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Little Ten Conference Boys Basketball Tournament History

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This section will talk about some of the Little Ten teams that stood above all the rest. 

1958-59 Shabbona Indians

 

The Indians were 8-0 entering the annual DeKalb Holiday Tournament (which featured schools much larger than tiny Shabbona).  Shabbona rolled to the title with wins over Rochelle (66-41), Aurora West (69-67), Maine (59-46) and Rock Falls (78-64) in the championship contest.  Following that tournament, Shabbona was given a fourth position ranking in the United Press International's ratings of the state's top teams.

 

 

Little Ten Conference Champs in both the regular season (9-0) {the closest game was a 70-52 win over Leland} and league tournament (defeated Earlville 97-38, Serena 81-35 in the semifinals and finally Leland 91-51 in the title game.)  That 40 point win in the championship game is still the largest margin of victory in the tournament's 89 year history. (Marv Straw, Jerry Wisted and Ron Espe were all named first team All-LTC, while Bill Mullins and Denny Fleming were on the All-LTC second team)

 

They ended the regular season 27-0 and began post season play in their own district tournament.  They opened with a dominate 102-35 over Hiawatha and captured the title with a 92-48 drubbing of Waterman, who fell to the Indians for the third time that season.

 

Next, the Indians moved to the DeKalb Regional, they started with a 63-38 victory over Genoa-Kingston.  They moved into the title game with a 58-33 win over Sycamore to set up the third straight regional title match-up with DeKalb, who had beat them the previous two years.  The Indians were able to get over the hump as they triumphed over the Barbs 48-37 to capture the regional title and move on to the HInsdale Sectional to play the host squad.

 

With a jam packed gym of over 5,000 fans the Indians were out-sized by the taller Red Devils and trailed 19-15 after one quarter.  Hinsdale's Dave Brown nailed a 35-foot desperation at the halftime buzzer to give his club a 32-25 advantage at halftime.  Shabbona found themselves down by ten (41-31) early in the third period, but mounted a come-back to trail just 45-43 entering the fourth quarter.  The Indians took their only lead of the game with :19 left in regulation when guard Denny Fleming scored a lay up to make it 54-52, but Hinsdale was able to convert two free throws with :08 left to send the game to overtime. 

 

Hinsdale opened the scoring in overtime with two free tosses, but Shabbona center Jerry Wisted put the teams even again (56-all) with a lay in. In the final seconds, with the game still tied, Bill Mullins stole the ball from Hinsdale and made a quick pass to Wisted, who nailed a jump shot that sent the Indians joyfully running into their locker room.  However, after a lengthy discussion between officials at the scorers table, it was ruled Wisted's shot came a fraction of a second after the official timer's gun.  In the second "sudden death" overtime, Hinsdale won the jump ball and seventeen seconds later Brown was fouled and calmly sank both ends of a one-and-bonus sent end Shabbona's magical season.   

 

Notes:  Every seat in the gym was filled and hour and fifteen minutes before tip-off.

 

Hinsdale's front court went 6-foot-8, 6-5 and 6-3, while Marv Straw was Shabbona's tallest player at 6-4, Wisted 6-2, Mullins 6-1.  The Indians out-rebounded Hisdale 30-17 in the game.

1985-1986 Newark Norsemen
 
Ended season 29-1.  More on this team in near future.