E-mail: info@vandals203.org |Call : 618-283-4525 |Fax : 618-283-4107 |1109 N. 8th St. Vandalia, IL 62471  

Vandalia Holiday Tournament History

        The 46th Annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament saw the St. Anthony Bulldogs, defending Class 1A State Champions, repeat as VHT champs in their final year in the tournament.  St. Anthony defeated Flora, 49-38, for its third team title in six years.  Led by Tournament MVP Adam Levitt, Cade Walsh, and Alex Deters, the Bulldogs averaged over 67 points per game.  Flora went undefeated in their pool to reach the title game, including a solid 66-57 win over Shelbyville to close pool play, and were led by All-Tournament selections Trenton Brown and Drew Woodrow. Malcolm Miller led Shelbyville to a 3rd place finish over Vandalia, while scoring the 4th most points in tournament history at 136.  Miller, who had three 30-point games, was joined by teammate Turner Pullen on the All-Tournament team.  All-tourney selections Nathan Casey and Blake Morrison helped the Vandals to a 3-1 record in pool play, losing only to St. Anthony.  In the 5th place game, Pana claimed its third win of the week, defeating South Central, whose senior standout Trent Geiler had 87 points on the week for the Cougars.  In the 7th Place game, Fr. McGivney Catholic defeated Patoka, and Vandalia’s JV defeated Ramsey in the 9th place game.  The tournament was unique in that the seeds of the top 8 teams ended up matching the order in which they finished.  In the Cheerleading competition, Vandalia took home first-place honors, followed by Flora and St. Anthony.
        The 2016 Vandalia Holiday Tournament provided many exciting games and also an eventual State Champion as Effingham St. Anthony won both the VHT and the IHSA Class 1A State Tournament.  Coach Rincker’s Bulldogs won the VHT for the 2nd time in history, as they also won in 2013.  The top-seeded Bulldogs went 3-0 in pool play and defeated Flora in the crossover semifinal game, and then Pana in the championship game to finish a perfect 5-0 in the tournament.  St. Anthony placed five players in double figures (Alex Deters, Adam Levitt, Jack Nuxoll, Alex Beesley, Drew Gibson) during the Championship game, and were led by tournament MVP Drew Gibson’s 16 points.  Pana finished in 2nd place for the second year in a row as Adam Miller scored 19 points in the champtionship game and Kyle Lynch finished with 12 points.  Patoka defeated Flora in the 3rd place game, Vandalia defeated Shelbyville in the 5th place game, and Father McGivney defeated Ramsey in the 7th place game.  Jered Cain finished with 156 tourney points breaking his own All-Time Single Tournament record of 144 set the previous year.  The top scorers for this year’s tournament included Jered Cain 156 points, Drew Gibson 94 points, Richie Well 92 points, Malcom Miller 86 points, Nathan Casey 84 points.  The tournament’s leading rebounder was Garrett Belcher with 53.  The All-Tournament Team included MVP Drew Gibson-St. Anthony, Jered Cain-Patoka, Richie Well-Vandalia, Adam Miller-Pana, Garrett Belcher-Patoka, Nathan Casey-Vandalia, Alex Deters-St. Anthony, Trevin Smith-Flora, Malcom Miler-Shelbyville, Kyle Lynch-Pana, and Jeff Gaither-Flora.
        The 2015 Vandalia Holiday tourney once again provided plenty of surprises.  The #2 seed Altamont Indians won a thriller over the #5 seeded Pana Panthers 73-70 as Ryan Armstrong scored in the waning seconds.  Ryan Armstrong lead Altamont with 29 points, Brandon Hosick scored 19 points - Adam Miller lead Pana with 20 points followed by Nick McMillan’s 15 points.  This was the first ever VHT championship for Coach Niebrugge and the Altamont Indians.  Altamont finished a perfect 4-0 in pool play and was led by Seniors Branden Hosick, Klaiton Wolff and Junior Ryan Armstrong.  Greenville defeated Patoka for 3rd place as Greenville’s David Holden finished with 132 tourney points for 3rd All-Time Single Touney and Patoka’s Jered Cain finished with 144 tourney points breaking Paul Lusk’s (Wesclin – 1988) previous All-Time Single Tourney record.  St. Anthony defeated Flora for 5th place as Nick Grunloh lead St Anthony with 21 points and Ian Lieb lead Flora with 17 points.  In the 7th place game #10 seed Vandalia defeated South Central with Richie Well scoring 29 points for the Vandals and Brett Harmeier leading the Cougars with 11 points.  Shelbyville defeated St Elmo/Brownstown despite 22 points by SEB’s Landon Feezel. The top scorers for this year’s tourney include Jered Cain 144 points, David Holden 132 points, Ryan Armstrong 105 points, Richie Well 88 points, Jefrey Gocey 79 points and leading tourney rebounder was Garrett Belcher with 52. The All-Tourney Team included MVP Jered Cain Patoka, Jefrey Gocey Flora, Kyle Hartke St Anthony, Richie Well Vandalia, Adam Miller Pana, Ryan Armstrong Altamont, Garrett Belcher Patoka, David Holden Greenville, Brett Harmier South Central and Wade McMillan Pana. Cheer Awards went to Vandalia 1st Place, Pana 2nd Place and St. Elmo/Brownstown 3rd Place.
        2014 was an exciting and surprising year for the Vandalia Holiday Tournament.  The Greenville Comets won their first Vandalia Holiday Tournament Championship with a hard fought win over the Flora Wolves.  Greenville finished pool play with a perfect record and were led by All Tourney performers, Will Schaufelberger, Jacob Hall and Craig Faulkner.  The Flora Wolves won their pool on the third night of the tournament with a 55-50 pool play win versus number two seed, St. Anthony Bulldogs.  In the championship game, Flora was led by Tournament MVP’s Bryce Pearce and Logan Smith.  Bryce Pearce was the leading scorer for the tournament with 118 total points and now has two of the top 10 all-time tournament point totals in Vandalia Holiday Tourney history.  St. Anthony came back to win the third place game with a victory over the Altamont Indians, the 8th seed coming into the tournament.  Shelbyville was seeded 5th and was victorious over the 10th seeded Vandalia Vandals in the 5th and 6th place game.  The All Tournament Team also included Andrew Gardewine – St. Anthony, Tristan Wade – Shelbyville, Richie Well – Vandalia, Collin Nestleroad – Vandalia and Ryan Armstrong – Altamont.
