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Little Ten Conference Boys Basketball Tournament History

1952 Tournament
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1952 - Hinckley Wins First Title Since 1927 by Defeating Somonauk - 1952

    Hinckley was voted the top seed of the 1952 Little Ten Conference Tournament by the coaches and was the heavy favorite to win its first tournament title since 1927.  The Hawks, under head coach Bob Wood were tied with Somonauk in the regular season standings heading into the tournament, both with 6-0 records.   The Bobcats were the No. 2 seed, but had dropped a pair of games to the tournament hosts Hawks already that season, one in the finals of the Mooseheart Tournament and the other in a non-conference clash.   Serena was picked as the third seed, the defending champions for the past two seasons would be a tough team to beat.  The fourth seed was the Leland Panthers, while Waterman was considered the ‘dark horse’ in many writers’ eyes.

 

     The Hawks overcame a tough Sandwich club and foul trouble in their opening game to move on with a 64-59 win, while Somonauk had an easy time defeating Paw Paw in their first game chalking up a 67-42 victory.  Hinckley had another nail bitter in the semifinals as they escaped with a 56-51 win over a very determined Earlville team.  A second quarter surge helped the Bobcats to a 68-61 triumph over Waterman in the second semifinal game, setting the stage for a third meeting between the top two seeds for the tournament title.

 

     The exciting, seesaw battle went the way of the Hawks as they captured the title with a 47-43 win over the Bobcats to take the title back to Hinckley, their first in 25 years.  Waterman bounced back to take the third place game, defeating the Red Raiders 74-63.  

 

FIRST ROUND:

 

SANDWICH 59, ROLLO 52

 

   The young Rollo Eagles came close to pulling off the first upset of the tournament against the Sandwich Indians, but lacked the final push they needed as Sandwich took a 59-52 decision. The Indians led 13-10 after the opening quarter and extended that lead to 10 (32-22) at halftime.  The Eagles came out smoking in the third quarter as they hit 11-of-19 from the floor and had the disadvantage down to one point at one point.  The more experienced Indians were able to regain their focus to move back in front 49-44 after three periods.  The clubs then played a relatively even fourth frame and Sandwich moved on to play top-seeded Hinckley.  Rollo ended the night hitting 35 percent from the floor compared to Sandwich’s 30 percent, but head coach Arnie Larson’s team was able to gather a majority of the rebounds.  Indian Ken Augustine, the Little Ten Conference’s leading scorer, was limited to just 11 points because of early foul trouble.  Jerry Faber led Sandwich with 18 points and forward Jim Wilhelm added 14.  Sophomore Chuck Foster was the top scorer for Rollo as he scored 18 points.

 

Sandwich       fg  ft  tp  Rollo        fg  ft  tp

Carr            1   2   4  Foster        6   6  18

Wilhelm         7   0  14  Wetzel        3   1   7

Faber           7   4  18  Iversen       3   3   9

Augustine       5   1  11  Catron        0   0   0

Knox            0   1   1  Landers       3   3   9

Martin          4   2  10  Durbin        1   1   3

Strode          0   1   1  Haines        3   0   6

 

Totals         24  11  59  Totals       19  14  52

 

Sandwich                 13    19    17    10 - 59

Rollo                    10    12    22     8 - 52

 Total fouls - Sandwich 23, Rollo 13.  Fouled out - Wilhelm.

PAW PAW 63, SHABBONA 53

 

   Paw Paw’s Bill Bittner poured in 25 points and controlled the boards to help the Bulldogs to a 63-53 win over Shabbona.  The teams played a tight first haf as Shabbona led 36-33 at the break, but Bittner netted 13 of the Bulldogs 19 points in the third quarter as they took a 52-42 lead to the fourth stanza.

   Besides Bittner’s game-high 25 points, Paw Paw, who was playing without starter Dean Eich, got support from Gerald Coss who had 19.  Shabbona was led by Dave Hartman’s 15 points and Jack Munson’s 11.

