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WATCH NOW: Seeing double: Parker, Hunter Kneifel leave same impression on Kouts' opponents
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BOYS BASKETBALL | CLASS A SEMISTATE

WATCH NOW: Seeing double: Parker, Hunter Kneifel leave same impression on Kouts' opponents

From the WATCH NOW: Basketball Recap: Catch up on yesterday's excitement here! series
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LAFAYETTE — Two plays late in the second half Saturday of Kouts’ 86-70 Class A semistate victory over Southwood were identical in almost every way.

The player from the home team executed an all-ball blocked shot and was whistled for a foul by the same referee. As referees typically do when they tweet too soon and realize too late that it actually was a clean blocked shot, he reacted the same. He gave it the Elvis Presley thrust of the pelvis while pounding his hips with balled fists to signify, “Got him with the body.”

The player who blocked the shot gave an identical reaction both times: an incredulous smile with a slow shake of the cocked head. Same smile from the identical face, attached to the carbon-copy body. But not the same athlete. One foul was charged to Hunter Kneifel, one to Parker Kneifel, forwards who are the “other” set of identical twins in state-bound Kouts’ starting lineup.

Kouts doubles up with Kneifels

The Mustangs (29-2) play at such a fast pace that the last thing the opposition needs is to have to pause for an instant to try to figure exactly who’s who. Meanwhile, half the time Kouts’ players don’t need to see teammates to know exactly where to find them.

“It throws the other team off, because they can’t tell us apart by looking at our faces or at our bodies,” said Parker Kneifel, who wears No. 22. “Only our numbers give us away. And like we know where each other are all the time: ‘Oh, you’ll be there.’ We’ve been together our whole lives.”

Standing on the court holding a piece of the net, Hunter, who wears No. 24, looked back on the spring of 2018. He and Parker had finished their junior varsity seasons and Cole and Cale Wireman had finished their varsity season.

“The four twins, we all started going to the gym together, and from the first day our goal was to get to state,” Hunter Kneifel said. “We talked about it then.”

WATCH NOW: Powered by Wireman twins, Kouts advances to state for first time in program history

The Kneifel twins agreed that their games are not identical.

“I think he’s a little bit bigger on the inside,” Hunter said of Parker. “I think he’s a little more physical, just a little bit.”

Parker said of Hunter: “He handles the ball better than I do. He brings the ball up the floor better.”

The Kneifels have identical opinions about playing with the Wireman twins: They love it.

“They’re a lot of fun. They have so much skill it makes playing basketball a lot easier with them on the floor,” Hunter said. “They always encourage us. We have to be moving as fast as them. It just pushes you.”

Wireman twins stepping up to lead Kouts

Said Parker, while looking up at the scoreboard: “We like to go fast and score a lot of points. We scored 86 points. That’s a lot of points.”

Kouts coach Kevin Duzan lets them play with the pedal to the metal, even if that means stretches of losing control of the basketball.

“I think he knows the way we want to play,” Hunter Kneifel said. “We’ve been with him for three years so he has a lot of trust in us and lets us play the way we want to play.”

Hunter, Parker Kneifel power Kouts to undefeated season, sectional title

Hunter Kneifel contributed 11 points, six rebounds and six assists and his twin added four points, four rebounds and an assist in the game that resulted in Kouts making it to state for the first time in school history.

The coolest thing about advancing to the Class A state title game in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Pacers, scheduled for April 3.

“Just seeing all the people here,” Hunter said. “They all follow us. It’s awesome.”

“I think it’s going to be playing in the big gym," Parker added. "This gym’s the biggest one I’ve ever played in and that one’s going to be much bigger. And we have all these fans coming out to watch us. It’s crazy.”

Gallery: Class A semistate — Kouts vs. Southwood

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