        The 42nd Annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament saw a first-time champion crowned in the St. Anthony Bulldogs and saw four players move up the all-time scoring and rebounding leaders boards.  Third-seeded St. Anthony handed conference foe Altamont its first loss of the season on the final night of pool play en route to the Championship – a 55-48 victory over the Flora Wolves.  Bulldog senior, Alex Hoelscher, earned MVP honors and finished the tournament with 59 rebounds, seventh place all-time.  The Wolves made it to yet another title game with the help of Bryce Pearce’s 119 tournament points, putting him at seventh best all-time.  Second-seeded Altamont rebounded from its first loss to defeat Pana in the third place game 86-73.  Pana, employing their 3-point arsenal throughout the tournament, was led by Kyle Gibson’s 121 points – good for sixth all-time. Greenville beat St. Elmo-Brownstown 64-31 to take fifth place.  Vandalia’s Colton Woolsey also earned a spot on the all-time rebound list with 52 boards.  The Vandals won 51-49 to take seventh place over Maroa-Forsyth, while Shelbyville defeated South Central 70-39 in the ninth place game.
        Pana won its first Vandalia Holiday Tournament since 2002 and sixth overall by beating Vandalia, 56-44, to finish off a 5-0 performance.  The fourth-seeded Panthers were led in scoring by tournament Most Valuable Player Robbie Hester’s 13 points, while the No. 3 Vandals (3-2) were led by 17 points by Leyton Godoyo.  Michael Wells and Tim Ritchey were named all-tournament for the Vandals, and Kyle Gibson also earned a nod for Pana.  Altamont, the No. 7 seed, made the biggest jump in the standings, taking down top-seeded Flora, 54-45, in the third-place game.  The Indians (3-2) were led all tournament by Garrett Ziegler, who averaged 16 points per game and scored 12 against Flora.  The Wolves (3-2) were led by all-tournament selection Ethan Leib, who had a double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 points.  St. Elmo matched its seed by taking the fifth-place game in overtime, 58-55, beating No. 2 Maroa-Forsyth. For the Eagles (2-3), Connor Beasley had 21 points and all-tournament selection Levi Maxey added 20.  Maroa-Forsyth (2-3) – making its tournament debut – had one all-tournament selection in Drew Aschermann.  Sixth-seeded Shelbyville beat No. 10 South Central, 30-27, in the seventh-place game.  Both teams went 1-4 during the event, and both had one all-tournament selection – Brody Bence for Shelbyville and Fischer Tharp for South Central.  St. Anthony’s Jacob Schuette finished off a strong tournament with 26 points in a 66-40 win against Greenville in the ninth-place game, leaving both teams at 1-4 for the event.  Schuette scored 108 points over the five games to become one of the tournament’s top 20 scorers of all-time.
        Top-seeded Flora won its second championship in three years by defeating Pana, 75-69, in the fast-paced championship game of the 2011 Vandalia Holiday Tournament, the 40th annual. Tournament Most Valuable Player Paul Knapp led the Wolves with 25 points in that game, while Ethan Leib had a double-double, with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Panthers had two players score at least 20 points, all- tournament selections Jared McMillen (22) and Mitchell Beyers (20). In the third-place game, Vandalia jumped out to a 34-10 halftime lead before dispatching Greenville, 53-41. All-tournament selection Dathan Berning had a game-high 23 points for the Vandals, and Greenville’s lone all-tournament selection, Dylan Bone, paced the Comets with 16 points. St. Elmo erased a nine-point halftime deficit to beat Wesclin, 53-52, in the fifth-place game. The Eagles were led by all-tournament selection Connor Beasley’s seven points and 11 rebounds, while the Warriors got 17 points from Alex Wilken and 13 rebounds from all-tournament selection Michael Klein, who had 52 in the event. Altamont knocked off Stew-Stras, 65-47, in the seventh-place game. Garrett Ziegler had 20 points for the Indians, while Justin Fulk had 21 for the Comets. Shelbyville beat South Central, 43-22, in the ninth-place game.
        Second-seeded Wesclin overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to force an overtime period in the championship game of the 2010 Vandalia Holiday Tournament, defeating No. 1 Flora, 57-51.  All-tournament selection Alex Wilken scored a game-high 25 points in the win, and fellow all-tourney selection Phil Kunz had double-double, with 16 points and 11 rebounds, in helping Wesclin to its fourth title in six years.  Tournament MVP Nick Painter had 16 points for Flora in the championship game.  The third-place game also went into overtime, as Pana and Vandalia were tied at 63 at the end of regulation before Pana sprinted to a 77-65 win in the extra period.  The Panthers were led by all-tournament selection Jared McMillen, who scored 18 points. In yet another overtime battle, Stew-Stras took down Altamont, 68-62, for fifth place.  The game featured two excellent rebounders in Matt Tabbert for Stew-Stras, and Jordan McGinnis for Altamont. McGinnis had 17 in the game and 59 for the tournament, which ranks seventh all-time, and Tabbert had 20 in the game and 55 in the tournament, which is tied for 12th all-time.  Greenville got double-digit scoring from four players while defeating Shelbyville, 58-44, for seventh place.  South Central got its only win of the tournament in the ninth-place game, defeating St. Elmo, 41-36.
        Top-seeded Flora had no trouble winning its seventh Vandalia Holiday Tournament in 2009, going 5-0 and winning eachgame by at least 15 points, including a 62-44 win against Stew-Stras in the championship game.  Sophomore Paul Knapp scored 28 points in that game, pushing his tournament average to 23.2 points per game.  The tournament MVP's 116 points rank sixth all-time.  Another sophomore and all-tournament selection, Nick Painter, averaged 11.6 points per game for the Wolves.  Pana defeated Altamont in the third-place game, 70-61, behind all-tournament selection Derek Ades 26 points.  Seventh-seeded Altamont was the surprise of the tournament and upset Stew-Stras on the first day of the tournament 65-58.  In the fifth-place game, Greenville topped Wesclin, which entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, 48¬36.  Wesclin's Kyle Emig and Phil Kunz were both named all-tournament, while Greenville got 20 points from Tyler Carter in the fifth-place contest.  Senior Cody Boarman led No.9 Shelbyville to a win in the seventh-place game, as the Rams defeated Central A&M, 61-38.  Boarman had 29 points in the game, and his tournament total of 131 ranks third all-time in Vandalia, the tournament's No.6 seed, struggled to a 1-4 record, garnering its only win against No. 10 South Central in the ninth-place game, 59-39, on the strength of 16 points from Marty Johnson.
