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Little Ten Conference Boys Basketball Tournament History

1998 Tournament
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Paw Paw Runs Past Indian Creek For Second Straight Title

Serena tops Newark for Third Place

 

Indian Creek 73, Somonauk 60

Newark 59, Hinckley-Big Rock 57 (OT)

Serena 66, Malta 60

Indian Creek 74, Earlville 66

Paw Paw 80, LaMoille 38

SEMIFINALS

Indian Creek 71, Serena 58

Paw Paw 48, Newark 43

THIRD PLACE

Serena 68, Newark 54 

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Paw Paw 68, Indian Creek 54 

The Paw Paw Bulldogs, one of the original 10 schools of the Little Ten, had won the school's first Little Ten Conference Tournament in 1997 and were heavy favorites to make it back-to-back in 1998. With a lineup that consisted of 6-foot-4 twins Mike and Mike Torman, 6-9 center Nick Petrakis and lightning quick point-guard Josh Martinez, the top-seeded Bulldogs defeated Cinderella Indian Creek 68-54 at Somonauk.

Paw Paw head coach Steven Herren's club ran by LaMoille 80-38 in its opening game and then slipped by Newark 48-43 in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, seventh-seeded Indian Creek and its head coach, Ron Hunt (current Somonauk head coach), put together back-to-back upsets. The Timberwolves first picked off No. 2 Earlville 74-66 before knocking off third-seeded Serena 71-58 in the semifinals.

In the championship game, Mike Torman scored 22 of his 28 points in the first half for the Bulldogs to help them to a 35-18 halftime lead. The Timberwolves were able to cut the lead to nine late in the third quarter, but consecutive dunks by Mike Torman and Petrakis pushed it back to 15 and sealed the win. Matt Torman backed his brother Mike with 12 points, while Petrakis and Martinez added nine each.

Serena bested Newark 68-54 in the third place game.

Final 1997-98 Little Ten Conference Standings

 

                     W   L

Paw Paw              8   1

Earlville            7   2

Newark               7   2

Hinckley-Big Rock    6   3

Serena               6   3

Malta                3   6

Indian Creek         3   6

LaMoille             2   7

Somonauk             2   7

Leland               1   8

 

 

1997-98 LTC All-Conference Team

 

* Matt Torman, Paw Paw, Senior 6-foot-4 Forward : Two-time All-LTC.  Led Bulldogs in rebounds (10 rpg), steals and assists.

 

* Mike Torman, Paw Paw, Senior 6-foot-4 Forward : Led Bulldogs with 17 points per game.

 

Micah McNeil, Earlville, Senior 6-foot-7 Center : Two-time All-LTC.  Led Red Raiders in scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding.

 

* T.J. Lynd, Newark, Senior 6-foot-2 Forward : Led Norsemen in scoring (13 ppg) and rebounding.

 

* Chris Bailey, Hinckley-Big Rock, Senior 6-foot Guard : Two-time All-LTC.  Led Royals with 22 points per game, hit 52-percent (42-percent 3’s) from the field and 87-percent from the free throw line.

 

* Justin DeBolt, Serena, Senior 6-foot-3 Center : Scored 16 points per game for the Huskers and led team with 272 rebounds.

 

* Jake Richmond, Serena, Senior 6-foot-3 Forward : Led Huskers with 19 points per game and grabbed 243 rebounds.

 

* Justin Allen, Malta, Junior Forward : Two-time All-LTC.  Led Mustangs with 25.5 points per game and hit 79-percent from the free throw line.  Two-time team most valuable player and school record holder in both points and rebounds.

 

* Nick Spears, Indian Creek, Senior 6-foot-2 Guard : Two-time All-LTC.  Led Timberwolves with 14 points per game and hit 80-percent from the free throw line.

 

Lance Oleson, Indian Creek, Senior 6-foot Guard : Averaged 13 points per game for the Timberwolves.

 

* - Unanimous selection