Hebron enjoyed a successful run with it's Basketball program, which has it origins, as far as we know it, dating back
to 1912. The Giants won eight District Championships, two Regional Championships, a Sectional Championship and qualified
for the IHSAA State Tournament in 1940.
Scott Johnson and Julie Kistler's book Once There Were Giants (2002) documents
some of the history of the program pre-1952. Basketball came to Hebron in the early 1900's and flourished ever since. Lowry
B. Crane, a recent graduate from the University of Chicago and star at Chicago Englewood High School, was hired
as the JV coach but took over the varsity spot shortly after when Hebron's varsity coach resigned.
In 1924, Hebron won the McHenry County championship, and made it all the way to the Regional Tournament finals where
they fell to Elgin, 65-11. It would be 11 years until Hebron would win another county championship.
In the 1938-39 season, Hebron took great advantage of an 1936 rule that placed the top two teams at the District Tournament
into Sectionals. They defeated Elgin in the semis and fell to Dundee in the championship. They went on to the Sectional Tournament,
where they fell to Rockford High (a school 35x larger than Hebron), 39-34. Rockford won the state championship
that year, which was Crane's last full year as head coach.
Crane has moved on to become a physics instructor at Chicago Senn and Ed Willett became coach. Willett, a player at Wooster
College and Northwestern University, led the 1939-40 squad to 20 straight wins to start the season before falling to Crystal
Lake. In the Regionals, Hebron beat Elgin 26-23 in overtime with a come-from-behind effort of -10 points. Hebron won the Regional
with a 37-34 win over Dundee (a game coached by Crane in Willett's absence). In the Sectionals, they beat Mount Morris 37-22
and Freeport 40-29 before taking on the Rockford High School Rabs once again.
In the final basketball game in Rockford High School history, Hebron defeated them 36-24 and went to the State Tournament
at Huff Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois. There, they had a good 30-24 lead but the opposing team, Lewistown,
rallied to score the last seven points of the game and win, 31-30.
The 1941-42 Green Giants beat McHenry in the District tournament, and then defeated Elgin and lost to Dundee in the Regionals
and beat Rochelle and fell to Rockford East in the Sectionals.
In 1942-43, the country was at war and it's effects took a toll on Hebron Basketball. Willett left for Rockford West
and Les Harman guided Hebron, who had a 25-win season, beating Crystal Lake and Dundee in the Regionals and falling to Elgin,
38-29 at the Elgin Sectional.
The next season, Harman called to duty and was replaced by Mel Stuessey, the coach at Woostock St. Mary's. He was coaching
two teams at the same time: running practices at Hebron and St. Mary's and actually coaching St. Mary's while Hebron Superintendent
Paul Tigard coached in Hebron games.
In the District Tournament finals, Hebron and St. Mary's faced each other. This was also noted on Ripley's "Believe it
or Not" that a coach coached two teams pitting each other in a game. Stuessey knew Hebron like the palm of his hand and defeated
In 1944-45, former Hebron player George Simes and Hebron Principal Claude Higdon both coached.
BOYS BASKETBALL - Team Records