        The 37th annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament was perhaps the most interesting one in recent memory, as underdog South Central was led by Tanner Bushue and Issac Grapphhaus to the Cougars' fourth championship in the past 10 years. Going into the tournament with a 4-4 record and playing as a four seed, South Central went 5-0, defeating Stew-Stras in the championship game, 61-53. Bushue had a team-high 26 points in the title game and Grapperhaus had his fifth double-double of the tournament, earning Most Valuable Player honors. South Central came out of pool A defeating the likes of Greenville and Flora. On the other side, Stew-Stras went 3-1 in pool play, its only loss coming at the hands of Vandalia, 56- 46. Vandalia was just one win away from heading to the championship when the Vandals lost to Pana, 60-46. The loss dropped Vandalia to 2-2 in pool play and put it in a seventh-place matchup against Wesclin. Altamont finished third with a 72-54 win over Greenville. Both teams finished 3-1 in pool play. Pana and Flora both finished pool play at 2-2 and needed a win in the fifth-place game to leave Vandalia with a win¬ning record. Pana was able to come through in the clutch, winning 62-49. After losing to Pana, Vandalia faced Wesclin in the only overtime game of the tournament. After the extra period, Wesclin was on top, 61-57. Shelbyville and Central A&M entered the ninth-place game at 0-4. Central A&M would go home 0-5 as it lost 53-42.
        Trenton Wesclin managed to overcome the magic that seems to accompany South Central every time it steps on the court at Vandalia Community High School - but just barely.  After watching the Cougars erase an 11-point fourth quarter deficit and force overtime on Will Crain's buzzer-beating 3-pointer, the top-seeded Indians held off South Central in the extra frame for a 54-51 victory in the championship game of the 36th Annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament.  The title was the Warriors' third in a row and a record seventh overall.  The Warriors became the first No. 1 seed to take the VHT title since Pana in 2002, and they were the first team to three-peat since Vandalia in the late 1970s.  Tournament-MVP Sean Rakers led the Indians with 97 points and 57 rebounds for the tournament, while teammate Casey Ainslie (75 points, 32 rebounds) also made the all-tourney team.  Seventh-seeded Greenville took third place in another balanced tournament with a 77-66 win over Stew-Stras.  Shelbyville claimed fifth place with a 66-59 win over Altamont, as Jay Nottingham capped a brilliant tournament with 38 points and 10 rebounds.  His 132 points placed him second all-time on the single-tournament scoring list, while his 55 rebounds placed him 10th all-time.  Flora closed out a frustrating tournament in positive fashion with a 56-24 win over the host team in the seventh-place game, while Central A&M was a 67-49 winner over Pana in the ninth-place game.
        Third-seeded Trenton Wesclin won back-to-back Vandalia Holiday Tournament titles for the first time since 1986, as the Warriors rallied from an 11-point deficit late in the third quarter to pull out a 65-60 overtime victory over top-seeded Newton in the championship game.  Jake Sopiars forced the extra period with a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining in regulation, and Wesclin scored the first seven points of OT, going on to win its sixth VHT title overall.  Tournament MVP Sean Rakers led the Warriors with 28 points.  He finished the tournament with 113 points and 46 rebounds, averages of 22.6 ppg and 9.2 rpg. Wesclin clinched a spot in the title game by upsetting second-seeded Vandalia in pool play, but the Vandals bounced back with a 59-45 win over Central A&M in the third-place game.  All-tournament selection Eric Hobbie led the way with 18 points and 15 rebounds.  The 10th-seeded Raiders surprised the field by advancing to the third-place game, and would go on to even greater success, advancing to the title game of the Charleston SuperSectionallater in the season.  Flora topped South Central for fifth place, 55-47, while Altamont claimed seventh with a 61-50 win over Shelbyville.  Pana topped Stewardson¬Strasburg in the ninth-place game, 80-64.
        Wesclin won its first Vandalia Holiday Tournament title since 1993, beating Vandalia, 55-48, in an intense championship game between the 2005 tournament's top two seeds.  The Warriors, coached by former all- tournament team selection Brent Brede, became the first team other than Flora, Pana or South Central to win the tournament since 1995.  The second-seeded squad made eight of 16 three-pointers in the title game, which was played in front of a near-capacity crowd.  Vandalia won its pool with an unbeaten mark to reach the title game for the third time in five years, they ultimately won a regional championship and reached the Paris Sectional final.  Vandals' junior Eric Hobbie earned tournament MVP honors, finishing with 99 points, 56 rebounds and a number of breath-taking dunks.  In the third-place game, Central A&M's Ben Stringer made a basket with 7.8 seconds left to beat Altamont by one point, 44-43.  In another exciting finish on title day, South Central senior Spencer Patton made a buzzer-beater to propel the Cougars to a 35-34 victory against Flora in the ninthplace game.  That contest for ninth place was a rematch of the 2004 title game.  Patton led the tournament in scoring, with 107 points.  Stew¬Stras shot 61 percent to beat Pana, 73-56, in the fifth-place game, and Newton beat Shelbyville for seventh place, 63-52.  In the cheerleading competition, Vandalia won for the third straight year.
        South Central repeated as Vandalia Holiday Tournament champions by coming back to defeat top-seeded Flora, 63- 60, in the title game of the 2004 Vandalia Holiday Tournament.  The Cougars, seeded fourth, trailed for the first three quarters before overtaking the Wolves in the fourth quarter.  In the victory, South Central shot 63% from the field, including 70% from two-point range.  Nathan Lotz was a key to the Cougars' title-game victory, scoring 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting.  Junior Spencer Patton earned MVP honors, and senior forward Louis Daugherty also earned all-tournament team recognition for South Central. Flora, who won its pool with a perfect 4-0 mark, went on to advance to the Elite Eight in the Class A state tournament.  The Wolves reached the VHT title game for the first time since 1998.  South Central reached the finals by defeating Vandalia in a battle of unbeatens in the final game of pool play.  The Cougars topped the Vandals, 53-46, behind a stifling defensive effort.  Vandalia took third place, defeating Stew-Stras in the third-place game.  Vandalia sophomore Eric Hobbie accumulated the second most rebounds for a tournament, grabbing 66 boards in five games.  He and his brother, Bryan Hobbie, were both all-tournament team selections.  The Comets were part of two buzzer-beaters in the tournament, beating Pana on a basket by Cody Gallagher with 0.5 seconds left.  Central A&M forced overtime against Stew-Stras on a last-second putback by Bryce Damery.  The Raiders went on to win the contest.  Behind Vandalia and South Central, the rest of Pool B - Altamont, Newton and Shelbyville - tied with 1-3 records in pool play, with the tie being broken by free-throw percentages. Wesclin claimed fifth place by winning its second double-overtime game of the tournament.  The Warriors defeated Central A&M, 58-54, in two overtimes in pool play, and Newton, 58-56, in two overtimes in the fifth-place game.  In the clash with Newton, neither team led by more than four points at any time in the contest.  Pana beat Shelbyville for eighth place.  A young Altamont team, starting three sophomores, returned to the tournament with a ninth-place finish over Central A&M.
