Clinton, Highland Roundball Reunion attendee list continues to grow


The county tournament Roundball Reunion is growing as the event date nears.

A Roundball Reunion for Clinton and Highland counties will be held 6:30 p.m. March 13 at Wilmington College, highlighting a long-ago time when basketball was local royalty and the county tournament was king.

This event, being held in the McCoy Room at Kelly Center on the Wilmington College campus, will honor all those players, cheerleaders, team managers and coaches who participated in the high school county basketball tournaments in Clinton and Highland counties. Bob Pittser, a Lynchburg High School graduate, is organizing the event.

Those who attend this event are encouraged “to bring memorabilia, including, but not limited to, team pictures, newspaper articles, tournament programs, etc,” Pittser said.

The Roundball Reunion will include a state champion team and state runnerup team being honored, Pittser said.

For information, contact Pittser via email ([email protected]) or by phone (937-725-2821).

Among the players tentatively committed to attend are:

From Highland County … John and Ferris Cummings from Marshall; Roger and Dean Huffman from Sinking Spring; Chuck and Dick Emery from Whiteoak; Ran Sams and Steve Forsythe from Buford; Marion Foster and Carey Michael from Belfast; Jim Cook and Richard Graves from Fairfield; Bob Pittser, Jim Luck and Ron Duncan from Lynchburg;

From Clinton County … Roger Reveal from Adams, Harry Brumbaugh and Rick DuBois from Blanchester; Gerry Riesenberg from Clarksville; Don Walker and Richard Culberson from Jefferson; Steve Pidgeon from Kingman; Craig Ziegler and Gary Rinehart from Martinsville; John Bernard, Hugh Young and Marvin Walls from New Vienna; Don DeVoe and Cy Stephens from Port William; Phil Snow and Terry Richard from Sabina; Butch Hooper and Dave Roberts from Simon Kenton.

Bob Pittser, organizer of the event which comes 60 years after the final county tournaments in Ohio, said he expects as many as 75 former players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans to attend.

The program for the night will be alphabetical recognition of school represented with player introduction and a short history of basketball from that school. Pittser said Highland County teams will go first followed by Clinton County teams.

There will be a break in between counties to honor players who were All-County, 1,000-point scorers, those who played collegiately and players from championship teams.

Pittser said there will be a question and answer session for several players at the conclusion of the Clinton County recognition.

The last Clinton County Basketball Tournament was held in 1963. The first was held in 1916.

The last Highland County Basketball Tournament was held in 1964. The first was held in 1927. Several Highland County tournaments were actually held in Wilmington.

County tournaments were used to qualify teams to the sectional/state tournaments for the first time in 1925.

For the 1964-65 season, all basketball teams were eligible to participate in the Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional tournaments.

Prior to that, based on the number of “county schools” in each area, the county tournament determined which small schools were eligible to compete for a state championship. Larger schools, such as Wilmington, Greenfield and Hillsboro in this case, were generally not eligible for the county tournaments and automatically qualified for the Class B sectional tournaments.

But rural Clinton County high schools such as Adams, Blanchester, Clarksville, Cuba, Jefferson, Kingman, Martinsville, Mt. Pleasant, New Vienna, New Kenton, Port William, Reesville, Sabina, Simon Kenton and Wayne Township, along with Highland County schools such as Belfast, Buford, Fairfield, Highland, Lynchburg, Marshall, Mowrystown, Penn, Sinking Spring and Whiteoak were county tournament participants.

Most of those small schools were consolidated into a larger school and therefore county tournaments were no longer needed.

For many communities throughout the state, the annual county basketball tournament was the highlight of the high school sports season. Prior to the current high school landscape, most small communities had a high school and when that high school basketball team was in action, the community attended. Because each class was so small, football was only part of the athletic landscape at bigger schools.

When the county tournament brought all schools together at a central location for a multi-game extravaganza, the communities shut down as nearly everyone attended the games.

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