 

 

Paw Paw        fg  ft  tp  Shabbona     fg  ft  tp

Coss            7   5  19  D. Krantz     3   1   7

Miller          1   3   5  LeMar         0   0   0

Florscheutz     1   0   2  Hartman       6   4  16

Bittner         9   7  25  E. Krantz     2   0   4

E. Johnson      3   1   7  Munson        3   5  11

Rodgers         2   1   5  Hickey        3   0   6

                           Herrmann      1   1   3

                           L. Johnson    3   0   6

 

Totals         23  17  63  Totals       21  11  53

 

Paw Paw                  19    14    19    11 - 63

Shabbona                 18    18     6    11 - 53

 Total fouls - Paw Paw 17, Shabbona 21.  Fouled out - Miller, D. Krantz, Munson.

  

SECOND ROUND :

 

HINCKLEY 64, SANDWICH 59

 

   The Sandwich Indians gave top-seeded Hinckley all they wanted and more, but the Hawks were able to escape with a 64-59 victory.

   Hinckley took an 11-9 first quarter lead and started to pull away in the second period as they were hitting at a 42 percent clip from the field compared to Sandwich who had converted on only four of their first 22 shots.  Hinckley had a 34-26 at intermission, but was in some major foul trouble as starter Wally Wilson had already fouled out and Dick Strever and Jim Dellenback had four fouls each.

   At the start of the second half coach Bob Wood’s club seemed to come out very cautious and the Indians took advantage.  Ken Augustine and Mort Carr led Sandwich on a charge that put them into a 41-38 advantage late in the third quarter, but Hinckley regrouped to take a 47-44 lead heading into the fourth frame.  The Indians tried hard to close the gap, but with some timely baskets by Dellenback and Jim Barr the Hawks were able to hang on.

   Harold Skinner and Dellenback paced a balanced scoring attack for the Hawks with 17 points each, while Strever added 13 and Barr 12.  The Indians were led by Carr’s game-high 19 points with Augustine scoring 17 and Jerry Faber 11.

 

Sandwich       fg  ft  tp  Hinckley     fg  ft  tp

Wilhelm         0   1   1  Barr          5   2  12

Carr            8   3  19  Dellenback    7   3  17

Faber           5   1  11  Woodrich      2   0   4

Augustine       5   7  17  Skinner       5   7  17

Martin          4   2  10  Wilson        0   1   1

Strode          0   1   1  Furbush       0   0   0

                           Strever       5   3  13

 

Totals         22  15  59  Totals       24  16  64

 

Sandwich                  9    17    18    15 - 59

Hinckley                 11    23    13    17 - 64

 Total fouls - Sandwich 23, Hinckley 21.  Fouled out - Faber, Augustine, Strode, Wilson, Strever.

  

EARLVILLE 71, SERENA 68

 

   Earlville pulled off the first upset of the tournament as they eliminated the third-seeded Serena Huskers with a 71-68 quarterfinal victory.

   The teams matched shots through the first half before the Huskers pushed out to a 10 point lead.  The Red Raiders rallied back to cut the Serena lead to just 34-32 at halftime.  In the third period, Earlville out-pointed the defending tournament champs 20-9 to what looked like a safe 52-43 advantage.  Serena however employed their full-court press in the fourth quarter, a move that helped them slice the margin to 68-66 with 45 seconds left.  Free throws by Don Landers and Bud Swayze in the closing moments helped Earlville hold on for the upset.

   Swayze was the high man for the Red Raiders scoring 17 points, followed by Bob Malley with 16, Landers 14 and George Kaleel 11.  Kaleel was cited for some outstanding ball handling against Serena’s press.  Huskers’ 5-foot-10 forward Wes Hougstad led all scorers in the game with 25 points.

   The two teams hit a high percentage from the free throw line, Earlville made 25-of-34, including 17-of-21 in the second half.  Serena swished 14-of-22, 6-of-10 in the final half.

