Little Ten Conference Boys Basketball Tournament History

1956 Tournament
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Earlville defeats Somonauk for Second Straight Year to Raise LTC Tournament Title.

Serena take Third Place Over Shabbona



Leland led 17-8 after the opening eight minutes.  Panther Jim Elliott scored 11 of his team’s 17 second quarter points and Reaper Bill Meier netted 10 of his club’s 15 as Leland headed to halftime up 34-22.  The Panthers still held the advantage after three periods (46-35) and although Plano was able to slice the lead to eight points on several occasions, they were unable to complete the comeback.


Elliott led all scorers with 17 points, Wayne Morel added 16, and Jack Newlin 13 for the victors.  The Reapers were led by Meier and Jim Campbell with 16 markers each.




Shabbona led 17-9 after the first frame, but three consecutive hoops by Waterman’s Bruce Swann tied the game at 17-all midway through the second quarter.  Wolverine Wayne Maxfield scored with 3:10 to go before halftime to give Waterman their first lead since early in the game.  Another Maxfield scored with a half-a-minute to go to make it 25-24 WHS, but Indian Bob Oftedal gave his club a one-point halftime advantage with a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.


Shabbona still held the lead after three periods (40-34), but Waterman wasn’t done.  Playing without the services of four regulars, who were dropped from the team by head coach Joe Newton for violating training rules, the Wolverines cut the Indians lead to 42-40 with 5:15 left in the game.  Jim Watson moved Waterman ahead with a hoop at the 3:30 mark, but Shabbona’s Dave Jordal, Oftedal, and Jim Mohn converted consecutive free throws to move back ahead 48-43 with just :20 left.


Shabbona was paced by Jordal and Oftedal who scored 11 points each, all of the latter’s points coming from the line.  Maxfield led all scorers with 22 tallies; Swann added 14 in a losing effort.




The Bobcats led 13-12 after one period and held a slim 23-22 advantage at halftime as neither club was able to gain more than a four point lead.  Somonauk, sparked by the rebounding of Bob Shaffer and Dave Voss, pushed out to a 10-point lead and led 44-36 heading to the final quarter.  Somonauk out-scored the Hawks, who gave them no breathing room, 16-15 in the fourth period to help them advance to the semifinals.


Voss scored a game-high 20 points, Wendell Jelm chipped in 16, and Shaffer 12 for the winning Bobcats.  The Hawks were paced by 13 points from Bob Anderson, while Bob Dwyer added 12, Toby Watne 10.




The top-seeded Red Raiders led 16-14 heading to the second period and while Panther Jim Elliott scored 11 points in the second frame the Earlville club still held a 33-29 advantage at the intermission.


Leland out-scored Earlville 18-15 in the third frame, but still trailed 48-47 entering the final quarter.  Elliott’s hoop 40 seconds into the final period tied the game at 49-all, then Lowell Anderson followed with a free throw and Wayne Morel rebounded and scored of the second that missed and Leland led 52-49 at the 7:00 mark.  Earlville’s Wayne Torman and Bob Jornlin gave the defending tournament champs the lead back with consecutive baskets before Anderson added another free toss to knot the score again, this time at 53-all with 4:20 left.  Jornlin and Elliott exchanged baskets before Jornlin and Torman picked up four more points between them to make it 59-55, a lead they never lost.


The Red Raiders nailed four free throws in the final :20 to make the final score a poor indication of how close the game was.  Also 11 missed fourth quarter free throws hurt the Panthers chances of an upset.


Torman led the winners with 15 points.  Ross Collins and Jerry Tuftie, who had a fine floor game, added 12 each for Earlville.  Elliott was the star for the Panthers as he score a game-high 29 points (18 in first half), while Anderson chipped in 11.




The Huskers led 16-13 after one quarter and extended it to a 40-28 lead at halftime.  The Indians really hurt themselves in the game by hitting just 9-of-25 from the free throw stripe.


Serena was led by Jerry Donahue’s 22 markers, David Strangland added 20, and Dave Christopherson 10.  Sandwich got 22 points from Dave Allen and 10 from Doug Abraham.






The teams were tied at 14-all after the opening eight minutes and Earlville held a slim 28-26 advantage at halftime.  Red Raider center Wayne Torman paced his club with five baskets in the third period, the last making the score 39-30 EHS with 3:45 left in the frame.  Serena's Dave Christopherson sparked the Huskers with three consecutive hoops to slice the lead to 44-40 entering the fourth quarter.


Serena's outstanding sophomore Paul Arenson's drive at the 2:30 mark of the final period knotted the score at 55-all.  Earlville then held the ball until missing a shot with 1:45 to go, and then the Huskers held the ball until just thirty seconds to play as Jerry Donahue was fouled.  He missed the first free throw and the Red Raiders grabbed the rebound and the capacity crowd rose to their feet.  With ten ticks of the clock left, Earlville's Ross Cullins was fouled on a drive to the hoop, but he also missed his free throw and the game was now going to overtime.


