BLAST: More 1963 March MadnessWORTHINGTON – As the state of Minnesota still wondered and pondered the results of the closely-contested governor election from four months ago (November, 1962), the 16 surviving area high school boys’ basketball teams were squaring off in tournament play in both District 7 and 8, anticipating action on the big Worthington floor with its large seating capacity.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON – As the state of Minnesota still wondered and pondered the results of the closely-contested governor election from four months ago (November, 1962), the 16 surviving area high school boys’ basketball teams were squaring off in tournament play in both District 7 and 8, anticipating action on the big Worthington floor with its large seating capacity.
Democratic challenger Karl Rolvaag appeared to be getting the lead on incumbent Republican Governor Elmer L. Andersen in the latest recount.
But four months later, it was still to close to call.
Meanwhile, the 1963 district tournaments continued.
In two District 8 quarterfinal games at Luverne on Friday, March 1, Slayton edged Worthington in an overtime thriller (60-58) and undefeated Edgerton rolled to an impressive 72-38 win over Tri-County Conference rival Magnolia.
Slayton’s Mike Kelly notched 33 points, including all four Wildcat points in the overtime, to highlight the well-played opening contest, while Henry Hintermeister contributed 11 points to the victory.
Ron Eshelman scored 20 points to lead Worthington and Larry Gullickson netted nine-of-11 free throws and finished with 13 points for the Trojans, who according to Daily Globe sports editor Corky Brace played one of their best games of the season.
In the second contest, Edgerton utilized balanced scoring to post its 24-point win over the Bulldogs.
Bernie Stoel (20), Vernon Schoolmeester (19), Bob Westenberg (14) and Doug Schelhaas (12) each tallied double figures for the Flying Dutchmen, while the Jansen brothers – Larry and Ron – were Magnolia’s scoring leaders with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
That same night, there were two District 7 quarterfinal games played.
At Lakefield, perennial power Mountain Lake held off a rally from Storden and advanced with a 59-53 win.
Harvey Ratzloff paced the Lakers with 20 points, while Larry Stoez and Lowell Steinle each scored 14.
Jay Steen and Harold Grote paced the Tigers with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
At Jackson, defending champion Windom put four players in double figures and soared to a high-scoring 81-56 victory over Okabena.
Rich Elness scored 16 points to lead the Eagles, while Dave Palm, Daryle Hanson and Mike Higley netted 15, 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The tandem of Arlo Baumgarn (23) and Byron Christoffer (16) did the bulk of the scoring for the Bluehawks.
In two District 8 quarterfinal games played at Worthington on Saturday March 2, Rock County rivals Luverne and Hills advanced to the semifinals.
A year before its legendary state championship run, Luverne ended Chandler’s Cinderella season with a 70-46 victory as Loren Wenzel scored 24 points for the Cardinals and six players scored between six and nine points.
Roger Smith, Don Bandstra and Rod Behrends talled 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Eagles who had won a sub-district championship with with victories over Fulda and Adrian the previous week.
Hills’ Arends 48-point performance highlights District 8 quarterfinals
In the nightcap, Terry Arends put on a long-range shooting clinic and burned the nets for a district record 48 points to lead Hills to a 78-67 upset of defending champion Pipestone – which had scored 103 points in its sub-district win over Beaver Creek two nights earlier.
But the Arrows simply were not able to match the scoring prowess of Arends, a six-foot junior guard, who hit 18 field goals – most of which would have been 3-pointers 25 years later – and netted a dozen free throws to lead the Bluejays to the semifinals.
“Terry was a tremendous shooter,” recalls Adrian head coach Dean Schnaible, who was a young assistant (to legendary Hugo Goehle) at Hills for several seasons in the 1960s. “He was a fine all-around player, but his outside shooting was the strongest part of his game.”
Paraphrasing a couple of paragraphs from Brace’s game write-up summarizes Arends’ shooting performance this way:
“The hot-shooting guard put on a shooting exhibition that almost had the Worthington firemen – on duty at the gym – worried as he burned both nets with those long jump shots which the Arrows found resisted all defenses.
“The Hills guard would bring the ball up and when he got as close as 30 feet of the basket, he let the ball fly. Most of the time, it did not even touch the rim. The ball would swish through the net and the crowd would let out a roar.”
Arends’ 48 points bettered the previous marks of 41 points by Jasper’s Lloyd “Butch” Raymond in the 1959 tournament and Pipestone’s Sid Bostic in 1960.
In his almost-daily column, “Brace’s Bits,” the sports editor wrote more about Arends, including this quote from Goehle:
“Terry just loves to shoot and he practices and practices. Often when I leave the gym at 6:30, Arends will still be shooting all alone. I just ask him to be sure to turn off the lights and lock the door when he leaves. I never know when Terry is going home to supper.”
That kind of dedicated practice certainly paid off for Arends on that memorable early March evening 50 years ago.
Al Timmerman scored 12 points to help Hills, while the trio of Jim Chaney (18), John King (12) and Craig Johnson (10) notched double figures for Pipestone.
On Monday evening, March 4, the final two District 7 quarterfinal games were played.
A strong fourth quarter allowed Westbrook to advance with a 66-54 victory over Sioux Valley at Mountain Lake.
The Wildcats held a mere two-point lead (51-49) after three quarters, but outscored the Warriors by a 15-5 spread in the last eight minutes.
Rodney Nelsen (18), Jim Glasshoff (16) and Don Enstad (11) scored double figures for Westbrook, while the trio of Rich Wulf (17), Duane Roslanksy (12) and Bob Untiedt (11) did the same for Sioux Valley.
At Windom, Jackson had five players notch double digits in a 77-62 victory over Lakefield, after leading by only one (37-36) at intermission.
Sophomore Dennis Hale and senior Duane Tow topped the Bluejay’s with 16 points each, while Kent Borchard (13), Bill Drahota (13) and Dennis Hummel (10) also contributed to Jackson’s balanced scoring.
Dave Rue scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Panthers and Jim Wedeking tallied 18.
The eight winning teams – Windom, Mountain Lake, Wesbrook and Jackson in District 7, along with Luverne, Hills, Slayton and Edgerton in District 8 – earned advancement to the semifinals, which would be played at the big Worthington gym on the evenings of March 5 and March 6, with capacity crowds in attendance.
Later this week, the story of those semifinal and championship games as the 1963 district tournaments wrapped up.
After that, look forward to the tale of the 1963 Edgerton Flying Dutchmen – which is still a research project in progress.