Team members: Brian Cates, Brian Grow, Eric Post, Tony Patterson, Mike Morelock, Stu Stenger, Kenny Price, Justin Foley, Mike Galindo, & Brad Feuerbacher. Managers: Chaz Sarles & Jeff McDaniel. Coaching staff : Mike Keltner, Greg Harding, and Don Carlson.
Arguably, the top moment in Glendale boys basketball history occurred 20 years ago this month. Coming into the 1994 edition of the Tournament Of Champions, most would've picked Christ the King from Middle Village, New York (because they were Christ the King), Jefferson City (defending Missouri Class 4A State Champions with future Missouri Tiger Monte Hardge), Torrey Pines from California starring Luke Walton (one of Bill Walton's sons), Carbondale(Illinois) with a pair of future Southern Illinois Salukis' in Rashard Tucker and Troy Hudson, or the current number one ranked team in Missouri Class 4A, St. Charles West, as the favorites. I doubt most thought the team representing the Ozarks and Springfield had much of a shot.
Glendale had shown signs of greatness earlier that season by winning the William Jewell / Midwest Bank Holiday Tournament in late December. Out of their four wins at that event, they defeated three teams that would go on to win district titles. Park Hill finished 19-9 and won a Class 4A District title, Maryville finished 27-6 and placed fourth in Class 3A, and Independence-Truman would go on to a 27-3 record and advance to the Class 4A Quarterfinals. They also had a two-point loss at Hazelwood Central earlier that month - Central would go on to finish 26-5 overall and place second in the 4A state tournament. Just two weeks before the T Of C, Glendale ended Jefferson City's 15-game winning streak and knocked the Jays from the #1 spot in the 4A state poll. However, before and after that victory, Glendale lost on a last second shot to Joplin 57-60 and by a similar three-point margin (52-55) to Springfield Central. They fell to ninth in the 4A state poll as a result.
In the first round, Glendale battled Natchez, Mississippi and routed their southern foe like a first round Blue & Gold opponent, 78-49. Natchez was no push over as they would go on to win the Mississippi Class 5A state championship later that season and finish 28-9 overall. Next, Glendale took on (for the second time that season) the number one ranked team in the state, St. Charles West. The Indians featured the Robertson brothers (Ryan would play at Kansas, Troy at Saint Louis) and would win the T Of C the next year along with a 4A state title. However, the Falcons took the full measure (as Nitwit Ned would say) of St. Charles West that day with a 72-50 thrashing. Glendale was aided by hitting ten three-pointers. West would re-group to finish third in 4A and 26-5 overall. That setup the '94 T Of C title tilt with Glendale(14-3) facing the Christ the King Royals(12-2) from New York City. It was a fitting pairing considering the teams had played each other in the first ever T Of C game back in 1985.
A crowd of over 7,000 watched Glendale get off to a hot start leading 9-2 after the first quarter. They'd need every one of those seven points as the teams battled back-and-forth the rest of the way (8-6 in the second and 19-19 in the third). The Royals (as many knew they would) made a run in fourth quarter (outscoring Glendale 26-19), but it wasn't enough. The Falcons survived a last second effort by Christ the King and captured Springfield's first ever T Of C title 55-53!! Glendale's Stu Stenger was named 1994 T Of C MVP and Kenny Price made the all-tournament team. Since that time, Glendale has placed second (1999) and third (2002) in the tournament. However, the Falcons are just 1-8 in their last three T Of C appearances. Maybe Glendale can return to its former glory when next they compete in the event.
Scorebook pages from the '94 T Of C games:
Boys Basketball Program at Glendale Senior High School in Springfield, Missouri. Opened in the fall of 1963.