1952 - Hinckley Wins First Title Since 1927 by Defeating Somonauk - 1952
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.
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
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.
Sandwich13191710 - 59
Rollo1012228 - 52
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.
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
Paw Paw19141911 - 63
Shabbona1818611 - 53
fouls - Paw Paw 17, Shabbona 21.Fouled out - Miller, D. Krantz, Munson.
SECOND ROUND :
HINCKLEY 64, SANDWICH 59
Sandwich Indians gave top-seeded Hinckley all they wanted and more, but the Hawks were able to escape with a 64-59
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.
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.
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.
Sandwich9171815 - 59
Hinckley11231317 - 64
fouls - Sandwich 23, Hinckley 21.Fouled out - Faber, Augustine,
Strode, Wilson, Strever.
EARLVILLE 71, SERENA 68
pulled off the first upset of the tournament as they eliminated the third-seeded Serena Huskers with a 71-68 quarterfinal
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.
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
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.
Earlville17152019 - 71
Serena2014925 - 68
fouls - Earlville 18, Serena 26.Fouled out - Bi. Roth, Jardine.
WATERMAN 77, LELAND 49
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.
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.
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.
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.
F. Gunderson7317C. Johnson9624
J. Johnson011K. Peterson000
Leland10121116 - 49
Waterman12212618 - 77
fouls - Leland 28, Waterman 30.Fouled out - K.Gunderson, S. Thompson, F. Gunderson,
Loux, Withey, C. Johnson, L. Peterson.
SOMONAUK 67, PAW PAW 42
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.
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.
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.
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 fgfttpSomonaukfgfttp
Coss14 6D. Anderson102
E. Johnson5313R. Anderson7317
Paw Paw9101211 - 42
Somonauk10242211 - 67
fouls - Paw Paw 21, Somonauk 26.Fouled out - Miller, Bittner.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Earlville972114 - 51
Hinckley1115921 - 56
fouls - Earlville 22, Hinckley 20.Fouled out - Malley,
SOMONAUK 68, WATERMAN 61
used a second quarter spurt which proved to be the the key in their 68-61 victory over a red-hot Waterman team.
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.
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.
teams shot 30 percent from the field, Somonauk made just 14-of-31 free throws, while Waterman sank 21-of-32.
17 - 61
Somonauk13191917 - 68
fouls - Waterman 26, Somonauk 28.Fouled out - C. Johnson, North, D. Anderson,
Grandgeorge, Sims, Hash.
THIRD PLACE GAME :
WATERMAN 74, EARLVILLE 63
captured third place of the Little Ten Conference Tournament with a high-scoring 74-63 win over Earlville.
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.
A. Smith000C. Johnson7519
Earlville 1492020 - 63
Waterman12182123 - 74
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.
D. Anderson, f146Barr, f5111
R. Anderson, f 6315Dellenback, f5717
Westbrook, c5111Skinner, c419
Fox, c000 Wilson, g022
Grandgeorge, g215Woodrich, g011
Sims, g102Strever, g317
Somonauk517912 - 43
Hinckley815519 - 47
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.
Waterman60, 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
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