The action packed extra seccsion started with Cullins scoring from underneath to give Earlville a 57-55 lead with 2:15 on the clock.  Donahue hit a free toss at the 1:45 mark and a miss on his second gave Earlville the ball.  The Red Raiders stalled and in desperation Serena was forced to foul and sent Roland Sibigtroth to the line.  He made the first free throw, but his second missed, however teammate Wayne Torman pulled down the rebound and scored making it 60-56 EHS.  Donahue nailed a long jumper for the Huskers to make it 60-58 with :20 remaining, but Jerry Tuftie scored a hoop seconds later to wrap up the contest for the Red Raiders.


Torman scored a game-high 21 points for Earlville, Tuftie and Sibigtroth added 12 points each.  Aremson led Serena with 20 markers, while Donahue chipped in 11 in a losing cause.




The Bobcats held one point advantages after one period (13-12) and halftime (31-30) and appeared to break the game open with a 16-6 third quarter spurt.  However the Indians started a come back and were able to slice the lead down to six (58-52) with just two minutes left to play, but Bobcats Bob Shaffer and Dave Voss converted on consecutive baskets to put the game away and move their team to a rematch in the title game with Earlville, who they had fell to the previous year's tournament.






The Huskers led 18-15 after the first frame, but the Indians were able to tie the score at 25-all halfway through the second quarter.  Serena then used a 10-0 run to help them head to the intermission with a 39-28 lead and still was ahead 51-39 going to the fourth.  Serena then put the game away with a 21-8 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes to capture third place honors.


Paul Arenson paced the winners with 21 points, Jerry Donahue (the tournament's second leading scorer) scored 16, and Dave Stangland added 14.  Shabbona was led by Bob Oftedal's 16 points, while Denny Fleming chipped in 12.






It was a rematch of last year’s title game, won by the Red Raiders in a close battle.  Earlville had defeated the Bobcats earlier in the season in LTC play.  In that game, Wayne Torman had 18 points and EHS used a big second half to push on to a 54-44 win.  So Somonauk was looking for revenge in more ways then one.


After a scoreless opening two minutes, the teams settled in and were tied at 14-all after one quarter.  Earlville held a slim 24-21 lead at halftime, but Somonauk was able to grab a small lead early in the thrid. 


It wasn't until late in the period that the Red Raiders were able to retake the lead back and then used their height advantage in the final frame along with seeming to be in the right place at the right time.  Torman scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the fourth, while Ross Cullins and Jerry Tuftie (15 points) added seven each as EHS pulled away with a 26-15 final period scoring advantage and again raised the golden basketball as defending LTC Tournament champions.


Along with Torman (tournament's leading scorer) and Tuftie's scoring, Bob Jornlin added 12 points for the champions.  Bob Shaffer finished a fine tournament with a team-high 17 points for Somonauk.  Wendell Jelm had 13 points, Ed Walsh added 10.


Key:  fg-ft-tp


EARLVILLE (62) - Cullins 1-8-10, Sibigtroth 1-3-5, W. Torman 9-2-20, Tuftie 5-5-15, Jornlin 5-2-12.  Totals 21-20-62.


SOMONAUK (50) - Shaffer 7-3-17, Guehler 2-2-6, Jelm 5-3-13, Walsh 5-0-10, Voss 2-0-4.  Totals 21-8-50.


Earlville              14   10    12   26 - 62

Somonauk          14    7    14   15 - 50


Total fouls - Earlville 7, Somonauk 11.  Fouled out - none.


Leading Scorers in the Tournament


Player, School         G   FG   FT   TP

Torman, Earlville      3   25    4   54

Donahue, Serena        3   17   15   49

Arneson, Serena        3   20    8   48

Shaffer, Somonauk      4   21    6   48

Oftedal, Shabbona      4   11   25   47

Elliott, Leland        2   18   10   46

Jelm, Somonauk         4   14   14   42

Stangland, Serena      3   17    7   41

Tuftie, Earlville      3   12   15   39

Landers, Shabbona      4   12   11   35

Cullins, Earlville     3    9   15   33


1956 Little Ten Conference Final Standings

                                                                       W   L

Earlville                   9   0      

Somonauk                    7   2

Serena                      7   2

Shabbona                    5   4

Plano                       5   4

Hinckley                    4   5

Waterman                    4   5

Leland                      3   6

Sandwich                    1   8

Paw Paw                     0   9


Reported in DeKalb Chronicle prior to tournament:

One game marks the opening of the annual Little Ten Conference tournament Monday night at Leland High School gym.  There are only nine entries into the meet this season, since the Illinois High School State Athletic Association has ruled Paw Paw out of tournament competition.

The ban on Paw Paw High School by the IHSA is because of a legal issue up before the voters of that community.  Until this trouble is cleared up the athletic teams at Paw Paw cannot compete in tournaments.  The ban doesn't have anything to do with the athletic policies at the high school.