CAROLINA FOREST — Mike Vogler’s value was on display over the weekend.
One of the original South Carolina Warriors, Vogler had a triple-double – and nearly a quadruple-double – with 26 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and nine steals as the squad defeated the Hampton Roads (Va.) Stallions 128-83.
It was the Warriors’ second win over the squad in as many days, and Vogler was solid – and on Sunday spectacular – over the weekend in his first two games returning from an injury.
“He was unbelievable,” Warriors coach John Kefalas said.
Vogler, who serves as a player coach appears to have bounced back quickly.
“He’s getting back in shape. He’s tenacious. He’s just an athlete and he’s just tenacious,” Kefalas said. “He’s our leader.”
However, South Carolina’s Jon Pack was injured in the game. Kefalas expects to know the extent of the former Coastal Carolina standout’s back injury on Monday.
Kellen Brand had 30 points in 31 minutes, Lashun Watson added 27, and Jarred Stockton and former Hemingway High standout Pat Lewis each had 14.
It was another balanced effort for a Warriors squad (14-1) that has had to adapt to several roster changes this season. Stockton and Barry Jordan have contributed after joining the team just after the holiday break.
The squad’s ability to continue to prosper despite the changes remind Kefalas of a process in place during his days at famed DeMatha (Md.) High School. It also reminded him of his days of helping to shape players while at Coastal Carolina as an assistant coach under Pete Strickland.
“I’ve got [Vogler], Kellen, Lashun Watson … those three have been great about mentoring the new guys,” he said. “They’re really great with these other players. It’s just really neat. That’s how I grew up playing for DeMatha. It helps. We did the same thing under Pete at Coastal. Mentoring players, if you do it right, it’s a great thing.”
That trio has helped keep the Warriors organized, a feat tough for ABA squads with revolving doors.
“They know the system. They’re great young men. They know how to run our offense,” Kefalas said. “They make sure these kids run our offense. A lot of times you get to this level and guys want to be an individual. We got those guys over the holidays and they’ve gelled. It’s just a lot of fun.”