After an 88-81 win over Montana State powered by 40 points from Mike Ratliff and Frank Schade, the Blugolds take on powerful Kentucky State in a second round game of the National NAIA tournament at Kansas City. They lead 65-61 before Kentucky State scores 12 straight in the last three minutes to pull out a 73-65 win with Travis Grant scoring 26. Eau Claire got there with a 69-67 win over Dominican led by Steve Johnson and a 71-60 win over Stout as Schade scores 25 and Tom Jackson 21. The Blugolds finish 24-2 as Kentucky State goes on to defeat Central Washington 79-71 for the championship.

Also 50 years ago this month, Eau Claire Memorial heads to Madison with a 23-0 record and opens with a 59-46 win over Durand led by Pete Almberg with 13 points and 14 rebounds while John Langlois scores 16 for the Panthers. In the semifinals, the Old Abes run into Appleton West coached by Augusta and Eau Claire State great Dick Emanuel and fall 60-50 despite 17 points by Gregg Bohlig. The loss ends the longest win streak in school history. While the Abes (25-1) take third place with a 68-56 win over Wauwatosa East led by Almberg’s 17 points, Appleton West takes the championship with a 58-57 win over Neenah.

En route to Madison, the Abes defeat North 60-47 with Almberg getting 19 while Pat Fellenz has 16 for the Huskies and Durand takes down No. 1 small school Fall Creek 62-58, handing the Crickets their only loss and holding the state’s top scorer Steve Wilhelm to 31, 20 short of the state career record. Area officials in the state meet are Dean Abbott, Jerry Donley, Pete Hendrikson and Don Page. Meanwhile, Bohlig, who swept BRC honors as being voted MVP in football and basketball, accepts a scholarship to attend Wisconsin.

Milwaukee is back in the major leagues, landing the financially troubled American League Seattle franchise. Bobby Orr becomes the fourth to score 100 points in an NHL season. Bobbie Allison edges Cale Yarborough to win the Atlanta 500. Legendary city mighty mite ski jumper Oscar Severson, unbeaten in all his years as a junior, dies in a Milwaukee hotel fire at age 44.

In YMCA Senior League basketball, Stan Johnson scores 40 and Jim Sevals 34 as they renew their scoring duel for state college conference honors. Larry Johnson scores 21 to lead Thriftway to a 73-63 win over Co-op for the season championship. Jeff Ellenson scores 31 points and grabs 21 rebounds for the losers. League scoring champions are former Badger Ted Voight, 448 in the Senior; Fred Golden 302 in the Young Men’s and Jon Wensel 243 in the Old-Timers. Sammy’s Pizza gets 67 points from Voight, Sevals and Stan Johnson in a 90-78 win over Dairy Queen for the ’Y’ Invitational tournament title.

In the NIT, Marquette holds Pete Maravich to 20 points in a 101-79 win over LSU and goes on to take the title with a 65-53 win over St. John’s led by MVP Dean Meminger. The Badgers defeat Michigan 90-86 as Clarence Sherrod scores 28 and in an 87-82 loss to Northwestern, North product Jim DeCremer scores 14. The Bucks get 25 points and 18 rebounds from Lew Alcindor in a 124-105 win over Seattle. Player of the Year in college ball Maravich signs with Atlanta.

In the first state gymnastics meet at Whitewater, Memorial takes second led by Betsy Johnson, Jill Smyth, Jane Sorenson and Judy Christopher. Tom Williams is the season leading scorer for Immanuel Lutheran with a 21.9 average. Blugolds Mark Janicki, first, and Sam Spanel, second, lead the way in the state conference wrestling meet. Dave Rowe qualifies for the National Judo championships.

Superior’s Jerry Roesch is named football coach at North while UW-River Falls hires Mike Farley, who had been at Racine Park.

Bowling leaders are Lawrence Bushendorf among men while women are led by Marg Kelk 621, Janet Kopp 605 and 603 and Claire Silberberg 600.

40 Years Ago

In the District finals at Kenosha, the Blugolds outlast rival Parkside 61-58 in overtime as Mike Morgan hits 10 free throws, three in overtime and scores 14 in all with 11 rebounds to lead the way to a spot in the Nationals at Kansas City. The No. 2 seed defeats Cumberland (Ky.) 84-61 as Tony Carr and Gib Hinz combine for 44 points; overcome a slowdown by Marymount (Kan.) to pull away from a 15-15 halftime tie for a 56-49 win as Carr scores 18 of his 22 in the second and rally from an early 18-2 deficit to down Central Washington 68-61 in overtime with Carr and Hinz combining for 35 to reach the semifinals. Facing Cameron (Okla.), they never get into their game and fall 71-64 despite 24 from Hinz. In the Third Place game, they lose to Huron (S.D.) 59-54 and finish 30-3. Cameron goes on to defeat Alabama State 84-77 for the championship. Eau Claire’s Ken Anderson is named NAIA Coach of the Year for the second time.