 

Earlville      fg  ft  tp  Serena       fg  ft  tp

Swayze          5   7  17  Hougsted     11   3  25

T. Anderson     3   2   8  Donahue       0   0   0

Malley          6   4  16  Bo. Roth      1   7   9

Pritchert       2   0   4  Warren        1   0   2

Kaleel          4   3  11  Bi. Roth      4   1   9

Landers         3   8  14  Mundroff      0   0   0

Cook            0   1   1  Jardine       6   3  15

                           Nelson        3   0   6

                           Frisch        1   0   2

 

Totals         23  25  71  Totals       27  14  68

 

Earlville                17    15    20    19 - 71  

Serena                   20    14     9    25 - 68

 Total fouls - Earlville 18, Serena 26.  Fouled out - Bi. Roth, Jardine.

 

WATERMAN 77, LELAND 49

 

   Waterman put together an impressive performance to reach the semi-finals as they ran passed the Leland Panthers 77-49.  The 77 point total had Little Ten Conference officals checking for what was believed to be the highest score compiled in a tournament game.

   According to the tournament seeding voted on earlier in the season this game was an upset as Leland was ranked the fourth seed by the coaches.  The victory gave Waterman their ninth win in their last 11 games.

   The Wolverines led 12-10 after one period and ran out to a 33-22 cushion at halftime.  The foul filled contest was all but over early in the third quarter as Waterman had pushed their advantage to 26 points.

   Sophomore center Chuck Johnson and senior Ron North led the Wolverine charge as each scored 24 points. Johnson cleared everything off the boards while North hit one left-handed jump shot after another.  Waterman’s defense held Leland’s top two scorers down as Keith Gunderson was held to just nine points, Don Loux to only six.  Center Frank Gunderson took the Panthers scoring honors with 17 points.

 

Leland         fg  ft  tp  Waterman     fg  ft  tp

K. Gunderson    3   3   9  Ray           3   3   9

Jacobson        0   1   1  Hipple        0   1   1

S. Thompson     1   3   5  Withey        1   1   3

Abbott          3   1   7  Kolves        0   1   1

F. Gunderson    7   3  17  C. Johnson    9   6  24

Cox             1   0   2  L. Peterson   2   0   4

Spengler        0   1   1  North        11   2  24

Morel           0   0   0  Roberts       3   2   8

Loux            2   2   6  Smiley        0   3   3

J. Johnson      0   1   1  K. Peterson   0   0   0

 

Totals         17  15  49  Totals       29  19  77

 

Leland                   10    12    11    16 - 49

Waterman                 12    21    26    18 - 77

 Total fouls - Leland 28, Waterman 30.  Fouled out - K.Gunderson, S. Thompson, F. Gunderson, Loux, Withey, C. Johnson, L. Peterson.

 

SOMONAUK 67, PAW PAW 42

 

   The Somonauk Bobcats had everything well in hand after the first eight minutes in their quarter-final tilt with Paw Paw, as they moved to the semifinals with a 67-42 win.

   The Bulldogs led throughout much of the first quarter before the Bobcats inched in front 10-9 at the horn.  Somonauk started clicking in the second frame as they took a 34-19 lead into intermission.  The Bobcats out-scored Paw Paw 33-23 in the second half to earn the win.

   The key to the game was the fact Somonauk took 31 more shots than the Bulldogs.  The Bobcats hit 27-of-96 (28 percent), while Paw Paw hit on just 12-of-65 (18 percent) in the game.

   Dave Westbrook led Somonauk with 19 markers, with Ron Anderson pouring in 17 more.  Paw Paw’s Bill Bittner scored a team-high 17 before fouling out of the game.

