McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Four-peat Wildcats honored with hall of fame

  • Asking Moundridge coach Vance Unrau to chose which of his boys basketball teams from 1990-93 was his favorite is an exercise in futility.
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  • Asking Moundridge coach Vance Unrau to chose which of his boys basketball teams from 1990-93 was his favorite is an exercise in futility.
    They’re all his favorite.
    “Tremendous men that stand before you,” Unrau said Saturday at the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “[To be successful,] you surround yourself with people that make you look better than you really are. These guys did just that. They endeared their team to the community and to those that cared a lot about them outside the community.”
    It was a fun and nostalgic look back for Unrau and a packed house at Kansas Wesleyan University’s Sam’s Chapel at four of the most successful teams in Kansas high school basketball history.
    The Moundridge teams of 1990-93 went 99-4 over that time period, winning the Class 2A state championship four times in the process.
    “I knew that we were in a special time when all this was happening,” Unrau said. “Players of this caliber don’t come along all the time. Especially at a small school.”
    The community responded to these teams. The gyms they played in were often standing room only.
    “You had to come hours in advance to get a seat,” Unrau said. “I told you guys that it might be when you’re 35 that you really realized what you accomplished. And here you are, 40.”
    Each team had their special moments. The 1990 team went 25-1 on their way to the Class 2A state championship, which was the second one in the history of Moundridge basketball.
    The first title came in 1971.
    “It took a long time to get back to the state tournament,” Unrau said. “But, when we got there, we took on some of the best of Class 2A.”
    The second title of the four came in 1991 and Unrau said it wasn’t supposed to happen.
    “We lost some good, quality players,” Unrau said. “Brian Holloway, Chris Moddelmog. Kevin, Wiens, Darren Schrag and a couple of reserves. We had one senior coming back, Steve Kaufman, and he was defensive specialist.”
    The Wildcats responded to those lowered expectations, however, to go 22-3 on their way to the state championship. Their losses came to a very good Hillsboro team and twice to Halstead.
    The 1991 team was also the coming out party for the outstanding duo of Jacy Holloway and Dwight Helms. It was a duo that helped spark the 1992 26-0 season that was called the ‘Three-peat year.’
    “Holloway and Helms took their game to another level,” Unrau said. “But it was during a state tournament game that I remember Jacy going down with a mild ankle sprain and I hear Jack Hartman sitting behind us at Bramlage Coliseum, ‘Get some ice on it. Get some ice on it.’ And I said, ‘I know Jacy. He’ll just suck it up.’ And he did.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The 1993 Wildcats also went 26-0, giving Moundridge a 58 straight win streak that stood until Perry Ellis and Wichita Heights broke it with a 62-game run that ended in 2012.
    The legacy of these teams and their accomplishments will forever be enshrined at the Hutchinson Sports Arena, where the KBCA has their physical Hall of Fame.
    Not that Moundridge basketball fans need the reminder.
    “These teams set the gold standard of Wildcat basketball,” Unrau said. “Great kids of high character that turned into wonderful adults. They have a left of a legacy of basketball in our school and our community at a level of performance which is what we are all measuring.”
    Contact Chris Swick by email at cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.
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