The Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame was established in 2001. Bob Whalen who for over fifty years researched Montgomery County basketball founded the organization to recognize and honor outstanding Montgomery County players, coaches and others who have contributed to the basketball heritage and lore of Montgomery County, the place widely recognized as the “cradle of basketball” in Indiana. The first class was inducted into the Hall in 2003. Each year nominees are solicited and evaluated for induction into the Hall. Approximately 8% of the men who have played high school basketball in Montgomery County are members of the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame.
Although women played basketball in Montgomery County in the early years beginning at the turn of the 20th century, it appears that they played few inter-school games, and by the mid 1920s inter-school women’s basketball was no longer played in Montgomery County. Montgomery County schools did not begin fielding women’s basketball teams again until the schools consolidated in 1971. The first women were inducted in the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Listed below are the names and dates of high school graduation of players from each of the schools that have had players inducted into the Hall, and the coaches who have coached at these schools who have been inducted. Players and coaches from Wabash College are listed separately after the listing of the high schools. Finally, listed at the end are persons who were neither players nor coaches who have been inducted into the Hall for their outstanding contributions to basketball in Montgomery County.
Players and Coaches Inducted Into the Hall From Montgomery County High Schools
Alamo High School (Warriors)
Nine men who played at Alamo are in the Hall. The players are: Howard Melvin (1936), John Bowerman (1939), Leland “Bill” Melvin (1939), George Gillis (1956), Charles Bowerman (1957), Lawrence “Whitey” Reath (1959), Joe Melvin (1959), Mike Melvin (1961), and Leslie Reath (1964). Tom Bowerman who coached at Alamo is in the Hall.
Bowers High School (Blackshirts)
One man who played for Bowers has been inducted into the Hall: Dave Horney (1955).
Coal Creek Central High School (Bearcats)
Five men from Coal Creek Central have been inducted into the Hall. They are: Gary Smith (1954), Dick Shull (1959), Larry Lidester (1966), Lee Fouts (1967), and Rick Haas (1969).
Crawfordsville High School (Athenians)
Fifty-five men who played at Crawfordsville High School are in the Hall. They are: Harry Gill (1901), William Sprow (1904), Henry Harter Walter (1904), Ralph Wicks (1904), Ward Lambert (c. 1908), Justin Maloney (1907), Ernest Herron (1910), Dave Glascock (1911), Clio Shaw (1911), Hugh Miller (1912), Ben Myers (1912), Carroll Stevenson (1912), John Green (1914), Noble Shaw (1914), Paul Manson (1916), Monte Grimes (1917), Don Shelton (1919), Maurice Chadwick (1920), Maurice Shelley (1920), Bob Dinwiddie (1924), Karl Dickerson (1925), Paul Groves (1929), Don Haffner (1929), Greg Layne (1930), Paul Malaska (1933), Dick McGaughey (1937), Oscar Hybarger (1940), Ed Ross (1941), Bob Clements (1942), Don Swarat (1943), Pierce Green (1945), James Smith (1948), Toliver Kennedy (1948), Phillip Warren (1955), Dick Haslam (1958), Joe Krutzsch (1958), Bill Burget (1959), Bill Williams (1960), Dick Wilkinson (1961), Jeff Davis (1963), Bob Williams (1964), Joe Pierce (1967), Larry Grimes (1968), Kelly Cochrane (1968), Bob Reese (1971), Clint Dennison (1973), Mark Hesser (1974), Gary Rice (1976), Jeff Bonifield (1979), Kerry Seward (1979), Mike Reath (1982), Matt Petty (1989), Darrin Haas (1993), Matt McCarty (1994), Josh Fitzwater (1998).
Four men who coached at Crawfordsville High School are in the Hall. They are: Dick Baumgartner, Paul Curtis, L.J.C. Freeman, and H. T. McCullough.
Four women who played for Crawfordsville High School are in the Hall: They are: Shannon Hardesty Cantu (1987), and Maggie Bryant Wolcott (1991), Carrie Fruits Wolter (1993), and Britney Froedge Carpenter (2002). Shannon Hardesty Cantu holds the honor as the only woman from CHS to be selected for the Indiana All Star Team. She was selected in 1987. Jacqueline Graham Burton who graduated from CHS in 1964 is in the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame although she did not play at CHS because there was no girls’ team when she was in school. She played basketball at Ball State University and is in the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame for her coaching.
Darlington High School (Indians)
Three men who played at Darlington are in the Hall. They are: Bob Mullem (1958), Don Threlkeld (1969) and Rich Douglas (1970).
Ladoga High School (Canners)
Four men who played at Ladoga are in the Hall. The players are Bill Boone (1956), Mel Todd (1956), Dave Williamson (1970), and Dave Williamson (1970). Two men who coached at Ladoga are in the Hall. They are Floyd “Doc” Neff and Harold “Jack” Hester (Hester also coached at New Market).
