‘Enjoy your time at a State Championship, you never know when you will go back’
(2-3-17) Celina Boys Basketball last went to a State Final Four in 1972, after missing a chance the season before. The Bulldogs would not make it to the Championship game in ’72, losing to a very talented Cleveland East Tech team 87-80 in the semi-finals. The Scarabs went on to win the State title. In 1971, the Bulldogs lost to Columbus Walnut Ridge in the Regional Final 71-60, the Scots would go on to pick up the 1971 Class AAA title. Van Gregg who played for Columbus Whitehall and would later Coach at Celina, lost 78-73 in the Regional semi-final to Celina.
The Bulldogs only regular season loss during those two seasons was on the road to Sidney 68-66 (70-71).
But those two seasons were two of the most remembered by Celina fans. Bulldog fans had anticipated the arrival of four special players since their days in Junior High – Rick Mosier, Dean ‘Scooter’ White, Curt Shellabarger and Joe Westerfield. During the 1970-71 season Senior Guard Don VanderHorst started with the four Junior stars. After Vanderhorst graduated, Coach Dean White (1971-72) used a variety of his other Senior players to start with his four key players.
During the two seasons they went 16-0 in WBL play and never lost a game on the Fieldhouse floor, now named after Coach White.
They were the AP Poll Champions in 1971-72 Class AAA finishing undefeated at 18-0. In 1999 the Bulldogs would win the poll again in Division I (19-0). Celina IC was the first school from Celina to win a poll title in 1965 (16-2).
It’s been forty-five years since the Bulldogs went to Columbus to play in the State Finals, several times they came close since that last trip, but 1972 was the last time Green and White fans have been in Columbus during March.