Men’s Basketball History at MV

The first of a two part series

IHSA+official+hands+Max+Hooper+and+Coach+Stanley+Changnon+championship+trophy.

IHSA official hands Max Hooper and Coach Stanley Changnon championship trophy.

Cam Meyer, Editorial Staff

The Men’s Mount Vernon Rams have a basketball history that ranges over a century. The Rams first season was in 1905-06 where they finished with a record of 2-2 under Coach Muckleroy.  Mount Vernon didn’t keep the same Head Coach until the 1921-22 season when they hired Head Coach Howard Ross. He stayed with the team for 15 years and finished with an overall record of 271-98, via ihsa.org.

Seven seasons later, for the 1943-44 season, Stan Changnon came in and coached the Rams to their best regular season to date. Changnon coached from 1943-1952, and didn’t fall under .500 in any season. Finishing with an overall record of 230-59 and winning a title every season is definitely deserving of having the MV gym renamed after him, and that’s exactly what happened, in 1984, and when Mount Vernon moved to the new campus, in 2016, via ihsa.org.

Changnon led the Rams to the greatest season Mount Vernon’s basketball program has ever seen. The MV Rams were the 1950 State Champions, and they swept through the state undefeated with a final record of 33-0. The Rams were one of the most outstanding teams of all time and were practically unchallenged the entire season. They were a well-balanced team between offense and defense. The team was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 1973, via basketballmuseumofillinois.com

The gymnasium at the old campus was named after historic coach Stan Changnon in 1984. The naming of the new gym had been up for debate for over a year after the board looked to name the facility after the father of then-Board President Bill Beck in 2016. Since then, the name has stuck, even through a campus change. Back then, Changnon Gym was recognized for its electric atmosphere on game nights, due to its close proximity of the fans to the court. On some nights you couldn’t find a spot to sit in the Khaos Kage. It’s dimensions make it a very difficult place for any opponent to play, let alone win.

From 1985-1995, Lee Emery took over the Mount Vernon head coaching job and did a good job while he was at the helm. Emery finished with an overall record of 179-89 along with 9 titles to add to his resume. Following Emery, came coach Doug Creel. He led the Rams to a 241-130 overall record along with 12 titles. Creel stayed with the team for 13 years, ranging from 1995-2008, via ihsa.org.

Before Creel’s comeback to the team in the 2014-15 season, current history teacher Scott Gamber came to coach the Rams from 2008-2014. Gamber led the Rams to a 103-68 record over 6 years. Doug Creel then made the comeback to Mount Vernon for a 6 year run, spanning from 2014-2020 Creel led the Rams to a 107-68 record with 2 titles, via ihsa.org.

Now the Rams are led by coach Tim Holloway. In Holloway’s first season with the team he finished with a 10-3 record. Through 25 games of his second season, the Holloway led Rams are 17-8 and second in the South Seven, via maxpreps.com.

Now coaches aren’t the only bright spot this program has had so let’s focus on some of the recent MV basketball players that have committed for basketball scholarships. The most recent is of course Missouri State commit N.J. Benson. Benson officially committed on November 11, 2021. SIUE commit Quani Rudd is also an MV product. Rudd committed on June 11, 2021 via quanirudd on Twitter. Finally, from the most recent wave of commits is Carson Prost. Prost committed to Rend Lake College on April 4th, 2021 via carsonprost on Twitter.

The Rams wrapped their season up on Wednesday with a three point loss against Marion, they finished  with a final regular season record of 21-9, finishing 3rd in the South Seven conference. The Rams play their first game of Regionals today where they face the Herrin Tigers. The game will be played at Centralia at 7:30 pm.