        Back-to-back buzzer beaters by the tournament MVP helped South Central claim its first VHT title since 2000.  South Central senior Brock Adams banked in a running 22-foot shot to complete a stunning comeback against Vandalia, 63- 62, and earn a title game berth for the Cougars.  South Central over came a four-point deficit with 8.5 seconds left.  The title game pitted the top two seeds, two-time defending champion Pana against the Cougars.  The title tilt between the two 4-0 teams went to overtime.  Tied at 65-65, Adams agam played the role of hero, hitting a fadeaway jumper from the baseline with 1.8 seconds left to give South Central the lead.  Adams led all scorers in the tournament with 99 points.  Pana went on to a berth in the state tournament.  Vandalia and South Central both won regional titles.  Balance was the highlight of the tournament field.  Six of 10 teams finished pool play with 2-2 records.  Flora beat Wesclin for third place, 46-42, and Vandalia beat Shelbyville in a competitive fifth-place game, 66-61.  Four of Vandalia's contests in the tournament were decided by a total of 18 points.  Cowden-Herrick made an impressive showing in a one-year tournament appearance, winning two games in pool play before falling to Newton in the seventh-place game.  Central A&M beat Ramsey in the ninth-place game.  2003 marked the 23rd and final appearance in the tournament for the Rams.  Vandalia senior Josh Reams received his third straight all-tournament team selection.  The Vandalia cheerleading squad won its first outright cheer competition title since 1996, sharing the title with Flora in 2001.
        Pana prevailed for the second straight season over Vandalia, 73-53, in a battle between rivals for the tournament championship.  Tournament MVP Troy Pinkston hit three early three-pointers on his way to 16 points in Pana's fourth title in the last six years.  For the 12th time in tournament history, the No. 1 seed won the title, as Pana posted a 5-0 record, averaging a little over 70 points a game.  Vandalia advanced to the finals by winning a classic game to complete pool play, coming back from a 20-point deficit to beat South Central in overtime, 68-66.  Vandalia's Zach Schaeffer was the tournament's leading scorer, posting 115 points in five games, the fourth highest total in tournament history.  South Central was involved in another heartbreaker in the third-place game, falling to Newton on a banked buzzer-beater by Ryan Ochs for the 45-42 victory.  Flora won the cheerleading competition after sharing it with Vandalia in 2001.
        Top-seeded Pana defeated surprise finalist Vandalia 69-50, in front of a packed house to win the 30th annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament.  MVP Justin Shrake finished the title game with 22 points, hitting a couple of clutch three-pointers in the second half to hold off the upset-minded Vandals.  Despite being slowed by injuries, Shrake averaged 17.4 points per game in the tournament, helping his state-ranked Panthers go through the tournament undefeated.  Coach Rich Well's young Vandals were the surprise of the field, entering as a 7th seed and taking home second place.  A three-way tie for first place in Vandalia's pool between Vandals, third-seed Flora and second seed Central A&M came down to free-throw percentages.  Vandals had upset Flora on day two but were beaten by Central A&M.  The Raiders lost to Flora on day three to create the tie.  Vandalia's 69 percent from the free throw line earned them their first appearance in the title game since 1997.  Central A&M went to the third place game and fell to South Central on a buzzer-beater by senior Daniel Wodtka.  South Central's lone loss of the tournament came in their final game in pool play, falling to Pana, 69-59, in a rematch of the 2000 championship game.  Flora defeated Metro East Lutheran in the fifth place game.  Patoka finished a 2-3 week by defeating Sandoval in the seventh place game.  Sandoval was a late addition after having its early-season schedule wiped out by a strike.  Shelbyville defeated Ramsey to claim ninth place.  The all-tournament team included several players who had been honored in previous tournaments, including South Central senior Daniel Wodtka, who made his third straight appearance on the all-tournament team.  Second-time selections were Shrake, South Central's Justin Kline, Flora's Jordan Tolliver, and Central A&M's Brent Weakly – all seniors.  Appearing on the team for the first time was the tournament's leading scorer, senior Thad Sankey of Metro-East Lutheran, who scored 93 points, including the tourney's highest single-game total of 34 against Ramsey.  Other first-time selections included senior Weston Adcock of Central A&M, sophomore Wil Beyers of Pana, senior Caleb Lusk of Flora and sophomore Josh Reams of Vandalia.  A&M, Flora and Pana all went on to become Sectional qualifiers.  In the cheerleading competition, Vandalia and Flora tied for First with South Central claiming the runner-up position.
        South Central won the 2000 tournament by defeating Pana 66-65. South Central trailed by 12 points entering the 4th quarter to the #1 seeded Pana Panthers.  MVP Chad Storck of South Central led the furious rally which culminated in an assist from Storck to Zach Krutsinger for the winning 12 foot jumper at the buzzer.  Host Vandalia won the third place game by defeating Central A&M 68-53.  Justin Schrake of Pana moved into 2nd place on the all-time tourney list for points scored in a tournament with a total of 126 points.  Schrake's 51 points vs. Ramsey is possibly an all-time record.  J.I. McDowell moved into a tie for 10th place on the all-time rebounding charts with 50 boards for the tourney.  Pana, behind all-stater Jake Sinclair, currently on the Eastern Illinois basketball team, placed second in the I.H.S.A. State Tournament.  South Central won the cheerleading award for the second year in a row.  Vandalia placed second and Shelbyville took third place in cheerleading.  Five teams won Regionals including South Central, Pana, Vandalia, Central A&M and Wood River.
        The 1999 tournament was won by the Pana Panthers for the 2nd time in the past three years.  Pana defeated an excellent Central A & M squad 63-60 in the championship game.  Jake Sinclair led the way for the Panthers by scoring 26 points and earning Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament.  Seventh seed Flora took the 3rd place game 66-54 over #1 seed Wesclin.  Mason Glick's 33 points led the Wolves to victory.  South Central won the cheerleading award, followed closely by 2nd place Wesclin and 3rd place Vandalia.
