New London High School basketball has not been known for having many winning seasons. In fact when the Wildcats beat Mansfield Christian in 1971 it broke a 59 game losing streak which had gathered over a three year period. Tom Eibel came to New London from Sprinfield in 1984 and took over the Wildcat Basketball Program and really taught the kids how to win! 1986 saw the first time ever that a New London High School basketball team had 15 wins in a season.
1987 brought the Wildcats their first ever Firelands Conference Championship. The 1990-1991 season was the one that Wildcat fans will always remember. New London won the Firelands Conference for the fourth time with a 14 and 0 conference record. Their only loss of the regular season was to Ashland in overtime 85 to 84.
In tournament play, they beat Margaretta and Plymouth to become Sectional Champs. Wins over Colonel Crawford and Wynford at Galion made them District Champions and sent them on to be one of the final "Sweet Sixteen"! At the Toledo University Arena they beat Oak Harbor to become a member of the "Elite Eight"! In the Regional final game they lost a hard fought battle to Wayne Trace by seven points who went on to become the State Champions that year so the Wildcats were beaten by the best!
The trip home from Toledo will be one to remember as it was in a heavy snow storm and the Ohio Turnpike was one big mess! I believe their were two cars of New London fans that slid off the road on the way home that night but eventually made it back in one piece. New London finished the season 24 and 2, a feat that stands yet today.
Members of the team that year were as follows: Rob Lavengood, Nate Cross, John Churella, Marty Abfall, Sam Stover, Chris Miller, Brian Schumm, Jarrod Kipp, Jason Gilbert, Mark Sunderman, Ravi Sharma, Chad Hall, Tom Nickoli-Sutherland and Chris Wise. Tom Eibel was head coach and Dale Marschall was his assistant. Today Dale is our head basketball coach here at New London. Today the boys are scattered all over the country but I bet they all still remember that night in Toledo University's Savage Hall as well as that whole 1990-91 season.
V.K. Neel with help from the High School Annuals.