First combined Celina/Celina IC team from 1972-73
(7-9-16) Until the 1972-73 high school basketball season Celina had two high schools, Celina High and Celina Immaculate Conception. Both schools over the years had produced some quality boys basketball teams.
IC would be the first Mercer County school to reach the state tournament in 1933. In the mid-1960’s, the United Press International 1965 Class A All-Ohio high School basketball team, was headed by IC Junior Kerry Myers, who was described by one writer as “probably best Class A guard in the state.”
IC’s closing was announced during the 1971-72 school year due to financial issues, the Spartan faithful were heart broken. To make matters worse IC had put together another quality team on the floor and they were very young. The same season, the Celina Bulldogs were coming off one of the most successful boys basketball season in school history. The Green and White would be ranked #1 in Ohio, win the WBL for the second year in a row and make it to the state final 4 at St. John Arena for the first time since their only other appearance came in 1936.
Coach Dean White’s team would lose the core of that team, including Seniors, Joe Westerfield, Curt Shellabarger, Dean ‘Scooter’ White and Rick Mosier. Plus a solid group of seniors that came off the bench, Bill Wellman, Mark Carr, John Essex and Ron Grimm.
So the closing of IC for Celina basketball fans came at the right time, the 72-73 team was led by WBL Player of the Year Jerry Reichert, just one of several key Spartan players to become Bulldogs, including Jim Bertke, Tim Knapke, Ron Dorsten and Mike Zumberge and that would help Celina to win it’s third WBL title in a row.
In Veteran Coach Dean White’s final year, 1973-74, the Dogs would win their 4th WBL title in a row. The Dogs would have a good tournament run, losing in the 1st game of the Regionals 60-59 to Mt. Vernon, after losing a 9 point 1st quarter lead. The four consecutive titles is something that has only happened once in Bulldog basketball history.
The key to those two seasons after IC closed was the blending of the two schools, which included IC Head Coach Bill Sacher being named White’s varsity assistant.
Celina now had just ‘one’ team to cheer for, it came at a good time too.
WBL Boys Basketball Title (17): 15, 11, 03, 00, 99, 94, 93, 89, 79, 74, 73, 72, 71, 52, 50, 41, 38