        The 1998 Championship game found the #2 seed Flora Wolves defeating #4 seed Shelbyville 80-61 after Shelbyville upset the #1 seed Pana Panthers in their "semi-final" match-up the previous night, 44-40.  This gave Coach John Winters his 2nd Championship in three years as the Wolve's head coach.  Pana entered the tournament undefeated and the returning 1997 Champion.  Flora's win was their 6th Championship, tying them with host school Vandalia for the record.  Kevin Lancaster (Flora) lead all scorers with 22 points (9 for 12 shooting) in the championship game and took home Tournament MVP honors as a junior. Pana bounced back in the 3rd Place game with a hard fought 49-46 win over Wesclin, proving once again that Coach Tom Hund's Warriors were stronger than their "#7 seed" may have indicated. South Central edged East-Alton Wood River 51-48 for 5th place, helping to prepare Coach Gary Shirley's squad for another Regional Title they would later claim. The Vandals managed a 7th Place finish with a 53-48 win over Patoka, going 2-3 in tournament play. Seven of the 10-Man "All-Tournament Team" were underclassmen who will return in 1999.  Another "tournament first" occurred when Springfield Calvary's Brett Robisch (All-Tournament 1992) reported to camp with the Chicago Bulls for the 1999 NBA season.  The Wesclin cheerleaders repeated as Champions, giving them their "3rd Crown" in four years and 5th overall.  South Central placed 2nd and Coach Julie Wollerman's Vandalia squad finished 3rd; giving her a well deserved plaque to display in the trophy case to commemorate her final season as their outstanding coach.
        The No. 4 seed Vandals stormed through Pool play with a 3-1 record, falling only to perennial rival Patoka 73-68 and upsetting #1 seed and Sectional Champion South Central 70-57.  This allowed them to advance to the Championship game for the first time since 1984, taking on #2 seed Pana.  Paced by Tournament MVP Chris Lynch, Pana came out on top 59-54 and claimed their 2nd Championship to go along with their 1987 crown.  Vandal Brock Brannon had an outstanding five games and was also an All-Tournament selection for the second year.  Flora claimed 3rd over Wesclin 43-40, and Shelbyville edged out South Central 72-66 for 5th place.  Once again South Central "toughened up" in tournament play, taking their only three losses of the regular season before bouncing back during "March Madness" with a Regional win and upset Sectional final win over powerful Hillsboro.  Wesclin's cheer¬leaders were awarded their 3rd crown with Vandalia 2nd and Flora 3rd.
        The #1 Seed once again rose to the top in the 25th Anniversary of the tournament when the Flora Wolves claimed their 5th Tournament Title with a hard fought victory over #2 seed South Central 60-59 in the championship game.  This gave coach John Winters a championship in his first year as head coach.  Flora was lead by Tournament MVP Zach Talmant's 31 pts. and All-Tournament selection Ashton Byrd's 12 pt. performance.  Coach Gary Shirley's Cougars were lead by their All-Tournament members as well, with Derek Laur netting 22 pts. and Shawn Garrett 16.  South Central recovered however, and went on to claim the Regional Title and advance to the Final of the Vandalia Sectional before falling in the championship to perennial power Madison.  First year participant East Alton-Wood River took 3rd Place with a 52-44 win over Patoka who returned to the tournament after a number of years.  Vandalia gave Champion Flora a scare in their first game before losing 55-54 and ended with a 1-4 record, beating #3 seed Sullivan 75-62 for their only win.  The Vandalia Cheerleaders claimed their record 6th First Place with Patoka 2nd and Flora 3rd.
        The 1995 Tournament (24th) came down to the "Top Seeds Match-Up" most fans anticipated from the start when #2 seed Springfield Calvary with 6"10" Scott Robisch, Chris Drew, Davonte Brown and eventual tournament MVP Mario Brown went up against unbeaten, #1 seed Shelbyville led by U of I bound Rich Beyers with standout guards Kevin Herdes and Todd Wilderman.  Calvary pulled off the upset 64-58 and handed the Rams what would turn out to be their only loss of the season as they went on to the State Class A Title, defeating fellow Mid-State Conference member Mater Dei in the championship at Peoria.  Flora took third place honors with a 69-62 win over Wesclin, while Vandalia moved up considerably from their 9th seed by taking 5th with a 56-53 win over Litchfield, finishing the tournament at 3-2.  Wesclin's cheerleaders took 1st place followed by Vandalia and Flora.
        Shelbyville was expected to win the 1994 tournament, and it did...but not without a strong fight from Chrisman.  The Rams defeated Chrisman by 12 points, but the victory had to come after the Cardinals forced the final game of the tournament into overtime.  Tournament MVP Rich Beyers led Shelbyville with 28 points, and Roger Jones, who also made the all-tournament team, chipped in 17.  Jon Heath, another all-tournament selection, scored 34 points to lead Chrisman.  Brad Spicer scored 26 in the championship game.  Vandalia won third place in the tournament, defeating Springfield Calvary, 69-61.  Doug Forbes led the Vandals with 16 points, Jason Hagy had 15, and Luke Phillips added 14.  Calvary's leading scorer was 6-foot-8 center Scott Robisch, with 18.  The Pana Panthers edged Trenton Wesclin in overtime to take fifth place in the tournament.  Jason Harbert led the Panthers with 20 points, and Jamie Deiters scored 19 to lead Trenton Wesclin.  In the seventh-place game, the Flora Wolves breezed past Central A&M, 73-57.  Brian Kohn, with 22 points, was the leading scorer for Flora, and Matt Helm led Central A&M with 16.  As in 1992, the 1994 tournament featured three nights of pool play, with the top teams in each pool squaring off the final evening.  Pool A included top-seeded Shelbyville, third-seeded Calvary, fifth-seeded Pana, seventh-seeded Flora, ninth-seeded Litchfield.  Pool B included second-seeded Chrisman, the fourth-seeded Vandals, sixth-seeded Wesclin, eighth-seeded Central A&M, and 10-seeded Martinsville.  The all-tournament team included Beyers (MVP), Jones and Kevin Herdes of the championship Rams; Heath and Spicer of Chrisman; Jim Dial of Central A&M; Hagy of Vandalia; Calvary's Robisch; Pana's Harbert; and Jay Friederich of Wesclin.  Flora's cheerleaders were awarded the first-place trophy, Wesclin's squad was awarded second, and Vandalia's cheerleaders were awarded third place.