Back in Wisconsin, it’s tournament time and Memorial opens with a 55-46 win over North with Randy Etten scoring 16. The Old Abes go on to oust No. 3 Chippewa Falls 79-58 as Brad Hoffman scores 22, then take down Rice Lake and Wausau West in the sectional led by Joe Saleck to qualify for Madison. They keep it close but coach John Nicholas‘ team loses in the opener to Milwaukee North 54-46 despite 17 points from Etten and finish 20-4 on the court but 9-15 after 11 forfeits due to the use of an ineligible player. North goes on to nip Janesville Craig 65-63 for the title.

Altoona starts its Class C march to Madison with a 54-46 win over Fall Creek led by Rick Dahl’s 14. In the sectional, Dahl scores 23 in a 50-46 win over West Salem while Paul Schnorr has 20 and Jim Peterson 19 in a 69-59 win over West Grant. But in the state meet, coach Jim Martell’s team falls to Kohler 73-60 as skyscrapers Jim and Joe Wolf combine for 33 while Jim Peterson has 19 for the Rails. Kohler goes on to take the title. Coach Bill Gipp’s unbeaten Spooner team sees a last-second shot go in and out in a 51-50 loss to Elkhorn in the Class B semis. In an earlier tournament game, Jess Cole scores a school record 46 points, has 15 rebounds and eight assists as Mondovi rips Baldwin-Woodville 94-52.

City race car driver Herm Johnson gets an invite to the Indy 500 trials; Blugold back D.J. Leroy signs with the New York Giants. Brewers manager George Bamberger suffers a heart attack and will be out two months while Buck Rodgers takes over the team. Dan Conway wins the National AAU Masters 15k in a time of 48 minutes, 47 seconds.

The New Richmond girls edge North 46-44 in the sectional semis despite 12 points by Sally Patrow as the Huskies finish 17-4. In the YMCA girls prep basketball tournament, Cassidy’s Foods take a 46-44 win over Osseo Waldo’s to take the title on a last-second basket by Joan Pedersen.

Rice Lake tops North 8-2 in the hockey sectional led by Roger Behling and Mark Daniel and takes a 19-1 record to the state tournament where they rout Northland Pines 11-0 behind five points by Todd Geisness but lose in the finals to Madison Memorial 6-2. Barney Klecker, a member of the Indianhead Track Club from Minnesota, wins his second Yukon Jack World Snowshoe championship on an 83-mile course from Superior to Rice Lake.

Tom Poquette, who hit .331 after joining the Red Sox last season, suffers a right shoulder rotator cuff tear and will be out 6-to-8 weeks. Jeff Abbott is named Memorial baseball coach to replace Phil Birkel.

Jim Stein and Tim Close set records to lead the Eau Claire Health Club to the championship of the Wisconsin Powerlifting tournament. The Blugolds take sixth in the NAIA swim championships led by diver Jim Brennan who takes a third. Jim Menard pours in 25 points to lead Menard’s to the YMCA Senior League title with an 86-72 win over Farmer-Bugher.

Win Brockmeyer, who led Wausau to a 230-33-9 football record and 26 championships, dies at age 71. Death also claims Jesse Owens, 68, who won four gold medals in the 1936 Germany Olympics.

The Badgers lose their finale 53-50 to Northwestern and finish with a 15-14 record. Mike Woodson scores 21 to lead Bobby Knight’s Indiana team to a 76-73 win over Ohio State for the Big Ten title. In the NCAA tournament, Louisville scores a 59-54 win over UCLA for the championship led by MVP Darrell Griffith’s 23 points. 7-4 Ralph Sampson scores 15 points and grabs 15 rebounds as Virginia tops Minnesota 58-53 in the NIT finals. The Bucks clinch a playoff spot with a 112-103 win over defending NBA champion Seattle with Bob Lanier scoring 24. In his first start after being picked up by the Celtics, Pete Maravich scores 31 to lead 114-102 win over Indiana. Karen Carey hits a women’s high 602 bowling series.

