Tri-County Youth Sports Grant
Tri-County Youth Sports Grant Winners
1954 Caterpillar Basketball Team

This championship team was led by Ron Bontemps and Frank McCabe along with major assistance from Kirby Minter, Don Penwell, Frank Gladson and Dick Reatherford. Newcomers to this great team included Eddie Solomon, Kendall Sheets, Dick Axness, Dick Gott and Jim McCabe, Frank's brother. The team compiled a 10-4 NIBL record and a 21-9 season record against the top amateur teams in America. Both Bontemps and Reatherford made the NIBL all-star team, and Caterpillar was seeded as the favorite in the 25-team field for the AAU title in Denver.

Caterpillar humiliated an Indianapolis team 82-44 in the opening game of the tournament, but it took two clutch free throws by Bontemps in the final seconds to enable Cat to get by San Francisco 56-55 in the quarterfinal game. Bontemps was again the hero in the next game as his driving Iayup with eight seconds made possible a 61-59 win over Denver to qualify Cat for the championship game. Caterpillar won its third consecutive title 63-55 against a California team which held a 40-36 halftime lead. Bontemps, Reatherford and Frank McCabe were all honored as AAU All Americans.