        Jason Satterfield's 12 ft. rebound basket with two seconds left lifted Wesclin to a 60-58 win over previously unbeaten and state-ranked Flora in 1993's tournament finale.  Coaching the championship team was Paul Lusk, who returned to the coaching ranks after 'retiring' after Wesclin's 1990 season.  Jamie Deiters and Satterfield each scored 19 points for Wesclin, which had lost on opening day of the tournament.  Joel Powless scored 16 points for the Wolves. Springfield Calvary took third place, beating the host Vandals 72-48.  Malcolm Holman scored 20 points for the winners, while Matt Peyton led Vandalia with 17 points.  Fifth place went to Shelbyville, a 58-53 winner over Litchfield.  Rich Beyers scored 15 points and had seven rebounds for the Rams, while Neil Odle scored 21 points for the Purple Panthers.  In the seventh-place game, Pana topped Soldan School of International Studies in St. Louis, Mo., by a 64-48 margin.  Jason Harbert scored 18 points for Pana, while Soldan was led by Christopher Simpson with 20 points.  The tournament featured three nights of pool play.  Flora, Vandalia, Shelbyville and Soldan were in Pool A, while Calvary, Wesclin, Pana and Litchfield were in Pool B.  On the final night of the tournament, first place in Pool A played first place in Pool B, etc.  On the tournament's opening night, Calvary beat Litchfield 71¬56, sixth-seeded Pana surprised Wesclin 54-47, Vandalia edged Shelbyville 48-43 and Flora beat Soldan 99-24. There were no surprises the second day, but Wesclin handed second-seeded Calvary a setback on day three to set up the exciting Flora-Wesclin championship game.  Overall results in Pool A were: Flora, 3-1; Vandalia, 2-2; Shelbyville, 2-2; and Soldan, 0-4.  In Pool B, the results were: Wesclin, 3-1; Calvary, 3-1; Pana, 2-2; and Litchfield, 1-3.  No players moved into the top 10 scoring or rebounding leaders for the tournament, but several will return for action in 1994, including MVP Jason Satterfield.  In cheerleading competition, Vandalia won first place, followed by Flora and Shelbyville.
        Flora won the 1992 tournament with a 4-0 record.  They were led by a pair of sensational juniors, Aron and Ryan Spicer, who happen to be twins.  Aron was named MVP of the tourney, and Ryan was on all-tournament team.  Tourney newcomer, Springfield Calvary, took second.  Junior Malcolm Holman and senior Brett Robisch led the Saints.  Shelbyville, led by the tournament's leading scorer (92 pts.) and rebounder (40) Kent Murphy won the consolation bracket.  A young Trenton-Wesclin team with six juniors and five sophomores were second in consolation play.  Sophomore Jason Satterfield was an all-tournament pick.  Vandalia's cheerleaders were chosen the top squad, and Odin's cheerleaders won the spirit award for the second straight year.
        Shelbyville won the tournament in 1991, beating Pana 60-52 on the final night of the tournament to finish 1991 undefeated.  Darren Kennell scored 27 points for the Rams, while Toby Koonce added 17 points.  The Pana Panthers took second and were lead by tourney MVP Shannen Schoonover.  Litchfield won the consolation title, pounding Vandalia 60-41 in the consy finals.  One of the big surprises of the tournament was top seeded Flora losing twice, to Shelbyville and Pana.  The Wolves rebounded for a 67-48 win over Trenton Wesclin on the final night of the tournament.  Wesclin's cheerleaders were chosen the top squad, and Odin's cheerleaders won the spirit award.
        In 1990, Flora won the tournament with a 4-0 record.  In the winner's bracket, Wesclin finished 3-1, followed by Vandalia at 2-2 and top seeded Pana a disappointing 1-4.  In the loser's bracket, Shelbyville was the winner with 3-1 record.  The Rams were followed by Litchfield at 2-2, Ramsey at 1-3 and the Vashon (St. Louis) JV at 0-4.  The tournament, postponed on Thursday because of a snowstorm, featured MVP Brian Kern of Vandalia, who went on to play at Illinois State University.  Kern scored 112 points and had 53 rebounds to move into third place in the all-time scoring leaders and fourth place among rebounders.  Vandalia shocked fourth-seeded Shelbyville by 17 points during the first day of the tournament as Kern scored 25 points and had 17 rebounds and five blocked shots.  Ramsey battled defending state champ Wesclin on the first night before bowing 70-66.  Andy Lay and Shawn Bauerle scored 22 and 19 points, respectively, for the Rams.  Pana jumped to a 20-6 first-quarter lead as it beat Litchfield 77-58, and Flora defeated newcomer Vashon JV 82-54 in the other first-round games.  Frederick Hahne, a foreign exchange student, scored 20 points in the Flora victory.  On Friday, Flora made all eight of its free-throw attempts in the last minute and held off Vandalia 67-59.  Hahne scored 22 points for Flora, while Kern scored 29 points and had 17 rebounds for the Vandals.  Wesclin beat Pana 45-43 in overtime on a lay up by Chad Deiters with 10 seconds remaining.  In the loser's bracket, Litchfield downed Ramsey 75-49, and Shelbyville romped past Vashon 70-29.  In a rare Saturday morning session, Vandalia beat Pana by 18 points as Kern exploded for 32 points.  In the other championship-bracket game, Hahne's driving lay up gave Flora a 52-50 victory over Wesclin.  In loser's bracket action, Shelbyville beat Litchfield 62-60 as the Purple Panthers missed three shots at the end of the game.  On the final night, Wesclin beat Vandalia 69-61 in overtime as reserve Pat Hempen hit a three-pointer at the end of regulation time.  During overtime, Wesclin made all 10 of its free throws.  Madenwald scored 28 points for Wesclin, and Kern scored 26 for Vandalia.  Flora beat Pana 74-55 in the other game as three players scored in double figures.  In loser's bracket action, Shelbyville routed Ramsey 83-42 and Litchfield beat Vashon 57-52.  The Vandalia cheerleaders —Tina Braun, Mindy Heinzman, Elizabeth Schumacher, Lori Gerkin, Laura Duggins, Jodee Newton, Ede Bruenderman and Andi Nance — won the award for the best cheerleading squad.  Trenton Wesclin's cheerleaders won the spirit award.  Joining Brian Kern on the all-tournament team were Frederick Hahne, Andy Fehrenbacher and David Wolfe, all of Flora; Donny Madenwald and Chad Deiters of Wesclin; Brad Moss and Shannon Schoonover of Pana; Andy Lay of Ramsey; and Darren Kennell of Shelbyville.
