockville. Previously the high school’s girls basketball coach for two seasons, he switched over after Dave Mahurin stepped down as coach over the summer.

“It’s pretty difficult, but I’ve got a lot of quality help to help me manage my time,” Luce told the Tribune-Star last week. “I’m just trying to do the best job with the Rockville community schools that I can. My wife [Landry] makes tremendous sacrifices to allow me to wear all these hats.”

A 1995 graduate of South Vermillion, where he was a basketball standout, Luce knows his work is cut out for him with guiding the Rox.

They finished 25-1 and won another Class A sectional championship after being ranked No. 1 in the state last season.

Since then, seven seniors from that team graduated. Luce calculated that more than 90 percent of the team’s scoring from 2012-13 is gone.

“It’s going to be tough,” he admitted. “This will be the first time in the last eight years without a Mahurin [Dave’s graduated sons R.J. and Lane] in the lineup. The talent’s there. It’s just a little raw and inexperienced.”

The only returning starter is Keiontre’ Wilkey, a 5-foot-7 junior point guard who averaged 5.6 points.

“He’s going to be the heartbeat of our team pretty much,” Luce emphasized. “He’s going to set the pace on both ends of the floor. He’s worked hard on his game and he’s put in a lot of work in the weight room. He’s really improved his jump shot too.”

A new starter who may make his presence felt immediately is 6-3 freshman swingman Lance Hopkins.

“Lance is an extreme talent who I’m sure is going to develop into one of the best players in the area,” Luce mentioned. “He’ll just need to adjust to the speed of high school basketball. Going from eighth grade to varsity basketball is a huge jump.”

Senior John Brown, a 6-1 guard/small forward, is another who should move into the lineup.

Luce said the battle for Rockville’s other two starting spots is among 6-4 sophomore newcomer Dalton Laney (a move-in from Texas), 6-4 junior Isaiah Thurman and 6-2 junior shooting guard Cole Griffin.

Before coming to Rockville, Luce had been a boys basketball assistant for two years and boys head coach for five years at South Vermillion, so he’s no rookie on the bench.

“I look forward to the challenge,” Luce insisted. “I’ve always loved basketball and I really enjoy being around the kids on the team. It was a tough decision [to take this job], though, because I really enjoyed coaching the girls too.”

Rockville’s first game will be Saturday at Danville.

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