(3-7-21) The Benton Harbor Tigers won back to back Michigan Class A State titles in 1964 and 1965…that is impressive enough… but they were a team with a high scoring offense and one ‘superstar’ player…L.C. Bowen.
In 1965 Bowen had a 30.4 scoring average (487 regular-season points in 16 games), shot 62 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line, and passed school scoring records established by Chet Walker
The Tigers would torch the scoreboard in those two years scoring often in the 90’s and 100’s…all before the 3-point field goal was introduced to high school basketball.
They honored the Tigers coach responsible for these two great years – Don Farnum Gymnasium
MHSAA You Tube Video – From 1965 16mm game film. No sound. At Michigan State’s Jenison Field House, basketball fans witnessed a superb display of teamwork as Coach Don Farnum’s unbeaten Benton Harbor squad cruised to a 94-68 win over Southfield. With the victory the Tigers celebrated their second Class A title in a row, and sealed their reputation as one of the greatest team in tournament history. L.C. Bowen (28 points), John Rudley (21), Perry Dodd (13) and Ellis Hull (nine) helped Benton Harbor establish the all-time high point total for an MHSAA Final. Bowen and Dodd combined for 37 rebounds for the unbeaten “scoot-and-shoot” Tigers
The 1965 team entered the tournament undefeated, something the 1964 didn’t do.
They scored over 100 points in seven games, including four games in a row…including 120 points vs. Traverse City.
MHSAA You Tube Video – From 1964 16mm Game Film. No Sound. The Benton Harbor offense ignited for 32 fourth-quarter points, en route to a 78-73 win over Detroit Northern, ending an MHSAA title drought that dated to 1941. A crowd of 12,487 packed Jenison Field House for this Class A thriller. Trailing 37-27 at the half and 65-61 midway through the fourth, the Tiger eruption was led by junior L.C. Bowen, who netted 15 points in the final frame. Tony Ashman topped Benton Harbor with 28 points, while Bowen finished with 25. On three occasions in the previous decade, the Tigers had made it to the dance, but came away empty-handed. Northern’s Bill Tally, a 6-0 junior guard, finished the game with 34 points, the secondhighest total in the history of the Class A tournament at the time. The game marked the retirement of longtime Northern coach Eddie Powers