30 Years Ago

After wins over Philadelphia Pharmacy 75-51 and Southern California College 92-59 led by Duane Bushman, the Blugolds take down Central Washington 84-57 with Mike Prasher scoring 17 and Mike Johnson 16 with 11 rebounds and move to the finals of the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City with a 76-73 win over Georgetown, Ky., led by Tim Blair’s 24 points. In the title game, coach Ken Anderson’s team trails Birmingham Southern 48-40 at halftime, rallies to tie it twice in the second half before losing 88-80 despite 30 points from Bushman, 15 from Prasher and 14 from Blair.

On the road to KC, Eau Claire downs Stevens Point 74-44 as Prasher and Blair tally 18 each and then go to Platteville and get 24 points in all and two free throws from Blair with 15 seconds remaining to nip Bo Ryan’s team 64-61.

Memorial’s girls defeat North 73-45 as Karin Moore scores 20 and take an unbeaten record to the state tournament, where coach Mike Reetz’s team defeats Appleton East 57-34 as Moore scores 17 of the first 19 points. Julie Mueller and Steph Farrell hit crucial free throws down the stretch in a 53-49 win over Madison East but in the finals they fall to Milwaukee Washington 57-42. Cuba City tops Bloomer 46-44 for the Class B crown and Oostburg defeats Fall Creek 61-46 in C.

In boys tournament play, Memorial blows a 12-point lead and is ousted by River Falls 62-60 to finish a 13-8 season. Jeff Stepanek and Jeff Hagman combine for 47 points in North’s 73-42 win over Chippewa, beats Rice Lake 56-50 and then gains the state meet with a 58-49 win over Wausau West as Ryan Koski hits five 3’s and scores 17 points. But at Madison, coach Pat Hammond’s team loses 63-62 to Milwaukee Hamilton despite 16 points from Stepanek and 15 points and 11 rebounds from Hagman and finish 17-7.

Also at Madison, Eleva-Strum beats Prentice 62-61 on Kent Higley’s 22 points and rebound basket at the buzzer but in the finals, the Cardinals lose to Darlington 58-44. Altoona blows a halftime lead and sees Freedom go on a 16-0 run to oust the Rails 63-43 in the semis despite 14 points by Keith Pabich to close a 19-7 season.

In the WISAA state girls tournament, unbeaten Regis defeats Waukesha Catholic 49-33 as Shannon McCombs scores 12 in a 25th straight win but in the finals, the Ramblers lose 44-43 to Appleton Xavier.

Memorial nips Northland Pines 5-4 in a state hockey tournament opener but loses to Superior 2-1 after Jeff Schemberger’s goal ties it in the second period. The Abes finish 14-10 while Superior goes on to defeat Sun Prairie in overtime for the championship. The Badgers defeat Minnesota 7-1 for the WCHA title and go on to the NCAA tournament to beat Boston College 2-1 on two goals by Chris Tancill and meet Colgate in the finals in Detroit.

Blugold MVP Tim Golden is dealing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with hopes of landing a pro football contract. Jim Jerulle captains a team of Bob Scott, Jon Stolp and Bill Meiser that goes undefeated in winning the all-city curling championship. Arlyn Stertz wins her age group in the Birkebeiner ski race. Dan Conway sets two indoor records in the TAC Masters track event at Madison. Pat Hamler has a long jump of 331 feet in ski flying at Ironwood.

Michael Jordan hits a career-high 69 points in the Bulls 117-113 win over the Cavs. Bobby Knight’s Indiana team comes from 13 down to nip the Badgers 70-68 on a last-second basket. Perry Waldvogel scores 23 to lead Ed Andrist’s Mt. Senario team to a 97-77 win over Kalamazoo Nazareth in the Third Place game of the Small College Nationals. Karin Moore scores 17 and Steph Farrell 17 to lead Smokercraft to a 52-27 win over Persons in the YMCA girls championship game.

Blugold Wes Sinclair wins the 100 and 200 breaststroke in swimming while Dan Schmidt is a double-All-American in the weights and Eric Burrell in the dashes in the NAIA National Indoor track meet. Memorial’s Sara Ryder is the all-around champion while Julie Costly leads North to the sectional gymnastics championship.

National scoring and rebound leader Hank Gathers of Loyola-Marymount collapses and dies after a dunk basket against Portland. Georgia Tech edges the Gophers 93-91 with Dennis Scott scoring 40 on the way to the NCAA Final four. Former Badger football coach John Jardine dies at age 53 of heart complications. His best of seven seasons was 7-4 in 1974 led by QB Gregg Bohlig. New Badger football coach Barry Alvarez opens spring drills with the shadow of a 6-27 record over the last three years hanging over his head.

