Putting Triad On The Athletic Map: The Knights Of 1960-61

By Mark Jurgena

Since the IHSA has suspended play due to COVID-19 we are going to take you back 60 years ago for a weekly series chronicling the 1960-61 boys basketball season at Triad High School.

It was quite a season!

That edition of Triad Knights basketball won their first 22 games in a row before dropping a contest at Roxana and eventually finished the year with a 23-2 mark.

Triad was coming off a 23-5 campaign from their initial season of 1959-60. They had fallen in the Triad District semifinal to Venice (Lincoln) 61-45.

With an enrollment of 325 students, the Knights were placed in a district tournament. At that time small schools were placed into districts. The winner qualified for the regional tournament the following week.

The idea of the returning letterman was quite the deal back in the day and the Knights came into November with five total lettermen, four of which had two letters.

Two-time senior lettermen included seniors Kenneth Conner, Wayne Giles, and Mike McFarland.

Junior big man Dennis Neumann also had two varsity letters.

Senior Donald Lewis had one.

Coach Art Pahl and his charges opened the year on November 23, 1960, at home against MBC foe Livingston.

Triad easily dispatched the Eagles 81-50. Neumann had 22 points in the game.

For those that are curious, the MBC conference stood for the counties of Madison, Bond, and Clinton. Schools in the conference included:  Aviston, Bunker Hill, Highland (St. Paul), Livingston, Trenton (Wesclin), Triad, Venice, and Worden.

The Bond County schools of Pocahontas and Sorento had consolidated with Greenville in the mid-1950s but the MBC name was maintained after their departure.

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