Little Ten Conference Boys Basketball Tournament History

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Serena Wins Third Straight Title


Shabbona, last team to three-peat, falls to Huskers

The top seeded Serena Huskers captured their third straight Little Ten Conference Tournament title at Shabbona.  The Huskers, who had defeated Leland the previous two years, topped a very tough Shabbona club on the runners up home floor to raise the championship trophy.


Serena opened their title run with a 65-54 win over Waterman, then triumphed over Leland in the semifinals 71-53 and finally defeated Shabbona 60-56 in the finals.  Shabbona blew past Earlville 80-51 in their opening contest and then upset previously unbeaten Paw Paw 60-54 before falling to the Huskers.


Paw Paw gathered third place honors by running past Leland 73-56.




Waterman used a potent fast break offense to grab a 14-9 lead after the opening eight minutes and extended it to 30-20 at halftime.  The Royals were never able to recover as the Wolverines moved on.  Waterman was led by Russ ViPond’s 15 points, while Jim Swift and Kent Charlesworth added 10 each.  H-BR was paced by Steve Nehring’s game-high 16 points.




The clubs were tied 37-all at halftime, but Somonauk used a 13-9 third quarter advantage to help them to victory.  The Bobcats were led by Joe Niles’ 17 points; Chuck Novey had 15, Tom Landers 14 and Paul Adrian 12.  Elmer Pluders topped Plano with 17 points, Steve Darnell and Dave Eads netted 16 points each.




Leland had a 14-point lead early in the fourth period and had only time on its side and it was a good thing because Sandwich exploded for a 22-14 edge in the final minutes.  The Indians cut the lead to a mere three points with 19 seconds left, but even with momentum on their side, they ran out of time to catch the Panthers.  Sandwich’s fourth quarter press caused havoc for Leland, plus the fact their 6-foot-3 center Grove Killelea (12 points, 17 rebounds) fouled out midway through the final frame, with him out the Panthers struggled on the boards, allowing the Indians second and third chances at the basket.  Gerald Brouwer led Leland with 20 points, 10 coming in the opening quarter.  Doug Carter led Sandwich with 14 points, Mike Flynn added 12.




Shabbona led 34-28 at the intermission, but broke the game open in the second half using a hard charging fast break and dominating the rebounds.  Ted Craig paced Shabbona with 18 points which was followed closely behind by Greg Colby’s 17 and Wayne Benson’s 16.  Earlville’s Jerry Botts led his club with 18 points to share game-high hoors, while Ron Rave netted 15, Ray Bauer 11.




The Huskers led 17-14 after one quarter and held a slim 31-28 advantage at halftime.  It was a 20-14 edge in the third period that kept Serena on top for good as they moved on the semifinals.  Serena was able to score many of their points from close range, while Waterman had to settle for long shots against a very tough Husker defense.  Serena was led by Ron Olson’s 19 points, while 5-foot-11 senior guard Dan Yuhas added 17, Rob Borchsenius 15.  High scoring Wolverine Russ ViPond swished 12 field goals for his game-high 24 markers.




Paw Paw came into the contest with a perfect 13-0 record on the season.  The Bobcats stayed close for a while before the Bulldogs clamed down on the rebounds as Chuck Torman (14 points) and Gene Englehart (13 points) dominated underneath.  They were aided by the outside shooting of Larry Durr (18 points) which opened up gaps in the Bobcats defense.  Paul Adrian led Somonauk with 12 points.






The Huskers led 18-10 after one period, but Ron Olson picked up three quick second quarter fouls and Leland cut it to 33-27 by halftime.  Olson committed his fourth foul on the opening play of the second half, but Serena was able to push out to a 51-42 advantage heading to the final eight minutes. The Panthers again came storming back, cutting the lead to five (55-50) with four minutes to go.  A 16-3 run, sparked by six consecutive points by Olson, by the top seed in those final minutes wrapped up a third straight trip to the title game.  Rob Borchsenius led Serena with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Olson added 18 points and 13 boards.  Leland had balanced scoring led by Gerald Brouwer with 14 points (11 rebounds), Tim Brown 13, Grove Killelea 12 and Dan Hill 10.  


Key stats: Serena 28-of-64 (43.8%) field goals, 15-of-16 free throws and 37 rebounds.  Leland 20-of-62 (32.3%) field goals, 13-of-19 free throws and 27 rebounds.




Shabbona led 16-13 after one period and built a 33-21 halftime lead.  The unbeaten Bulldogs missed many shots (19-of-66 for the game) from close range in the first half, but Shabbona’s defense had a hand in that by hurrying attempts and causing numerous turnovers.  Paw Paw guard Larry Durr (16 points) led a frantic comeback, helping his team cut the disadvantage to 44-36 entering the final frame and to two points (50-48) with 2:22 to go in the contest.  Then it was Shabbona’s Greg Colby’s turn to spark his club with a pair of hoops, part of his game-high 22 points, which helped the Indians hold on for the upset victory.  Shabbona, who hit 23-of-46 from the field for the game, also received clutch scoring from Ted Craig (14 points, nine rebounds) and Rolf Anderson (10 points).  Chuck Torman backed Durr with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Gene Englehart grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds in a losing effort.






One night after seeing their perfect season come to an end, second seeded Paw Paw regrouped and ran out to a 35-21 halftime lead over the Panthers.  But as they had against Serena in the semifinals, Leland stormed back in the second half.  The Panther press gave the Bulldogs fits and with 5:20 to go in the game Leland trailed just 52-47.  However, Paw Paw righted the ship and grabbed the momentum from there and ran away with the victory to capture third place honors.  Dennis Butts paced the Paw Paw attack with a game-high 27 points, while Gerald Brouwer (14 points) and Grove Killelea (12 points) were tops for Leland.






The standing room only crowd in Shabbona’s gym got more than their money’s worth.  The Huskers led by eight late in the third quarter before the Indians’ Greg Colby sank three straight hoops, the last from mid-court at the buzzer.  Shabbona tied it at 52-all early in the fourth period, but Serena’s Rob Borchsenius scored the go-ahead basket and then four more points to assure a Husker victory and the tournament title.  The Indians had troubles keeping control of the ball in the final minutes and eventually were forced to foul and Serena made all their free throws down the stretch.


Husker guard Dan Yuhas carried his club for most of the contest and ended with 21 points, while on the other side Rolf Anderson, 6-foot-3 center, swished 11-of-19 shots against the Serena zone to get his game-high 22 points.



1965 Final Little Ten Conference Standings


(overall)                W    L

Serena (26-4)            9    0

Shabbona (16-10)         7    2

Paw Paw (20-5)           6    3

Sandwich (10-13)         6    3

Leland (13-12)           5    4

Waterman (12-12)         5    4

Earlville (5-18)         4    5

Hinckley-Big Rock (2-20) 2    7

Plano (2-19)             2    7

Somonauk (5-19)          0    9