June 28, 2016

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Andrews to be in enshrined in IBCA Hall of Fame


BRIDGEPORT - For 33 years, every game was a big game for Terry Andrews.

From 1974 through 2007, the Bridgeport native officiated throughout southern Illinois, and eventually was selected to work the Illinois High School Association state finals three times.

The culmination for Andrews is his induction into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Andrews will be inducted in a ceremony at Illinois State University in Normal on April 27.

At the height of his career, Andrews teamed with Ed Gardner, Lawrenceville, and Kevin Schnitker, Robinson. Andrews recalls working the championship game at the prestigious King Cotton Classic in Pine Bluff, Ark., on a Friday night, then working a game in Grayville on Saturday.

"It didn't matter if we had Mattoon vs. Effingham in a championship game, or if it was Allendale vs. Cisne," Andrews said. "That game, that night, was just as important to those kids who were playing as any other, and that's how we took it. Every game we did was the biggest game, that night.

Andrews was in Red Hill High School's first graduating class in 1974, and started calling games that fall.

He still remembers his first assignment when he traveled to Mt. Carmel St. Mary's to work a junior high school with his mentor, Roy Dillard.

The two helped turn the school cafeteria into a gym, called the games, then turned the gym back into a cafeteria - all for a sum of $10.

Early in his career, Andrews called a lot of games with St. Francisville resident Jim Dunn. Later, he hooked up with Gardner and Schnitker, when three-man crews came into vogue.

The trio worked games in nine different conferences in southern Illinois.

"We took a lot of pride in that," Andrews said. "We worked at every school in nine different conferences. I normally drove and Ed was a good co-pilot. I have a lot of good memories. It kept me young."

Andrews officiated 10 consecutive King Cotton Classics, before the tournament ended in 1999 and was selected to officiate the 1995 IBCA All-Star game. He called games at the Basketball Capital Classic for 22 years, and is still in charge of hiring officials for that annual Lawrence County tournament each November. He officiated invitational tournaments in Carmi, Salem, Grayville, Dieterich, Charleston and Metropolis and officiated in the National Trail, Midland Trail and Little Illini Conference tournaments.

He worked a number of regional and sectional tournaments in the post-season, and teamed with Gardner and Schnitker to call five supersectionals. It culminated with trips to the state finals in 1998 and 1999, and the 2001 state championship game in which Pinckneyville beat Pana.

Andrews continued to referee games through 2007, when he says back surgery forced him to the sidelines.

"I could sit and tell stories for hours on end, from family atmosphere to R-rated," he said. "Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday we were working somewhere, and at tournament time we might be calling games six nights a week. I wouldn't have traded it for anything."


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