Tri-County Youth Sports Grant
Tri-County Youth Sports Grant Winners
1960 Caterpillar Basketball Team

L to R: Jim McClung, Warren Womble, Howard Crittenden, Al Kelley, Leo Byrd, Don Ohl, Jerry Hale, Jack Adams, Lyndon Lee, Thornton Hill, Leon Hill, Gary Goble, Bob Boozer, Dave Plunkett, John Prudhoe.

THIS CATS TEAM fared no better than 16-16 for the 1959-60 National Industrial Basketball League season - and needed a victory in their final game over the last-place New York Tuck Tapers to break even - before traveling to Denver for an Amateur Athletic Union Tournament bid that didn't end until a 115-99 championship game over the Akron Wingfoots.

The Cats won 90-76 in the semifinals over the Phillips 66 Oilers after edging the Cleveland Pipers 84-82 and downing the Chicago Jamaco Saints 98-73. Bob Boozer of Peoria was named MVP of the tournament and, along with teammate Howie Crittenden, earned AAU all-American recognition. Also scoring in double figures for Caterpillar in the record-breaking title game win over Akron were Jack Adams, Al Kelley, Leon Hill and Don Ohl.

Caterpillar continued to win in the Olympic Trials, and wasn't stopped until the NCAA University All-Stars (Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, et al) ran past the Cats 124-97 in the championship game.

This post-season left Cats head coach Warren Womble with a 58-7 career record in AAU and Olympic Tournament games, and Caterpillar soon dropped sponsorship of the team to end a basketball era in Peoria.