Tri-County Youth Sports Grant
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1977 Peoria Central Basketball Team

FRONT ROW: Ken Smith, Manager; Eddie Ruffin, Mike Potts, Dwayne Banks, Mike Martin, Bill Winkler, Tony Gower, Don Lewis, Manager.

BACK ROW: Ken Meischner, Assistant Coach; John Venturi, Assistant Coach; Tim McGarvey, Kevin Young, Kelvin Jordan, Ernie Banks, Kevin Jordan, Percy Neal, Marc Utley, Bill Robertson, Manager; Bruce Boyle, Head Coach.


Coached by Bruce Boyle, who would leave coaching after two more seasons, Peoria High School (Central) won the school's second IHSA "AA" state basketball title with ease.

Ottawa was first blitzed, 58-44, in the supersectional game in Peoria. And then, in order, in the Assembly Hall at Champaign, Barrington was slugged 67-40; St. Laurence was cuffed around 69-48; and Lamphier, now a co-member with Central in the Mid-State 10, fell by the score of 72-62 in the title game.

The team was led by starters Dwayne Banks, Tony Gower, Ernie Banks, Marc Utley, and Percy Neal; the team also included Eddie Ruffin, Mike Potts, Bill Winkler, Tim McGarvey, Kevin Young, Kelvin Jordan, Kevin Jordan, and Mike Martin. Managers were Ken Smith, Don Lewis, and Bill Robertson. There were four Seniors, five Juniors, and four Sophomores.

Assistant Coaches on the team were former Bradley basketball player Ken Meischner; and John Venturi, now head football coach at Washington High School.

Following a third place finish in the Pekin Holiday Tournament and a 7-2 start, Boyle led the team to 23 consecutive wins and won the Mid-State Nine title with a 16-0 record, and an overall record of 29-2. Six members of the team would later play Divison "1" basketball or football.