This article was written by the late Andy Easton featured in Gillespie Area News in 2002, contributed to TheBenGilPost.com by Steve Joyce at the Gillespie Public Library
Coach Bob Lyons’ 1950-1951 Gillespie Miners basketball team was a well oiled machine. They have the distinction of having the fewest losses in school history as they posted a 29-3 record. I won’t say that they were the best team to ever come out of Gillespie High School but they were certainly amongst them.
Their athleticism and basketball savvy would make them a formidable opponent in any era. Gillespie lost only two games during the regular season as they lost two in a row during the South Central Conference round robin tournament. The Miners lost to Staunton (57-67) and Benld (29-39). Gillespie would bounce back and win 23 straight games including a 56-37 victory over Staunton in the County Championship game.
At the regional, the Miners won three close games over Mt. Olive (45-42), Staunton (57-52), and Litchfield (51-48). Gillespie advanced to the Collinsville Sectional where they beat a very tough Dupo team, 46-37. A large crowd filled the gym for the championship game and hopes were very high for a victory over Edwardsville and a trip to the State Tournament. Gillespie fans soon found out that this was not going to be our night as the Miners came out ice cold and couldn’t buy a basket.
Edwardsville went up 13-0 at the end of the quarter and increased the lead to 17-0 before Ed Hartweger hit our first basket. The Miners had played 10 minutes and 15 seconds into the game before scoring.
Edwardsville went on to win the game 56-36. Gillespie hit 15 out of 85 shots for a frigid 17 percent. Starts for the Miners were Wil Rademacher and BillParmentier at the guards, Ed Hartweger center, and Jim Hlafka and “Doc” O’Connell at the forward positions. It is interesting to note that Hlafka, Parmentier, Rademacher, Hartweger and Brooke all went into the teaching profession and coached high school basketball teams.