As I read Stan Roeser's comments about the 1957 and 1958-59 boys basketball fortunes, I want to let Stan know that his recollection about Litchfield-Wilmar is correct. It was an end of the 1958-59 season District 20 qualifying game played in the Litchfield gym. Because Wilmar was loaded with big-man talent, Coach Davis devised a plan to reduce the effectiveness of their big men by eliminating their chance for dominating the rebounding game. His plan was for Litch to control the game and shoot no more than one or two shots each quarter, preferably layups, with the hope that if we stayed close throughout the game that we may have a chance for a surprise win at the end.
The strategy worked well. In fact, we were up by one point midway through the third quarter. While Wilmar did win, it was only by three points, 21-18, as I recall.
To give his strategy the best chance to succeed, Coach Davis had his best shooters and ball handlers play most of the game. They were Kevin Wimmer, Jim Harder, Joe Merila, Hugh Heimdahl, and Clint Kragenbring. As I recall, the results of the game got some press in the Minneapolis paper, because Wilmar was a recognized as one of the best outstate powerhouses expected to compete for the state title and got quite a scare.
I had a front row seat for the game as I sat on the bench while our more adept players almost pulled off what would have been one of the biggest upsets in outstate Minnesota basketball history.
Just an aside about the one win season. We went up to Detroit Lakes for a game during the Christmas holiday break and got beat by three or four points. After the game we learned that four or five of the basketball team had gotten sick and were not able to play, so what Detroit Lakes did was suit up four hockey players to fill out the team; so I guess you could say we got beat by half a hockey team. Coincidently, this was the first varsity basketball game Kevin Wimmer played in, which was quite unusual at Litch for a sophomore, for they were normally limited to the B team. This may help illustrate why we only won one game.
It is good to know that Stan is still active and sharing his memories of Litchfield past with those of Litchfield present.
Linn and I remember our growing up in Lichfield very fondly and try to get back at least once each year and make it to all high school and class of "59" reunions.