 

Paw Paw        fg  ft  tp  Somonauk     fg  ft  tp

Coss            1   4   6  D. Anderson   1   0   2

Larson          0   0   0  Flynn         0   0   0

Miller          1   0   2  Grandgeorge   5   2  12

Florscheutz     0   2   2  Kendrick      1   0   2

Bittner         5   7  17  Westbrook     8   3  19

Wells           0   0   0  Fox           1   1   3

E. Johnson      5   3  13  R. Anderson   7   3  17

Rogers          0   2   2  Schou         0   0   0

                           Sims          2   4   8

                           Hash          2   0   4

 

Totals         12  18  42  Totals       27  13  67

 

Paw Paw                   9    10    12    11 - 42

Somonauk                 10    24    22    11 - 67

 Total fouls - Paw Paw 21, Somonauk 26.  Fouled out - Miller, Bittner.

 

SEMI-FINALS :

 

HINCKLEY 56, EARLVILLE 51

 

   Hinckley’s Bob “Woody” Woodrich scored five points in the final four seconds to send the Hawks into the championship game as they defeated Earlville in a wild contest 56-51.

   The teams were tied a 51-all with five ticks left on the clock after a jump ball had been called.  Woodrich controlled the tip, broke for the basket, scored and was fouled.  After nailing the free throw, Woodrich stole the Red Raiders inbounds pass and was fouled deliberately as the final whistle sounded.  He was awarded two free throws after the game had already been won and dropped them in as well to end the contest at a five point margin.

   The Hawks looked early as if they would have an easy time with the scrappy Earlville bunch as the tournament top seed led 26-16 at halftime.  Hinckley’s top scorer and rebounder Harold Skinner fouled out early in the third quarter allowing Earlville to climb back into the game as the Red Raiders led 37-35 after three periods.

   The clubs traded baskets for most of the fourth frame as Earlville still led 51-50 in the last minute.  Hawk’s Jim Barr hit a free throw to knot the score and set the stage for Woodrich’s heroics. 

   Jim Dellenback paced Hinckley with 15 points and Barr added 14.  Tom Anderson’s 11 points was tops for Earlville.

   Hinckley for the game hit 32 percent from the floor compared to Earlville’s 17 percent.  The Hawks hit 20-of-30 free throws, while the Red Raiders made just 15-of-24.

 

Earlville      fg  ft  tp  Hinckley     fg  ft  tp

Swayze          4   1   9  Barr          5   4  14

T. Anderson     2   7  11  Dellenback    4   7  15

Malley          2   0   4  Woodrich      2   4   8

Pritchert       5   0  10  Skinner       4   2  10

Kaleel          3   3   9  Wilson        0   0   0

Landers         2   4   8  Strever       3   3   9

 

Totals         18  15  51  Totals       18  20  56

 

Earlville                 9     7    21    14 - 51

Hinckley                 11    15     9    21 - 56

 Total fouls - Earlville 22, Hinckley 20.  Fouled out - Malley, Landers, Skinner.

 

SOMONAUK 68, WATERMAN 61

 

   Somonauk used a second quarter spurt which proved to be the the key in their 68-61 victory over a red-hot Waterman team.

   The teams played an even first period before the Bobcats put together a run that had them ahead at halftime 32-23.  The Wolverines were unable to put a dent in the disadvantage during the second half as they also missed six straight free throws in the closing minutes.

   Bobcat center Dave Westbrook led all scorers with 21 points, while teammate Ron Anderson added 17 for the winners.  Somonauk’s defense limited Ron North, Waterman’s high scoring speedy guard, to just eight points by not letting him get open for shots from the corners.  Chuck Johnson poured in 14 points for the Wolverines, Wes Ray chipped in with 13, and Junior Roberts added 10.

   Both teams shot 30 percent from the field, Somonauk made just 14-of-31 free throws, while Waterman sank 21-of-32.