        The 1989 tournament gave area fans a chance to see two of the teams - Wesclin and Shelbyville - who would end their seasons playing in the Class A state tournament.  Those two teams met in the tourney quarterfinal at Champaign, and Wesclin eventually emerged as state champs.  The winner of the 18th annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament was decided by free throws as Wesclin, Shelbyville and Flora ended tournament play with 3-1 records.  Wesclin's loss was to Flora, the top-seeded team, which had been upset by Shelbyville in OT.  Shelbyville's loss was to Wesclin.  The format called for free-throw percentage to be used to determine the champion in case of a tie.  Shelbyville missed its final free-throw attempt with four seconds left to give Wesclin the edge.  Flora took third with a .6447 percentage. Litchfield won first consolation honors with a 3-1 record, and Vandalia, which got its first win of the season during the tourney, was 2-2.  This tournament brought to an end the Paul Lusk Sr. and Jr. era as the elder Lusk retired from coaching at the end of the season and the younger Lusk closed out an outstanding high school career and earned a basketball scholarship from the University of Iowa.  He later transferred to SIU-C and became a starter on their team.  Lusk was named the tournament MVP for the second straight year.  Joining him on the all-tournament team were Brent Brede and Mike Brink from Wesclin; Curtis Leib and Jim Locum from Flora; Matt Maton, Steven Nichols and Eric Bowyer of Shelbyville; Brian Kern of Vandalia and Jeff Micek of Pana.  Vandalia's cheerleaders Leann Lollio, Beth Herrington, Kim Lotz, Tracey Newton, Mindy Heinzman, Ede Bruenderman, Tina Braun and Andi Nance won the cheerleading award, and Pana's cheerleaders won the spirit award.  No new records were set, but Leib, Lusk and Kern moved into the Top Ten scoring leaders, and Brede, Lusk and Leib moved in to the Top Ten rebounding leaders.
        In 1988, the tournament format switched to an eight-team, round robin affair.  After the first evening of play, the winners played in one pool, and the losers played in another.  Shelbyville, with a perfect 4-0 mark, took first place in the winner's pool, followed by Wesclin, 3-1; Flora, 2-2; and Sandoval, 1-3. Litchfield won the consolation bracket with a 3-1 record, followed by Vandalia, 2-2, Pana, 1-3 and Ramsey, 0-4.  Wesclin junior Paul Lusk, named MVP of the tournament, was the leading scorer for the four games with 143 points, and average of 35.8 points per game.  Joining him on the all-tournament team were Brent Brede of Wesclin, Matt Maton of Shelbyville, Jerry Hull of Litchfield, Jim Locum and Paul Turlais of Flora, Steven Nichols and Chad Brachbill of Shelbyville, Chad Gregory of Sandoval, and Brian Kern of Vandalia.
        1987 was the final year for the 12-team concept.  Pana, after trailing by 11 points in the second half, came back and beat Flora 61-51 in the title game.  Wesclin beat Litchfield 54-43 for third place.  A last second shot by Brian Lau gave Ramsey a 57-56 victory in the first consolation game, while Shelbyville hammered Vandalia 53-36 in the second consolation game.  Lowell Jeffries of Wesclin set the 12-team single game rebounding record with 20 against Nokomis.  Litchfield's Tim Scharf scored 36 points against Cumberland to tie Tom Dooley's 1986 record.  Scharf was voted MVP of the tournament and was joined on the all-tournament team by Mark Heaton, Tom Funneman and Kevin Micek of Pana, the team that would go on to win the Class A State Tournament three months later; Hank Hilmes, Chad LeCrone and Jim Locum of Flora, Nick Casey of Ramsey, Chad Brachbill of Shelbyville and Jeffries of Wesclin.
        The three-point field goals were allowed on a trial basis for the first time in 1986, and Wesclin defeated Litchfield 68-56 in the championship game.  Flora beat Pana for third, and Cumberland defeated Vandalia 66-44 in the fifth-place game.  Bunker Hill won the consolation title, 61-46 over Sandoval.  Vandalia won the cheerleading trophy.  Tim Locum, who later played at the University of Wisconsin, was MVP and set a 12-team scoring record with 86 points.  His Flora team scored 109 points to break the tournament scoring record, and Ron Ambrose of Pana set the 12-team rebounding record for a single game with 19.  The all-tournament team consisted of Locum, Mark Heaton and Ambrose of Pana, Lowell Jeffries, Paul Lusk and Brent Brede of Wesclin, Sean Leckrone of Vandalia, Bill Jones and David Roper of Litchfield and Kevin Matteson of Cumberland.
        In 1985, fourth-seeded Trenton Wesclin won the title.  The Warriors beat top-seeded Flora, which entered the tournament undefeated, in the semifinals, then beat second-seeded Pana 64-43 in the title game as Rob Wutzler scored 21 points.  Flora beat Bunker Hill by 25 points for third place, Litchfield beat Vandalia 66-44 in the first consolation game, and Cumberland nipped Raymond-Lincolnwood 71-69 in the second consy game.  The MVP was Doug Mueller of the championship team, and teammates Wutzler and Rich McIntyre were also named to the squad.  Others on the all-tournament team were John Reed, Ron Amborswe and John Gruber of Pana, Tim Locum, Phil Leib and Randy Owens of Flora and Heath Finn of Bunker Hill.
        Twelve teams competed in 1984, as Flora held off Vandalia 55-54 for the first-place trophy.  Litchfield made 11 of 12 free throws in the second OT and defeated Red Hill 73-64 for third place.  Bunker Hill nipped Wesclin 44-42 in OT in the first consy game, and Nokomis whipped Raymond-Lincolnwood 62-44 in the second consy game.  Vandalia's Tom Dooley, who set a 12-team scoring record with 34 points, was MVP.  Also on the all-tournament team were Mike Ehrat of Vandalia, Dave Gish, Tim Locum and Mark Stanley of Flora, Don Funneman of Pana, Brian Horst of Litchfield, Doug Mueller and Jim Toennies of Wesclin and Pat Seed of Red Hill.
        Flora won in 1983, beating Newton 44-33.  Litchfield captured third place over Bunker Hill, and Shelbyville beat Dieterich in the consolation game.  Brian Horst, who would later be an outstanding player at Millikin University, was Litchfield's only player on the all-tournament team, but he was the MVP.  Joining him were Jeff Barker of Shelbyville, Kevin Colclasure, Greg Leib and Mark Stanley of Flora, Don Funneman of Pana, Dan Croy of Neoga, Brett Isley of Newton, Mark Johnson of Bunker Hill and Jeff Johnston of Vandalia.
        Bunker Hill won the 1982 tournament, beating Shelbyville 72-53.  Wesclin was a 67-62 winner over Newton in the third-place game, and Flora won the consolation title with a 72-47 victory over Altamont.  Phil Maton of Shelbyville, the tournament MVP, set a scoring record for the tourneywith 107 points.  Also on the all-tournament team were Don Funneman of Pana, Mike Greer and Dave Michaud of Rochester, Steve Keller of Newton, Jeff Mefford of Vandalia, Brett Tuetken of Nokomis, Eric Welz of Wesclin and Danal Rucker and Dave Sauerwein of Bunker Hill.
