Monday, February 17, 2020

          Two prep basketball greats are the latest additions to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020.
           Pete Abuls of Cambridge and Don McLane of Steubenville Catholic Central have now had their names called to the shrine, and will represent the decade of the 1970s during the Conference’s annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which is slated for Saturday, Aug. 15.  The entire OVAC Hall of Fame class, which is sponsored by Robinson  Auto Group and housed at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, will be announced by the committee every two weeks.  The next release will contain the honorees from the 1960s and it will be announced on March 1.
           Previously announced Hall of Fame honorees for the 2020 event are Monroe Central grad Leekycia Brown and St. John Central product Natalie (Perzanowski) Bigelow, representing the decade of the 2000s, while Wheeling Park graduate Daryl “Boogie” Johnson and Magnolia  alumnus Josh Watson have been tabbed to represent the decade of the 1990s.  The 1980 honorees are JoJo Blaha of Wheeling Central and Carl Fodor of Weir.
          Here’s a capsule look at the honorees from the decade of the 1970s:

           PETE ABULS, Cambridge (Class of 1978) —  Abuls was the second 1,000-point scorer in the history of Cambridge boys’ basketball, finishing his career with 1,091 points.  The 6-6 dandy led the Bobcats as a senior with 543 points (a school record at the time), a 27.3 average, scoring in double figures in all 21 games including six 30-point games, topped by 40 against New Philadelphia.   Abuls led the Bobcats to three OHSAA District Tournament finals.
           As would be expected, he received many post-season honors.  Abuls was named first-team all-Ohio as a senior, joining Ohio  State legends Clark Kellogg and Art Schlichter on that list.  He was also the AP Eastern District Class AAA “Player of the Year” and a  first-team all-OVAC Class AAAA and all-District 12 selection.
           As a junior, he was an honorable mention all-Eastern District honoree as a junior when he scored 342 points.
           Abuls was also a dynamic performer in track & field for the Bobcats.  The three-year letterman set what was then an OVAC record in the high jump with a leap of 6-6 and he also went 21-9 in the long jump, helping the Bobcats to the Class AAAA championship.  Voted the school’s Ray Vottz Award winner as the top male athlete, he was also a two-year letterman in cross country.
            Abuls continued his athletic and academic careers at Tennessee Tech where he was a four-year letterman and the team captain for three years.  He finished his career with 1,187 points (a 12.2 avenge), 462 rebounds,  139 assists and 110 steals.  e averaged 13.3 points as a freshman and  led the team at 12.1 as a sophomore.  After an injury-plagued junior campaign, he again led the team in scoring at 14.5 as a senior.   Abuls earned all-Ohio Valley Conference accolades following his senior campaign.
          Abuls was inducted into the District 12 Basketball Coaches Hall of  Fame in 2015.

          DON "KIP" McLANE, Steubenville Catholic Central (Class of 1971) -  McLane rates among the best hoopsters ever to suit up at Steubenville Catholic Central.   McLane put together a dominating senior year for the Crusaders. 
          He averaged 25.4 points and an amazing 20 rebounds a contest.  Not surprisingly, a slew of honors came his way following that memorable campaign.  He was tabbed first team all-OVAC, all-district and District 5 player-of-the-year.  Moreover, McLane was selected by both UPI and AP as a first-team all-Ohio honoree.   He was also chosen to play in the Ohio North/South All-Star Game.
             His outstanding expolits also resonated on the national landscape.   McLane was named to a pair of All-American teams: The U.S.  Basketball Writers Association Coach and Athletic Magazine and the  Surildst Growers A-A squad.
          He ended his Steubenville Central career with 1,008 points.   He is also a member of the school's Hall of Fame.
            After his illustrious Crusader career, McLane received a basketball scholarship to Duquesne University - a national power in those days.  He was a three-year starter at Duquesne University, scripting an outstanding college career with the Dukes.   McLane picked up his Duquesne degree in 1975.
            McLane passed away in 2014.

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