 

Waterman       fg  ft  tp  Somonauk     fg  ft  tp

Ray             5   3  13  D. Anderson   4   2  10

Withey          1   1   3  Grandgeorge   4   3  11

Kolves          1   2   4  Kendrick      0   0   0

C. Johnson      2  10  14  Westbrook     9   3  21

L. Peterson     0   0   0  Fox           1   1   3

North           3   2   8  R. Anderson   7   3  17

Roberts         5   0  10  Schou         0   0   0

Smiley          3   3   9  Sims          0   1   1

                           Hash          2   1   5

 

Totals         20  21  61  Totals       27  14  68

 

Waterman                 13    10    21    17 - 61

Somonauk                 13    19    19    17 - 68

 Total fouls - Waterman 26, Somonauk 28.  Fouled out - C. Johnson, North, D. Anderson, Grandgeorge, Sims, Hash.

 

THIRD PLACE GAME :

 

WATERMAN 74, EARLVILLE 63

 

   Waterman captured third place of the Little Ten Conference Tournament with a high-scoring 74-63 win over Earlville.

   The Red Raiders held a two point (14-12) lead after the first eight minutes, however the Wolverines used a 18-9 second period advantage to help push them to victory.

   Ron North and Chuck Johnson again led the charge for Waterman as North led all scorers with 25 points, while Johnson from his center position added 19.  Earlville freshman Bud Swayze led his club in a losing effort with 19 points on six baskets and seven free throws.

 

Earlville      fg  ft  tp  Waterman     fg  ft  tp

T. Anderson     2   5   9  Ray           3   3   9

Swayze          6   7  19  Withey        0   2   2

A. Smith        0   0   0  C. Johnson    7   5  19

Malley          4   1   9  L. Peterson   3   0   6

Pritchert       1   2   4  North        10   5  25

Kaleel          3   6  12  Roberts       3   4  10

Landers         2   4   8  Smiley        0   3   3

Cook            0   0   0

 

Totals         18  27  63  Totals       26  22  74

 

Earlville                14     9    20    20 - 63

Waterman                 12    18    21    23 - 74

 Total fouls - Earlville 26, Waterman 25.  Fouled out - T. Anderson, Malley, Landers, Ray, C. Johnson.

 

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME :

 

HINCKLEY 47, SOMONAUK 43

 

   The Hinckley Hawks captured the Little Ten Conference Tournament for the first time in 25 years as they defeated Somonauk on their home floor.

   The runner-up is the 1951 tournament, the Hawks claimed a 47-43 win, marking the third time they had defeated Somonauk that season.  It was also the second time in a championship game, with all being come-from-behind, four-point wins.

   Hinckley broke Somonauk’s undefeated string in their first meeting of the year with a 52-48 victory.  A couple of weeks later the Hawks beat the Bobcats 46-42 in the title game of the Mooseheart Holiday Tournament.

   This title game had all the ear marks of the previous two battles as the champs pushed out to a 20-10 advantage midway through the second quarter.  Over the next 12 minutes, head coach Kent Robinson’s Bobcats turned the tide, cutting the lead to 23-22 at halftime and then grabbing 29-23 advantage with two minutes left in the third.  Hinckley battled back to take the lead 34-32 early in the fourth, from there the game was tight as the score was tied numerous times before the Hawks pulled ahead by six in the last minutes with the Bobcats unable to get any closer than four points.

   Somonauk’s tight zone defense put the clamps on Hawks’ high-scoring center Harold Skinner (nine points), but forward Jim Dellenback took over, scoring 17 game-high points.  Ron Anderson led Somonauk with 15 tallies.

 

 

Somonauk          fg  ft  tp  Hinckley        fg  ft  tp

D. Anderson, f     1   4   6  Barr, f          5   1  11

R. Anderson, f     6   3  15  Dellenback, f    5   7  17

Westbrook, c       5   1  11  Skinner, c       4   1   9

Fox, c             0   0   0  Wilson, g        0   2   2

Grandgeorge, g     2   1   5  Woodrich, g      0   1   1

Sims, g            1   0   2  Strever, g       3   1   7

Hash, g            2   0   4

 

Totals            17   9  43  Totals          17  13  47

 

Somonauk                  5    17     9    12 - 43

Hinckley                  8    15     5    19 - 47

 Total fouls - Somonauk 22, Hinckley 11.  Fouled out - D. Anderson, Westbrook, Skinner.