        In 1981, the Vandals won their fifth straight crown, beating Newton 82-55 in the championship game.  A last- second shot by Tim Stanley gave Flora'sWolves a 62-60 win over Wesclin in the third-place game.  Shelbyville won by 12 points over Gillespie in the consolation finals.  Kline was named MVP for the second straight year, but this time he was wearing a Vandalia uniform.  Others on the all-tournament team were Jeff Mefford and Mark Taylor of Vandalia, Cord Bear and Dave Wolf of Newton, Buddy Gilbert of Wesclin, Mike Aide of Pana, Bill Harrell and Tim Stanley of Flora, Morrie Fraser of Gillespie and James Boehne of Carlyle.
        Sixteen teams were entered in the 1980 tournament which Vandalia won for the fourth straight time. Kirk Doehring's free throw with two seconds remaining gave the Vandals a 59- 58 win over previously undefeated Pana in the finals. Trenton Wesclin beat Patoka, which had upset fourth-seeded Flora by 11 points in the opening round, in the third-place game.  Dieterich beat Gillespie for the consolation title.  Patoka's Jeff Kline wasMVP.  Others on the all-tournament team were Jeff Mefford and Mark Taylor of Vandalia, Eric Beyers and Joe Shrake of Pana and Mike Icenogle of Neoga.
        In 1979, Rick Moss's Vandalia Vandals knocked off previously unbeaten Altamont 63-59 in the championship game. Two free throws by Mike Meiners gave Nokomis a 61-60 overtime victory over Dieterich in the third place game, and Neoga beat Ramsey 59-38 in the consolation title game. Altamont won the cheerleading trophy and had the tournament's MVP, Randy Milleville. Also landing spots on the all-tourney team were Kevin Harris of Ramsey, Meiners of Nokomis, and David Rademacher and Cary Doehring of Vandalia.
        Vandalia again won the tournament in 1978, beating Dieterich 70-64 in the championship game behind Cary Doehring's 23 points.  Nokomis beat Assumption 58-56 for third place, and newcomer Patoka took consolation honors.  Mark Johnson, with 48 points and 23 rebounds, was MVP.  Others on the team were Doehring, Duane, Niemerg of Dieterich, Scott Keele of Nokomis and Bryan Cain of Patoka.  Assumption's cheerleaders were again chosen the best squad.
        Assumption and Neoga joined the field in 1977, and those two teams played for the consolation title.  Tim Dial made two free throws with four seconds left to give Assumption a 57- 56 win.  Assumption's cheerleaders also were voted best cheerleading squad. Top-seeded Dieterich, who broke the team scoring record in its 101-58 win over Ramsey in the first round, was knocked off by Nokomis in the semifinals.  Vandalia beat Gillespie in the semis to set up aNokomis-Vandalia rematch in the finals.  Mark Johnson scored 23 points as Jim Corrona's Vandals defeated Nokomis 59-55 in the title contest.  Dieterich beat Gillespie 66-59 for third place.  Joining Johnson on the all- tournament team were teammate Doug Reams, MVP; Dial of Assumption, Greg Archibald of Nokomis and Dave Collins of Casey. Vandalia's Brian Martie, with 39 rebounds, moved into sixth place in the top ten rebounders.
        According the accounts of the 1976 tournament, the championship game between Nokomis and Vandalia was marred by a near brawl.  Nokomis nipped the Vandals 70-69.  Dieterich beat Ramsey for third place and LaGrove defeated Oblong for consolation honors.  Tom Steppe of Dieterich finished with 97 points, a new scoring record, and 56 rebounds, second behind Soldner.  Also on the all-tournament team were Steve Holliday of Oblong, Brian Martie of Ramsey, Mike Orr of Vandalia and MVP, Steve Gonet of Nokomis.
        Mark Steppe was MVP in 1975, when his Dieterich team pounded Casey 77-58 in the finals.  He was the first player to be chosen to consecutive all-tournament teams.  Third place went to Nokomis, a 57-43 winner over Vandalia.  Oblong won over Ramsey 71-70 in the consolation finals.  Gillespie's cheerleaders were the best, and Ramsey took sportsmanship honors.  Others on the all-tournament team were Tom Steppe of Dieterich, Al Weaver of Casey, Earl Alexander of Nokomis and Steve Week of Oblong.
        Nokomis joined the tournament field in 1974 and made an immediate impact by downing LaGrove 56-44 in the finals.  Nokomis had entered the tournament undefeated and had to come from behind after trailing the Bobcats by 10 points at halftime.  Dieterich beat Casey for third place, and Vandalia defeated Oblong in the consolation game.  Oblong's cheerleaders were the top squad.  MVP was Soldner, who later was a standout at Kansas State University.  He established single­game and tournament rebounding records.  His 38 rebounds against Casey still stands as the best individual rebounding performance.  He had 72 for the tournament.  Joining him on the all-tournament team were Randy Weck of Oblong, Mark Franzen and Greg Parsons of Nokomis and Mark Steppe of Dieterich.
        The next year, Dieterich trailed by 12 points early in the fourth quarter but came back for a 75-73 win over Vandalia.  LaGrove beat Trenton Wesclin in the third place game by outscoring the Warriors 18-0 at the free-throw line. Wesclin didn't get to the free-throw line once during the game.  Gillespie won consolation honors by beating Oblong. Gillespie's Jerry Runta set the new rebounding record for the tourney with 42 . LaGrove's Steve Soldner, who broke the individual game scoring record with 38 points against Wesclin, also set a tournament scoring record with 88 points.  Dieterich's cheerleaders were voted the best squad, and Gillespie won the sportsmanship award.  Rich Rames of Vandalia was MVP, and others on the all-tournament team were Jerry Steppe and Randy Niebrugge of Dieterich, and Runta and Soldner.
        The first tournament, in 1972 was won by the host Vandals.  Vandalia, coached by Dean Strobel, surprised previously undefeated Carlyle 62-47 in the championship game.  Oblong beat Ramsey 53-50 for third place, and Cumberland thumped Staunton 81-61 in the consolation finals.  Other schools entered in that first tournament were Dieterich and Odin.  Mark Williams of Carlyle was MVP of that tournament, and all­tourney picks were Kevin Austin and Jeff Kidd of Vandalia, Phil Freeman of Oblong and John Staff of Ramsey.  Freeman was the leading scorer in the tourney with 61, and Kidd was the top rebounder with 34.  Staff scored 28 points for single-game scoring honors, and Odin's Bob Travelstead had 22 rebounds in one game.  Cumberland's cheerleaders won the cheerleading trophy, and Ramsey won the sportsmanship award.
2019 All Rights Reserved | by: www.vandals203.org