1976-77 Elyria High Basketball

Inducted 2004

1976-77 Elyria High Basketball

Elyria High set a school record with its 24 wins in 1976-77 – going undefeated in regular season play for only the second time in school history. Under Mike Riley, the Pioneers qualified for the state tournament with thrilling wins over John Adams (39-37) and Toledo Scott (52-48 in overtime) at the Kent State regional before being humbled at the state tournament by defending champion Barberton. In reality, the team probably reached its peak a bit too early in the year. On January 21, Elyria thrashed Buckeye Conference rival and second place Findlay, 88-39. It was worst defeat the Trojans ever absorbed on the basketball floor and the Pioneers followed that up with a 91-55 whipping of Sandusky. For the season, Elyria averaged 67 points a game and gave up only 49.3. Richard Montague, a 6-foot-9 senior All-Ohio center, finished as the all-time leading scorer in Elyria High history with 1,109 points (a mark since eclipsed by Brett Larrick and now held by Louis Tumblin). The starters were Montague, Hubert Oliver, Robert Trice, Steve Lindquist, and Eddie Byrd. Riley’s two top bench players were Mike Warden and Brian Balser. Others on the team included Jamie Gilbert, Donald Glass, Mike Underman, Wayne Ross, and Sam Paige. Assisting Riley were Dick Roth and Doug Grayson. Bill Myers was the trainer. Student managers were Don Edwards, John Heidrich, John Cooper, and Chet Jones. Chuck Federanich was the student statistician. It marked the last time an Elyria High boys team would win a district title for 31 years.