Vincennes LHS Class of 1981
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“Number One in ‘81” echoes throughout the season and the Alices go on to win the IHSAA Basketball Championship.

Story by Doug Crook with Dave Hill Reprinted from Lincoln Log Volume 72, 1981
The slogan number one in ’81 became reality March 21 at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis when the Vincennes Lincoln Alices defeated the Anderson Indians 54-52 in the state finals. The Alices, who claimed their second state title, were not to be denied as they came from behind in several tournament games displaying the character of a championship team.
The outlook for the season was excellent with six returning lettermen: Jeff Agee, Ron Stryzinski, Doug Crook, and Courtney Witte, who were all returning starters and part time starters Karl Donovan. The Alices soundly defeated South Knox in the first game of the season 62-50, and they were off to the races as the first fifteen opponents went down by an average of nineteen points. Included in those victories was 66-59 verdict over Indianapolis Washington, in which Doug Crook scored thirty points, his second highest of the year only to be outdone by his thirty-eight points against Big Eight rival Jasper. The Alices hit a two game skid in February, but the losses seemed to inspire them. Lincoln trounced their last three regular season opponents and seemed to be peaking.
Vincennes Lincoln began its bid for the state title by taking an 89-44 win over North Knox. The awesome Alices captured their fourth consecutive and fifty-second sectional title behind Courtney Witte’s twenty-seven points and twenty-five rebounds by defeating South Knox 90-53. The 179 points in the two sectional games established a record for the tournament in modern times, since the school consolidation of 1964.
The Evansville Regional was the next step for the Alices, who were trying to break an eight-year jinx. The jinx was broken as the Alices came from behind to defeat Evansville Central 57-50 in the first game. The championship belonged to the Alices 62-53 and coach “Gunner” Wyman could be seen writing semi-state with a piece of chalk in the foul lane following the first regional championship by his team since 1977.
The Brazil Red Devils were the Alices’ semi-state foe and, as expected, the game was a “barn burner”. The team exploded for nineteen fourth quarter points. Doug Crook scoring fifteen of those, as Lincoln went on to a 55-44 victory. The Alices faced high-powered Floyd Central in the semi-state championship. Defense, which was Vincennes Linoln’s most consistent weapon, proved the difference in a 66-53 Championship victory on March 14 in Evansville.
More and more signs appeared around the school claiming the Alices are Number One and for the first time in fifty-eight years they had a chance to prove it in Market Square Arena. The Shenandoah Raiders were no match for the powerful Alices in the afternoon game. Lincoln controlled the game throughout the second half and eventually won 72-53. The Alices were led to one of their best shooting performances of the year by Seniors Doug Crook and Jeff Agee. Doug had his best shooting performance of the year, 13 of 18 for 72 percent, as he scored a game high thirty points, and Jeff Agee came off the bench for ten first quarter points.
The Anderson Indians was the only team to stand between the Alices and a state championship. Lincoln played their usual calm and relaxed way, and when the final buzzer sounded, March 21, 1981 the Vincennes Lincoln Alices were truly the best team in the state. The Alices were led to their 54-52 victory by Crook’s 25 points, junior Tim Vieke’s 12 points, and Courtney Witte’s 9 points plus 21 rebounds. The championship culminated an outstanding 26-2 campaign.
Doug finished with 103 points in the last four games of the tournament. This scoring output makes Crook the twelfth leading scorer in IHSAA basketball tournament history.
Coach Orlando “Gunner” Wyman, who ended his fourteen year coaching career at Lincoln, went out in a style that will always be remembered by Lincoln fans. His record at Lincoln includes 234 victories and 100 defeats, 11 sectional titles, 3 regional titles, 3 semi-state titles, and one state championship.
Members of the 1981 State Championship team were: Seniors Doug Crook, Jeff Agee, Karl Donovan, Randy Combs, Courtney Witte and Ron Stryzinski, Juniors Mike Kimmel, Tim Vieke, Brian Spradling, and Brent Claycomb, and sophomores Jim Martin and RobinTalbott.
Karl Donovan won the coveted Arthur L. Trester Award for mental attitude and Doug Crook was voted MVP of the state finals. Doug joined Courtney Witte on the Big Eight All-Conference team. The Alices, adding to their long line of firsts, were the first team to win the Big Eight Conference in its first year of existence.
All through the final weekend the question was asked: What is an Alice? The answer: THE BEST BASKETBALL TEAM IN INDIANA!!!!!!!!
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