 

 

 

     REGULAR SEASON ENDS IN SPECTACULAR FASHION

 

     The final three weeks of league play was one for the history books, as Hinckley (6-0), Somonauk (6-0) and Serena (5-1) all had their eyes on the regular season championship.  Here is a short recap of the final four Friday nights of LTC play.

 

February 1st -

 

Hinckley 67, Sandwich 64 - Jim Dellenback poured in 28 points for the Hawks who led by just one at halftime against Sandwich (4-4), but was able to hold onto the lead till the final horn.  Hinckley (7-0) also received 14 points from Jim Barr and 13 from Harold Skinner to help keep their record perfect.

 

Waterman  60, Somonauk 47 - The Wolverines avenged their defeat to the Bobcats at the LTC Tournament with a 60-47 upset, giving Somonauk (6-1) their first loss in loop play.  Waterman (6-2) led from start to finish as Chuck Johnson scored 16 points and Ron North 13.  Somonauk, who was without one of their top players, was led in scoring by Ron Anderson who hit for a game-high 19 points.

 

Serena 70, Shabbona 52 - The Huskers (6-1) stayed close in the race with the win over Shabbona (1-5), thanks in part to Wes Hougsted’s game-high 22 points.

 

February 8th -

 

Somonauk 57, Hinckley 29 - The host Bobcats (7-1) showed that the fourth time is the charm as after dropping three games to Hinckley, they found the answer in a big way as they defeated the Hawks soundly.  Somonauk was led by Ron Anderson’s 19 points, while Dwain Sims and Bob Grandgeorge added 18 and 14 points respectively.  Harold Skinner led Hinckley (7-1) with 13 markers.

 

Serena 56, Leland 37 - The Huskers (7-1) ran past the Panthers (3-6) to put themselves into a three-way tie for first.

 

February 15th -

 

All three conference leaders picked up wins to stay in a three-way tie for first.  Hinckley (8-1) tromped over winless Rollo 70-48, a game in which four Hawks players scored in double figures - Dellenback 18, Skinner 15, Jim Barr 15 and Dick Strever 11.  Rollo’s Chuck Foster poured in 30 points for the Eagles (0-9).  Bobcat Ron Anderson continued his stellar play by scorching the nets for 31 points as Somonauk (8-1) took a 78-54 decision over Shabbona (1-7).  Serena (8-1) used a huge third quarter rally to win over Earlville (5-5) by the count of 70-67.

 

February 22nd -

 

It all came down to this night.  Somonauk hosted Plano (3-6), while Serena traveled to take on Hinckley.  Thus only the Huskers or Hawks had a chance to hold the title themselves, while the Bobcats with a win would have to share the title.

 

Somonauk 62, Plano 55 - The Bobcats (9-1) jumped out to a comfortable 34-21 halftime led, however the Reapers cut the lead to six heading to the final period.   The teams battled evenly during the final quarter with the Bobcats holding on for the win.  Ron Anderson scored 21 points and John Fox added 15.

 

Hinckley 72, Serena 59 -  Harold Skinner (29 points) and Jim Dellenback (28 points)  completely dominated the contest against the Huskers (8-2), a contest in which the Hawks (9-1) never trailed.  With the win, Hinckley and Somonauk shared the conference’s regular season title.  Serena and Waterman both finished with 8-2 records in league play.

 
 
 
Hinckley, Somonauk Share LTC Top Spot 
 
1952 Little Ten Conference Final Standings
 
                  W    L    Pct.
Hinckley          9    1    .900
Somonauk          9    1    .900
Serena            8    2    .800
Waterman          8    2    .800
Sandwich          6    4    .600
Earlville         3    6    .333
Plano             3    7    .300
Leland            3    7    .300
Paw Paw           2    8    .200
Shabbona          1    8    .111
Rollo             1    9    .100