Records for consecutive losses somewhat incomplete
Maybe it is because of the stigma attached to it, there seems to be some omissions and inconsistencies when it comes to records for the most losses in a row by high school boys basketball teams in Indiana.
Even though they were not on the list that I acquired from hickoryhusker.com with the help of John Harrell, the guru of high school basketball in Indiana, North Central is on my updated list.
The Thunderbirds lost 38 straight games, dating back to the end of the 2015-16 season, including an 0-24 mark in 2016-17, the first winless season in school history. But that is now history as they have a one-game winning streak after beating Eminence 48-47 for seventh-place in the Greene County Invitational at White River Valley on Saturday morning.
I can safely say that I have rarely witnessed such emotion at a regular-season game, especially at a 10 a.m. consolation game. At halftime with North Central leading, I set my camera up and was waiting to capture the celebration of ending their odious streak of futility. Usually that is the death knell, but they found a way to avenge a 69-33 loss to Eminence at home on Dec. 1 and get their first win in almost two years, the first win for new coach Jacob Cummings.
“This is all about the guys in that locker room,” said Cummings. “I am so happy for them.”
I am just glad that Suggs did not get hurt after being mobbed by his teammates after scoring the winning basket. He appeared to make it tougher as he turned his back to the basket and flipped it in off the glass. Rarely have I seen Dawson Basinger show a lot of emotion, even on the football field any time during his All-State junior season in 2017.
But Basinger, who’s perfect fullcourt pass hit Suggs in stride behind the Eminence defense, seemed happier than Suggs at first. He had sprinted from one end of the court to the other, jumping up and down and then he mobbed Suggs like he was taking down an opposing runner from his linebacker position, using a headlock that he had no intention of letting go.
He also was smiling from ear to ear while crushing Suggs’ ‘fro. Basinger ended up with the game ball, which he secured in his left hand while shaking hands with the Eminence players and in his right as he and his Thunderbird teammates finally left the floor.
Although I was in attendance recently when Sullivan boys basketball coach Jeff Moore won his 400th game, usually I have a knack for being somewhere else at such big moments.
The night that Brody Boyd scored his career-high 51 points at Hutsonville, Illinois, I was covering another game.
The night that Eastern Greene won its first sectional in boys basketball with Levi Carmichael putting on a show for the ages, I was assigned to another sectional where North Daviess won its first sectional with a last-second shot from halfcourt, beating host WRV.
But anyway, back to the records of consecutive losses. Harrell e-mailed me that at least two schools in Huntington County, where he grew up, had losing streaks of at least 50 games in the 1950s.
“I’m sure every county had teams in the early years that belong on that list,” said Harrell.
During my days in this business, I remember finding out that Worthington did not win a game for a couple of years and I believe their losing streak reached somewhere in the 40s. Shakamak also had a substantial losing skid, but I was unable to verify either from my earlier research.
The list that Harrell set to me has North White with 68 consecutive losses between 2002-04.
Jackson Township of Porter County dropped 65 straight games, ending in 1956.
Lowell lost 62 consecutive boys basketball games between 1951-54.
The case of Blackford is interesting. They dropped 61 straight between 2013-17. The streak ended almost a year ago when they defeated Anderson Prep Academy 61-51.
They lost 11 straight games to end the 2017 season, but under new coach Jerry Hoover have started the 2017-18 season by winning eight of nine games.
Good for the Bruins.
Harrison Township in Delaware County dropped 60 in a row between 1943 and 1946.
Moores Hill (53), South Newton (48) and Tefft (46) all are listed with more consecutive defeats than North Central had. I had never heard of Tefft High School, which was located in Wheatfield in Jasper County.
Spurgeon lost 36 games in a row, ending in 1955.
I found that Medora had losing streaks of 37 (2009) and 30 (2000) and former Union (Dugger) lost 31 in a row, ending in 2013.
As far as girls basketball, Daleville lost 113 games between 1999 and 2005.
Rock Creek Academy lost 71 games in a row between 2008 and 2012 and then dropped 42 straight between 2012 and 2014.
Even though North Central’s streak is over, it was in no way close to breaking a record. But I am sure it must have felt like it.
Most consecutive losses
Games Team Years
68 North White 2002-04
65 Jackson Twp (Porter Co) 1954-56
62 Lowell 1951-54
61 Blackford 2013-17
60 Harrison Twp (Delaware Co) 1943-46
53 Moores Hill 1972-75
48 South Newton 2010-13
46 Tefft 1961-63
38 North Central 2016-18
37 Medora 2008-09
36 Spurgeon 1953-55
31 Union (Dugger) 2012-13
30 Medora 1999-2000
Games Team Years
113 Daleville 1999-05
71 Rock Creek 2008-2012
42 Rock Creek 2012-14