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1958-1959 School Year
bbkb_1958-1959.jpg
Front Row: Logan, Brechler, McDonald, E. Magdanz, Dixon, J. Magdanz, Capra. Back Row: Head Coach Mona, Bolin, Magnell, Davis, Egan, Dykes, Assistant Coach Butterwick.

The 1958-1959 version of the South Tiger basketball team, led by coaches Luther Mona and Walt Butterwick, had all the talent to be a champion.  However, at the beginning of the season, Coach Mona though they needed a little extra push.  He told the team that he would shave off the mustache he had worn for 28 years IF the Tigers went undefeated in the Conference season.  History was on the side of Coach Mona, since no South Basketball team went undefeated in the conference since the 1933-1934 season!

The Tigers opened the season with a game against St. Paul Central.  The Tigers were over-matched in this contest, losing 58-40.  Coach Mona breathed a sigh of relief that his mustache would stay but the players reminded him that St. Paul Central was a NON-CONFERENCE game.

South opened the conference season with two easy opponents.  The Tigers doubled Vocational winning 52-26 and beat Southwest by 18, 51-33. 

The next game though would be more challenging. The Tigers took on defending tri-champion North Polars.  Coach Mona was happy the team continued winning, this time 51-43, but now began worrying about the mustache.  By the time the North game ended, news of Mona’s challenge started to become publicized.

The next two games were relatively easy for the Tigers.  Marshall lost by 20, 52-32.  West lost by more than double, 63-31.

Henry was the next opponent.  Traditionally, Henry has been a tough team for the Tigers to crack.  In the prior 16 meeting, each team won eight.  Going into the game, South was undefeated.  Henry lost only one game.  Henry was playing for a share of the title and the Patriots gave the Tigers everything they had.  The game came down to the last minute, where the Tigers pulled out a 48-46 win and kept their conference winning streak alive.

Going into the last four games, the team was 6-0.  The rest of the schedule was beatable, but at least two of the games should have been challenging.  First up was Washburn, who lost by 15, 63-48, giving the Tigers a 7-0 record.  Central then fell 58-44, upping South record to 8-0.  Edison was destroyed 71-31, giving the out-right conference title to the Tigers and a 9-0 record. 

Roosevelt was the only team standing in the way of an undefeated season and Mr. Mona losing his mustache.  Roosevelt had only lost two games and was tied for second place when the team play on February 20, 1959.  South came out fast and grew the lead.  By the end of the game, the Tigers won 61-42, doing something no Tiger team has done since 1933-1934----an undefeated conference season.  The team also saw Mr. Mona shave off his mustache.

The Tigers then took on St. Paul Central in the Twin City championship game.  Earlier in the season, Central humiliated the Tigers winning by 18.  South was looking for some redemption.  The two teams worked hard, trying to get an advantage.  The final was a lot closer than the earlier game, 50-46, with the Tigers claiming what many people believed was an upset and the Twin City Title.

South next entered the post-season.  Their first game in District 17 was against North.  The Polars put up a good fight, but the Tigers won 50-44.  The second District game was against Roosevelt, and again the Tigers won, 68-57.

South advanced to the Region V tournament.  The first game was against Willmar. The Tigers dominated the game winning 61-39 and needing only one more win to advance to the State Tournament.

The second region game was a close contest.  Wayzata and South played an even game.  It was a shame someone had to lose.  Unfortunately for the Tigers, Wayzata advanced to the State Tournament and won this game 47-41.

South’s successful season was attributed to the dead-eye shooting of Eric Magdanz and Bill Brechler, coupled with the strong defensive work of Charlie Dixon, Jim Magdanz and Jerry Logan, according to the 1959 yearbook. After the season, Eric Magdanz was named All-Conference for the second time.  He led the conference in scoring with 219 points.  Brechler and Logan were named Honorable Mention All-Conference.