33 years ago … the Connersville Spartans are state champs — Again!

33 years ago … the Connersville Spartans are state champs — Again!

Basketball fans in Connersville felt as though they had been touched by angels from the heavenly hoopland on March 18, 1972, when the Spartans defeated Gary West to win the coveted state basketball championship.

Nearly everyone in the community was thinking — or pounding their chests while ensuring each other — that the feeling was the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime Hoosier Hysteria thing, and something to forever be proud of.

Until March 26 1983, a pleasant Saturday when a talented, disciplined and determined group of players, headed by a Hall of Fame coach who instilled the ‘team thing-mode’ as well as possible, made it’s way to the late, great Market Square Arena and ended up cutting down the nets after the games were concluded.

Spartans fans and Connersville residents are fortunate to be able to reminisce about and celebrate a rare feat — a ‘small’ school winning multiple boys state basketball championships in the days of the one-class system.

With many thanks to the Connersville News-Examiner of yesteryear, here’s a chance to stroll down the Memory Lane known as: ‘the Spartans are state champions — Part 2!’


chs state championship bowl floor logo 2

1983 CHS State Champs cover 1
The headline says it all!

1983 CHS stats photo 2.jpg

The Spartans hoist the trophy after winning it all, with forward Jay Morken supervising things from a low angle

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Kmix 106.9 fm

1983 CHS Sate Mawbey cuts net
The man who made state title No. 2  happen, head coach Basil Mawbey, looked intense as he claimed his piece of the championship net

1983 CHS team fast break
Connersville’s opponents back-pedaled all season when Mike Heineman (with ball), Jim Cruse and Wayne Crabtree started the fast break

pizza place ad 1
The Pizza Place, 105 E. 16th St.

1983 CHS State Champs inside 2

From left: Scott Gibson gets ready to D up an Anderson player; Brian Flanigan looks for an open teammate; Mike Heineman goes after the final rebound of the game after Anderson’s Troy Lewis missed the last of his 26 field goal attempts

1983 CHS State Cruse Crabtree jumpers
Center Jim Cruse launches a jump shot against Princeton in the afternoon semifinal game

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Noah’s Battery, 320 E. 30th St., 692-0488

1983 CHS State Heinemans beth powers.jpg
The Heineman twins, Chris (left) and Mike, share their feelings after the Spartans secured state championship No. 2

1983 CHS State fans downtown
Fans throughout Connersville celebrated the Spartans title, including Ron Flaugh and Tim Irrgang (right photo)

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Showalter Blackwell Long, 920 Central Ave., 825-3131

1983 CHS Box Score
The box score was a pleasant site for Spartans fans

1983 CHS State point-by-point
The championship game – point-by-point

northside package sign
Northside Package — 3104 Western Ave.

1983 CHS State Quayle letter
The future vice-president of the United States got in on the action, sending a congratulatory letter to coach Basil Mawbey and his players

1983 CHS stats photo.jpg

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Photos by Doug Jordan, 265-1230

1983 CHS State Champs rear 1
The Connersville Spartans – the 1983 state basketball champions!

(Photos by Bob Powers, Beth (Powers) Hisle, Jeff Gabbard, Jack Brockley and Ron French)

Businesses shown on this page congratulate everyone associated with the 1972 and 1983 state championship teams, and wish success to all future Connersville High School athletic teams in all sports.

Mr. Pizza, Cambridge City

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Mr. Pizza, 239 W. Main St., Cambridge City, 478-4721

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Please Support Locally-Owned Businesses in Connersville and Cambridge City!



2 thoughts on “33 years ago … the Connersville Spartans are state champs — Again!

  1. Great team, great story. Was able to attend the games and celebrate in Indy, and then back in town! A cherished memory for a lifetime!

  2. Kimball,
    Thanks for remembering that great day!
    I enjoyed reading especially the stats.
    What a team with 12 of 14 players shooting 50% or above!!!
    Defensive 44%. offense 57%. Unreal!!!
    Thanks again to those young men and community who paved the road to the hall of fame!
    Coach Mawbey

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