This wacky winter weather we’ve been having has given the old sports editor some time to bring out the record books.
Record temps lead to some basketball records, I guess.
Last week, I gave you a look at the top five scorers of each school from Bureau County and around. This week, I’ve worked up a top 25 list of scoring leaders for boys and girls for Bureau County and around the Illinois Valley.
Bureau County’s two leaders are also the leaders in the Illinois Valley.
DePue’s giant Ron Zagar poured in 2,515 career points from 1953-57, a record that has stood the test of time more than 60 years later.
Hall great Kailey Klein heads both girls’ charts with 2,496 points from 2003-06. The Cherry Comet is also the all-time leader at Cleveland State (2,140) and will be inducted into its Hall of Fame in a couple of weeks.
The lists are like taking a trip down memory lane, seeing names from the past like Zagar, Brad Bickett, Lance Harris and Brian Piper of Ohio, Don Hamel and Willie Hanson of Mendota, Roger Weller of LaMoille, Roger Cannon of Neponset and Tom Schertz of Tiskilwa.
There have been five 2,000-point scorers for Bureau County boys and two for Bureau County girls.
Lexi Loftus of Ohio joined Klein in the girls 2K Club just last year, scoring 2,029 for the LaMoille-Ohio Lady Lions co-op.
In the Illinois Valley, there have been nine 2,000-point scorers for the boys and three for the girls.
Some schools stand out for their scoring prowess. Tiny Ohio has five top 25 scorers in the Illinois Valley and seven in Bureau County. Only DePue has as many as three top 25 scorers.
Ohio and Mendota impressively each have five members in the top 25 in the Illinois Valley.
One unique tie for the Bulldogs is the grandfather (Bill Anderson) and grandson (Lance Harris) duo. They scored 3,490 points between them.
Another school where tiny is mighty is Neponset. Six Lady Zephyrs make the Bureau County top 25, headed by Jolene Bair (1,989).
While he fell short in the county top-25 list, Princeton Tiger great Joe Ruklick (1,306) tallied 944 points in his senior season alone, leading PHS to a fourth-place state finish in 1954-55. The All-American/hook shot artist cracked the Tigers’ Sweet 16 team lineup the year before only as the result of a teammate’s illness. Imagine his career points if he had played two or more full seasons.
• John Mason, a basketball lifer, is filling in for LaMoille-Ohio head coach Kenny Shrimplin, who is away for personal reasons, during this week’s Little Ten Conference Tournament. Mason is the Lions’ F/S coach and has coached basketball for 55 years. While he has been a head girls coach, including Ohio, this will be his first as a varsity boys coach.
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor and has covered Bureau County basketball for 33 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.