Linden High School (Bull Dogs)
Seven men who played at Linden are in the Hall. They are: Bob Vail (1949), Harlan Vail (1954), Ernie Waltz, Jr. (1955), Fred Johnson (1960), Phil Winger (1965), Ron Denhart (1967), and Daryl Warren (1971).
New Market High School (Purple Flyers)
Three men who played at New Market are in the Hall. They are: Earl “Red” Gardner (1941), Steve Powers (1962), and Jim Slavens (1966). Harold “Jack” Hester, a graduate of New Market, who coached New Market as well as Ladoga during his coaching career, is also in the Hall as a coach.
New Richmond High School (Cardinals)
One man who played for New Richmond is in the Hall: Jim Alexander (1915).
New Ross High School (Blue Jays)
Ten men who played for New Ross are in the Hall. They are: Bob Grimes (1941), Homer Williams (1942), Howard Williams (1945), Jim Bannon (1948), Bernie Burk (1955), Richard Haffner (1956), Mike Stewart (1959), Mike Whitecotten (1960), Charlie Frederick (1963), and Russell Nichols (1963).
North Montgomery High School (Chargers)
Eight men who played for North Montgomery have been inducted into the Hall. They are: Hal Shelton (1974), Mark Millbern (1975), Tom Young (1985), Kurt Schlicher (1987), Brad Lighty (1994), B. J. Schlicher (1996), Jason McCormick (1997), and Brice Murphy (2004).
Six women who played for North Montgomery have been inducted into the Hall. They are: Andrea Edwards (1972), Andra Harshbarger Hudson (1978), Sondi Eden (1989), Erin Rusk Bladyes (1995), Kara McCormick (1995), and Lindsay Rush. Charles Kriston who coached at North Montgomery is a member of the Hall.
Southmont High School (Mounties)
Seven men who played for Southmont are in the Hall: They are: Rick Oswald (1975), Alan Buck (1977), Eric Froedge (1980), Max Mercer (1983), Steve Simmons (1983), David Byrd (1985), Mike McCarthy (1985), Jeff McClasky (1987), Dan Chadd (1991), Kyle Shirk (1992), Travis Bowen (1998), and Lee Williamson (1998) Tory Rauch (2001).
Four women who played for Southmont are in the Hall: They are: Paula French (1970), Kim Long (1975), Stephanie Williams Griswold (1986), and Kristin Miller Lakes (1995).
Waveland High School (Hornets)
Thirteen men who played for Waveland are in the Hall. The players are: Leonard Greve (1937), Ray Greve (1939), Charlie Arvin (1946), Bob Gooding (1947), Keith Greve (1951), Bill Wheeler (1952), Bill Greve (1955), Jack Mitchell (1957), Herschel Teague (1963), Don Evans (1964), Phil Meyers (1967), Mike Mitchell (1968), and Dean Miller (1969). Cliff Davis who coached Waveland in the 1940s and 1950s is in the Hall.
Waynetown High School (Gladiators)
Eight men who played for Waynetown are in the Hall. They are: John “Mobe” Cramer (1925), Art Harpel (1926), Charles “Waxy” Blackford (1927), George Barker (1944), Pete Moore (1944), Kinnard White (1956), Jim Harpel (1960), and Steve Pierce (1962). Four men who coached at Waynetown are in the Hall. They are: Ralph Capehart, Cliff Davis, Tom Bowerman, and Fred Johnson.
Wingate High School (Spartans)
Nine men who played at Wingate are in the Hall. They are: Forest Crane (1913), John “JD” Blacker (1914), Leland Olin (1914), Homer Stonebraker (1914), Jesse Graves (1914), Lee “Pete” Thorn (1916), Alonzo “Lon” Goldsberry (1920), Dallas Shull (1944), and Gary Smith (1954). Two men who coached at Wingate are in the Hall. They are: Jesse Wood (1913) and Leonard Lehman (1914).
Wabash College (Little Giants)
Six men who played for Wabash and four Wabash coaches have been inducted into the Hall. The Wabash players are: Rex McCoy (1955), Tom Bennett (1960), Jack Roudenbush (1976), Pete Metzelears (1982), Chad Tabor (1999), and Josh Estelle (2000). The Wabash coaches in the Hall are: Ralph Jones (1st coach at Wabash), Robert Vaughan, Bob Brock, and Mac Petty.
Special Contributors to Montgomery County Basketball Inducted Into the Hall
Rev. Nicholas McCay (Crawfordsville YMCA (c. 1892) who brought basketball to Crawfordsville, Emerson Mutterspaugh (Athletic Director, North Montgomery High School), Bob Sosbe (Referee), Jack Gardner (Referee), Terry Bartell (Referee), Ed Campbell (Radio announcer), Joe Cunningham (Special Contributor), Dan Mountcastle (Special Contributor), and Harold Prosser (Special Contributor) are in the Hall.