Chesterton Tribune



1968 to 2019: Ray Family comes 'full circle' with sectional win

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The longer you wait for the prize, the sweeter the reward.

For Chesterton Asst. Boys Basketball Coach Tim Ray, breaking the 32-year drought Saturday night was nothing. He’s been hearing about winning a Sectional title his whole life.

“It’s all I heard about growing up. Cut down the net. Cut down the net. Cut down the net,” Tim said after Saturday night’s victory. “My dad showed me the piece of net when I was 5 years old. My sister Amanda got one. Now, it’s kind of neat that it’s come full circle.”

John Ray was a member of the 1968 team that rolled through the first two games of the Sectional with victories over Wheeler (82-48) and Morgan Twp. (85-50).

The Trojans found arch-rival Valparaiso waiting in the finals, just like they did Saturday night. Chesterton won, 64-60, 51 years ago.

“This feeling is better than when we won Sectionals in ’68,” John said. “(Tim) understands what they just did. His sister won a Sectional (1994) and he knows what I’ve told him about when I won it. It took 32 years and they finally did it. Fantastic.”

That ’68 team beat LaVille in the opening game of the Logansport Regional (88-68), before falling to North Miami (72-65).

“Look at the number of little kids that are here tonight on this court getting autographs and celebrating with the team,” Chesterton Athletic Director Garry Nallenweg said after Saturday night’s victory. “That’s how I felt in ’68 when that team won.”

Now the Trojans will head back to Michigan City to face Penn at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.

“I feel like at Chesterton we’ve been too ‘happy’ to be here sometimes,” Tim said. “This team was like ‘no more!’ They put in the work all year.”

The Trojans avenged an earlier season loss to Valparaiso in the Finals and are just 5-30 all-time against the Vikings in Sectional play dating back to 1924. Chesterton has won the last two meetings, including a 45-37 win in 2014.

“Just thinking about (Tim) guaranteeing them they’d win Sectionals,” John said. “They did it.”

“I didn’t guarantee it,” Tim said emphatically. “After we lost to Valpo, I just told them we were going to win the Sectional.”

Either way, it was a bold statement and now Tim has his own piece of the net, just like John.

“To have him here to see this is pretty neat,” Tim said. “I’m sure he was nuts. I don’t know how he controlled himself.”

“The only thing (John) loves more than his wife is that little piece of net he has,” Sue Ray, the family matriarch, said.


Posted 3/5/2019




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