North star hopes he’s healthy enough to play against East

Columbus North senior guard Trey Vincent is one day away from Columbus’ biggest regular season game of the boys basketball season, and he may or may not be forced to sit this one out.

Making sure Vincent was healthy enough to play in the last crosstown rivalry game of his career — which is Friday night at Columbus East — was one of the biggest concerns for Vincent and his mother Jena Snyder when he sustained a concussion during a football scrimmage at North Central in June that put his entire basketball season in jeopardy.

“That was the whole goal,” Vincent said about making his return against the Olympians. “My mom wanted me to come back by the East game. With the doctors, she didn’t care about any other game. She wanted the East game, so it means a lot. It’s going to be packed in there. It’s going to be a good environment, there’s nothing like it.”

It’s been an emotional six-month roller coaster ride for Vincent since being diagnosed with a concussion. Vincent was cleared by team doctor Cary Guse a week after the concussion, but his mother was still uneasy about Vincent playing football.

The Vincents were referred to a specialist in Indianapolis who said Trey would have to miss both football and basketball seasons, but a second opinion said he would be able to play the second half of the basketball season. North coach Paul Ferguson figured there was a chance that Vincent would miss some games, but was still hoping for the best.

The news about Vincent reached Ferguson on the same day that North quarterback Trenton Kelley suffered a ruptured spleen in the football sectional final against Center Grove. Ferguson was forced to start the season missing two of his players who averaged more than 17 minutes a game last season.

“That was a rough day,” Ferguson said. “They were obviously two of our most experienced guys. Both of them had tremendous summers. We were expecting them to play really important roles for our team. Next thing you know, they’re out, but we’ve rebounded from it. We’ve been able to grow as a team.”

Injuries haven’t stopped the Bull Dogs from winning four of their first five games, and Vincent’s concussion didn’t leave him out as long as he had feared. He visited another doctor who cleared him to play by North’s fourth game at Martinsville.

Vincent played 12 minutes in his season debut, but was sidelined again for the Bull Dogs’ game at Franklin Central just six days later. His concussion problems weren’t the issue this time.

Vincent was power-cleaning during weightlifting class when his back popped and has been hurting ever since. He started this week by practicing Monday, but the stiffness in his back caused him to miss practice Tuesday.

Ferguson calls it a day-by-day situation and will not be completely sure if he is ready to play against East until game day. Vincent has been stretching and keeping heat on his back to help get himself ready.

North is coming off of a 61-39 win against Franklin Central in a game that Ferguson claims was its best performance all season. He is looking to continue to ride that momentum right into the Orange Pit, and having Vincent on the court would be a major lift.

“When healthy, he is a dynamic point guard,” Ferguson said. “He brings experience, he brings a guy who can get to the rim almost at will and he just brings tremendous defensive intensity. He is our best on-ball defender, and he is just all over the court defensively.”

Trey Vincent

Name: Trey Vincent

School: Columbus North

Year: Senior

Height: 6-foot

Sport: Basketball

Author photo
Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.