This is the first in a four-part series, ³Belles of the Ball.´
Copyright 1996 Omaha World-HeraldReprinted with permissionMarch 3, 1996 Sunday SUNRISE EDITIONSECTION: NEWS; Pg. 1AHEADLINE:
That Championship Season:In Small Towns, Big Wins Last For a Lifetime
By STEPHEN BUTTRYWORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER Farragut, Iowa From Calgary, Alberta, to Charlottesville, Va., to Smithville,Texas, and especially in this tiny town, those who watched and won the 1971 Iowa girls basketball state championship game vividly remember the pivotal moment.It was probably the biggest moment in Farragut's history and unquestionablythe most memorable.With the championship on the line, Farragut Coach Leon Plummer sent 5-foot-2Tanya Bopp onto the floor to guard 6-foot-1 Barb Wischmeier.Miss Wischmeier, who would go on to play basketball around the world and wina spot in the Iowa Girls Basketball Hall of Fame, had scored 18 points by themiddle of the second quarter to give Mediapolis a four-point lead over Farragut's Admiralettes.Miss Bopp, a sophomore reserve, promptly drew a charging foul, frustratingMiss Wischmeier and fueling the Farragut comeback.Thus are small-town legends born. And, as befits such a legend, it has grownin the telling, swelled by the excitement of the moment and the passing of theyears.Miss Bopp and the rest of the "Adettes," as they were commonly known, wereliving their childhood dream.In Farragut and Manilla and Guthrie Center and hundreds of other Iowa towns,girls basketball was a special game and a special dream, like boys basketball inIndiana or high school football in Texas.Winning the state championship gave girls and towns a moment of glory thatlasts forever."I still remember it like it was today," said Tanya Bopp Bland. "That'ssomething no one could take away from you." Iowa girls nurtured the dream intheir driveways or barnyards as early as they could dribble a ball.