1960-61 Men’s Basketball Team

…brought to Acadia it’s first Maritime Intercollegiate title in over two decades.

The Stu Aberdeen-coached Acadia Axemen’s basketball team of ’60-’61 enjoyed tremendous success, losing only three contests in twenty-three appearances. The club, built around returnees Pete Simmonds, Gene Chatterton, and Blair Dixon, reached new heights with the inspirational performances by newcomers Warren Sutton, Richie Spears, Andy Kranack, Ian Hendry, Mike Tzagarakis, Dean Hilts, and Jim Pigden.

In fact it took only the Axemen’s opening encounter that fall to establish Sutton and Spears in particular as emerging Conference luminaries. In Acadia’s 124-47 trouncing of Mt.Allison, Richie and Warren registered 39 and 24 points respectively. In a couple of subsequent encounters against Aroostook State, the Aberdeen-directed charges posted 89- 61 and 75-65 triumphs.

On December 19 and 20, 1960 in the first Bluenose Classic Tournament held at the SMU gym with Assumption, Ricker, St. Mary’s and Acadia in competition, the Axemen recorded a 63-55 overtime victory over Ricker as Simmonds, Sutton, Spears, and Chatterton hit for the big numbers. In a 75- 72 loss to Assumption, Warren Sutton, the tournament’s MVP, registered twenty points.

Following this destined-to-become-major tournament, the Acadia charges recorded victories by scores of 76-39,70-55,77-55 and 77-56 over Nova Scotia Tech, St. Mary’s, Dalhousie, and St. F. X. respectively, while dropping a hotly-contested tilt to SMU, 68-66.

At that stage in the season, with but five games remaining in post-season play, Warren Sutton with a total of 282 points and 100 rebounds was the club’s dominant force, while Chatterton, Simmonds, and Spears had offensive outputs of 254, 251, and 247 respectively. In various ways, major contributions were made by messieurs Dixon, Kranack, Hendry , Tzagarakis, Hilts, and Pidgen.

In the playoff rounds the Axemen whipped Dalhousie, SMU and UNB in one-sided contests. Travelling to Fredericton with a thirty-point lead over UNB in the two-game total-point series, the Acadia squad lost, 67-58, but still managed to win the round 130-109. Following the game the Axemen were presented the Robert C. Read Cup by Dr. John S. Bates (Class of 1908), with Captain Gene Chatterton receiving it.

What a pleasure it is to welcome back to Acadia for induction to the Hall of Fame, members of the 1960-61 basketball Axemen, who had brought back to the campus the game’s first tri-province championship in over two decades.