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Going back to the 1927 basketball sectional

We have been looking at some of the past sectional champions in boys basketball recently. Two weeks ago we looked at the 1970 champion Waynetown team and last week we looked at the final pre-consolidation champion, Crawfordsville. So where will we go this week?

Way back. I am talking way, way back. Not quite to the beginning of basketball in Montgomery County — but close. Today we look at the 1927 Crawfordsville Sectional.

Quick, who was winner? Any guesses? Here is a hint. It was the only sectional this school ever won. The team nearly won the 1926 sectional but was defeated by Crawfordsville 31-21. The 1927 season was suppose to be a rebuilding year, but they were considered the darkhorse in the 12-team tourney.

Yes, that previous sentence is not a typo. In the 1927 tournament (which was the first one to have 64 sectionals and 16 regionals) there were 12 teams battling it out for the sectional title at the Wabash College Gym. The 12 teams were: Alamo, Bowers, Crawfordsville, Darlington, Ladoga, Linden, New Market, New Richmond, New Ross, Waveland, Waynetown and Wingate.

The schedule that year was drawn with six games slated for Friday, March 4. The afternoon schedule was:

• 2 p.m., Linden vs. Waveland

• 3 p.m., New Market vs. Crawfordsville

• 4 p.m., Wingate vs. Darlington

• 5 p.m., Waynetown vs. New Richmond

The evening session was:

• 7:30 p.m., Bowers vs. Ladoga

• 8:30 p.m., New Ross vs. Alamo

The first round results saw Waveland beat Linden (no score was reported), while Crawfordsville edged New Market 15-14, Wingate beat Darlington 25-22, Waynetown nipped New Richmond 21-20, Bowers eliminated Ladoga 17-12 and New Ross won Easily over Alamo 36-9.

There was little rest back in the old sectional format. Waveland and Crawfordsville battled at 9 a.m. on Saturday with Waveland advancing 21-17, while Wingate moved on with a 21-16 win over Waynetown. In the afternoon semifinals, Bowers beat New Ross 34-16 and Wingate defeated Waveland 31-25.

So in the final game it was Bowers battling Wingate. The upset was in the making when Bowers took a 14-8 halftime lead. That lead was stretched to 20-10 as Wingate was limited to just two points in the second half to secure the first, and only sectional title for the tiny school which was located in the north eastern part of the county.

Willis Loveless led the Blackshirts with seven points, George Boots added five points and George Boots and Lee Wells each added four points. The other starter for the team was Lawrence Deck who did not score in the final game. Other members of the team were Walter Tribbett, Maurice Clouser and Martin Campbell. The team was coached by Chayce Cox.

The team advanced to the Greencastle Regional where it knocked off Montezuma 23-19 as Wells led the team with seven points, and Loveless and Price each added six and Deck and Boots tossed in two.

The dream season ended with Greencastle defeated the Blackshirts 24-15. Price and Wells each scored six points and Boots added three.

By winning the sectional in 1927, Bowers became the first county team other than Crawfordsville or Wingate to win a sectional title. The Orange and Black eventually consolidated with Darlington after the 1954-55 season. Its first basketball team was in 1920.


There was an error in the article last week about the final pre-consolidated sectional. In Waveland’s semifinal game against Darlington it was Ron Bruner who scored 35 points to pace the Hornets, while Roger Gooding had 25. The numbers were incorrectly switched.

Barry Lewis has covered local sports for over 30 years. If he hasn’t witnessed it, he’s researched it and now he’s sharing the history of Montgomery County sports Wednesday’s in the Journal Review.

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