NORTH ROBINSON – There has been only one Colonel Crawford boys basketball team that has attained a perfect regular season in the school’s history.
The 1962-63 Eagles, coached by Mac Morrison, completed the regular season at 18-0. The team finished with an overall mark of 22-1 — the only blemish was a postseason loss to Attica in the Class A District Tournament in Mansfield.
That team, however, soon may have to share the spotlight.
With just two games left in the regular season, this year’s Colonel Crawford squad, which remains the No. 2-ranked boys team in the Associated Press Division III poll, is closing in on an undefeated season and is doing it by taking one game at a time.
“No. 1, we’ve reached our first goal by winning a league championship, and we were able to win it outright Monday night,” CC coach David Sheldon said. “Goal No. 2 is a sectional championship in a couple weeks.”
After surviving Buckeye Central, 44-42, in a thriller Monday, Sheldon’s squad claimed sole rights to the inaugural Northern 10 Athletic Conference title and improved to 20-0.
“That was a great game for us — it reminded me a lot of the Plymouth game earlier in the year,” Sheldon said. “We were down in the fourth quarter; it was a night we didn’t shoot the ball as well overall.
“Some of that had to do with Buckeye’s great defense, but we didn’t shoot the ball well, and we just had to grind it out.”
Todd Entenmann scored 21 points in the game, followed by Dylan Gulley, who added 15. Owen Adams led the team in rebounds with seven.
“It was a defensive battle, and we were fortunate enough in the fourth quarter to get some turnovers and make some shots late to get us back in it,” Sheldon said.
Looking forward, things likely won’t get any easier for the Eagles. Colonel Crawford travels to Upper Sandusky on Friday to take on the third-place Rams. The regular season will be capped the following week with a game against the No. 2 team in the N10 — Carey — in Morrison Gymnasium.
“We really don’t talk about our record; we have not talked about that as a group,” Sheldon said. “We talk about which team is next in line, and the next team in line is Upper Sandusky.”
The Rams are 14-6 overall and 12-4 in the conference. Wes Vent leads the team in scoring with 16.5 points a game, while Seth Frey and Carson Mittermaier add more than 10 each.
“Upper Sandusky is a No. 3 seed in the Division II sectional, and Carey is a No. 3 seed in the Division III sectional in the Western part of Ohio,” Sheldon said. “So it’s great to play good opponents because these are like tournament basketball games that we’re going to see if we want to make a tournament run.”
The Blue Devils are 17-3 (13-3 N10) and are topped by Jared Wentling, who is the conference’s leading scorer, averaging more than 24 points and eight boards a contest. Zach Boes (13.6 ppg) and Bryan Powers (13.3 ppg) round out Carey’s double-figure scorers.
As a team, the Devils lead the N10 in scoring (72.5 ppg). Their lowest point total of the season is 38 — given by none other than the Eagles on Jan. 10.
“The No. 1 key is that this has been the epitome of a team. We had some heart-to-hearts during the preseason, and guys really bought into their roles and definitely play for each other,” Sheldon said of his team.
“They don’t play for themselves, and in this day in age in high school athletics, you don’t see that.”
Defensively, CC is limiting opponents to 39.9 points a game, which ties the school record set during the 2008-09 campaign. On offense, Entenmann, who is the second-leading scorer in the N10, puts up 21.7 points and 5.4 rebounds a contest to lead the Eagles. Gulley is adding 12.1 points, 4.2 steals and 6.7 assists a game, while Adams chips in 10.9 points a game.
As a unit, Colonel Crawford knocks down nearly 50 percent of its shots and 40 percent from beyond the arc — both of which top the conference.
“It’s a fun group. We enjoy going in the gym every day — in practices and games — and battling,” Sheldon said. “The togetherness of this group is what it’s all about.”
The Eagles landed the top seed in the Division III Ashland District and will play the winner of the Margaretta-Crestview game at 6:15 p.m. March 6 at Shelby High School.
Chasing down glory
The 1962-63 Colonel Crawford boys basketball team
• Coach: Mac Morrison
• Record: 22-1 (8-0 Johnny Appleseed Conference, 5-0 North Central Conference) — AP Class A No. 3
• Leading Scorers: Bob Ash (346 points/15.0 points per game), Bob Zaebst (316 points/13.7 ppg)
11/30/62* @Buckeye Central, W, 54-52, NCC
12/21/62* @Riverdale, W, 53-49, NCC – 2OT
12/22/62 @Marion Catholic, W, 64-46
12/28/62 Bucyrus, W, 68-53, Holiday Tournament at Colonel Crawford High School
12/29/62 Galion, W, 67-55, Holiday Tournament at Colonel Crawford High School
01/04/63* @Fredericktown, W, 74-41, JAC
01/11/63* Plymouth, W, 60-41, JAC
01/18/63* Loudonville, W, 44-41, JAC
01/19/63* Bellville, W, 77-30, JAC
01/26/63* @Ridgedale, W, 68-44, NCC
01/29/63* @Crestline, W, 56-52, JAC
02/01/63* @Butler, W, 63-34, JAC
02/02/63* @Ontario, W, 64-61, JAC
02/08/63* Lexington, W, 34-31, JAC
02/09/63 Mt. Zion, W, 61-44
02/15/63* Mohawk, W, 60-45, NCC
02/16/63 Holmes-Liberty, W, 70-47
02/22/63* Elgin, W, 62-58, NCC – OT
02/26/63 Holmes-Liberty, W, 29-19, Class A Crawford County Tournament at Colonel Crawford High School
03/02/63 Nevada, W, 78-36, Class A Crawford County Tournament at Colonel Crawford High School
03/04/63 Mt. Zion, W, 59-46, Class A Crawford County Tournament at Colonel Crawford High School
03/08/63 Milan, W ,75-59, Class A Sectional Tournament at Mansfield Senior High School
03/15/63 Attica, L, 40-42, Class A District Tournament at Mansfield Senior High School
Information from CrawfordCountyBasketball.com.