Top bowling scores are a 786 series by Darrell Jones while Tom Williams and Bruce Paulsrud hit 758 to lead men while Ellen Prellwitz fires at 678 and Linda Parr 650 to pace women.

20 Years Ago

In their first year of competition in NCAA Division III, the Blugolds move to the Final Four in Salem, Va., where they overpower Salem State 70-42 as Matt Fermanich directs play and Sherm Carstensen scores 23 of his 34 points in the second half. In the finals against Calvin MI, they fall behind 22 points but make a late charge to draw close at the finish only to lose 79-74 despite a career-high 36 points by Carstensen, who is named tournament MVP in a 27-6 season.

On the way to the finals, coach Terry Gibbons’ team disposes of Concordia 72-54 and Carthage 74-62 to advance to the regional in Storm Lake, Iowa, where they top Beuna Vista 82-75 in overtime with the aid of 17 points and seven rebounds from unsung hero Todd Marks but they lose center Jon Wallenfelz to a knee injury. In a tense battle with conference rival Stevens Point, they come from 18 down and in the final seconds, Eric Gardow makes a key steal and passes to Carstensen who hits a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 60-58 win that sends them to the Final Four.

The Badgers are making an unlikely run of their own, coming from 12 down with nine minutes to play for a 56-53 upset of Indiana that steams Bobby Knight but offers post-season hope to coach Dick Bennett’s team. In the Big Ten tourney, they beat Northwestern and Purdue only to lose to Michigan State in the semis 55-46 but it is good enough despite 13 losses to gain selection to the Big Dance.

They open with a 66-56 win over Jerry Tarkanian’s Fresno State team as Jon Bryant hits seven 3’s for 21 points and follow with a 66-59 upset of top seed Arizona as Mark Vershaw scores 15. Powered by Bennett’s strong defense, they clip LSU 61-48 and again led by Bryant with 18, hold off Purdue 64-60 to gain the Final Four where they will meet Michigan State while North Carolina faces Florida.

The Blugold women are on an unbeaten roll and defeat Millikin 73-58 in sectional play as Jayme Anderson scores 21. But the end for coach Lisa Stone’s team comes in an 81-63 loss to defending champion Washington of St. Louis and they finish 28-1. The Badger women defeat Florida 75-74 for the NIT championship led by Tamara Moore’s 25.

Packer president Bob Harlan warns that the team could leave Green Bay if the stadium is not upgraded. Former Badger QB Darrell Bevell is named an offensive assistant. A knee injury leads to the Jets release of LB Chad Cascadden of Chippewa Falls. Dan Marino turns down an offer from the Vikings and retires after 17 seasons and 420 TD passes with the Dolphins.

Memorial makes the state hockey tournament but loses its opener 5-0 to Madison Memorial and finishes 17-7. North’s Amy Berg places 14th in the all-around at the state gymnastics meet.

In basketball, the Old Abes are ousted by Superior 63-49 in a 10-11 season while Superior also puts a halt to North’s season 41-29, although the heavy underdog Huskies led most of the way. The North girls finish 17-5 after a 61-51 sectional loss to Hudson that breaks a 7-game win streak.

Ben Morrison scores 23 points and grabs 18 rebounds to lead Regis to a 61-53 regional win over Luther and a followup 51-36 win over Assumption gains a WISAA state meet berth as Nick Simon tallies 16. Coach Bill Uelmen’s Ramblers play well but lose to state power Whitefish Bay Dominican 62-51 as Eli Sheets scores 15 to close a 15-8 season.

McDonnell gains a girls state meet berth with a 55-44 win over Regis led by Katie Moga’s 26 but after a 45-43 win over Manitowoc Roncalli, led by Melissa Haley’s 12 points, the Macks are beaten 43-20 by Dominican for the WISAA Division 2 title.

In the girls WIAA state meet, North Fond du Lac defeats Bloomer 52-46 to win Division 3 while in the Division 1 finals, Janesville Parker tops Hudson 57-56.

Nick Weisenbeck hits two free throws with 21 seconds left to clinch Durand’s 51-47 sectional win over Onalaska but in the state meet, the Panthers lose 51-48 to Seymour and finish 22-4. After beating Superior 58-50, Rice Lake misses a state meet berth on a Wausau West free throw with one second left 53-52. Chetek’s Cinderella ride to the state meet ends with a 61-46 loss to Auburndale despite 16 points from Jeremiah Ganske.