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Those were the days

1982 and 1987 state titles teams return to Estherville

August 6, 2012
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

For fans who were there, the 1982 Estherville Girls Basketball season and the 1987 Estherville Boys Basketball season were a wonder to behold.

On Saturday, some of the players and fans relived those days with a gathering at Woody's Pizza.

The Estherville Lincoln Central Booster Club sponsored the event.

Article Photos

Members of the 1982 Estherville Girls Championship Basketball Team gathered at Woody’s Pizza on Saturday. Front from left are Diane Nauss, Alice Jasper, Amy Montgomery, Julie Reuland; back row: coach Les Lammers, Deb Niles, Julie Koenecke and Melissa Martyr.

However, the idea for it started with Tim Maaske, the coach of the 1987 boys team.

"I thought it'd be fun," he said.

Both the 1982 and 1987 championship games were played simultaneously on two of the TVs at Woody's.

The girls' game featured Iowa's six-on-six game.

For those who don't remember that type of contest, it featured three guards on one half of the court and three forwards on the other with neither allowed to cross the half-court line. The girls were allowed two dribbles before they had to jump stop or pass.

The 1982 girls championship was also closer than their counterparts.

The accomplishment also was unique in that just one champion was crowned during the six-player error.

Estherville took on a vaunted Des Moines East squad and pulled out a 71-70 victory.

Estherville trailed by two points at halftime, but led 70-68 in the final 10 seconds.

Diane Nauss was fouled and made the first of two free throws.

Teammate guard Deb Niles said that's what she remembers most about the game.

"It was a sell-out crowd and when she made the first, the whole crow d was cheering except for the East Des Moines fans," Deb said.

Deb, who had four fouls in the first half at a time when the girls were allowed six fouls, said the entire Estherville team didn't commit a foul in the second half.

Coach Les Lammers said Des Moines East had defeated Estherville 85-29 three years earlier so some of the seniors had remembered that game.

For Deb, the best part of Saturday was just getting back together with the teammates.

One other story from that championship season is that the team had to find a penny on the ground before each game.

When the girl's championship trophy was taken to Woody's prior to Saturday's event those pennies were still there.

1987 EHS Boys

Meanwhile members of the 1987 Estherville championship team remembered their glory days.

The Midgets had lost in the state quarterfinals in 1986. In 1987, they were ready to go the distance.

"We anticipated going in to win," said Brad Bixby. "We didn't do nothing complicate-we just knew what each other could do."

Estherville dominated the Class 2A field that year, winning 75-34 over South Winneshiek in the quarterfinal and defeating Audubon 60-37 in the semifinal.

The championship game ended with a 55-38 win over Cedar Rapids Regis.

"The fun was in the doing," said Wes Niles. "It was kind of a letdown afterward."

Coach Maaske said his team was focused throughout the tournament.

The road prior to state included good teams from Algona, Bishop Garrigan and Humboldt.

"They were all great teams," Maaske said of those opponents. "Humboldt was actually ahead at halftime.

"But our team was so good defensively," he continued. "The most a team scored against us at state was 38 points."

Bixby said the Estherville fans were unbelievable.

In a sub-state game at Spencer, he said the fans filled the gym before the team even arrived.



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