Bob Erdman and Rick Webb had last teamed for a sectional title game in Minnesota basketball on March 15, 1969. This was when the state was divided into eight regions for a one-class tournament.
Erdman was the 35-year-old coach at Alexander Ramsey, one of two high schools in the Roseville district. Webb was partnered with Tom Steiner in the Rams’ dynamic senior backcourt.
Ramsey reached the Region 4 final against St. Paul Central. The Minutemen had a frontcourt of fluid 6-foot-4 players in Phil Webb, Russ Taylor and Dave Winfield, as well as ultra-quick guard Artie Carroll.
There were 12,500 people in Williams Arena on that Saturday night. Webb scored 24 and Steiner 18 as Ramsey pulled away for a 71-57 victory.
“Rick, Tom, our whole team was terrific that night,” Erdman said. “Then, Steiner sprained his ankle in practice before the state tournament. He tried to go against Duluth [Central], but he couldn’t move.”
Duluth Central won 52-40 and would lose to Rochester John Marshall in the finals. Ramsey was 1-1 in consolation play.
Webb went to Gustavus Adolphus (Erdman’s alma mater) and was an outstanding option quarterback. He became a successful restaurant owner. Erdman coached the boys and later girls in Roseville, with five years in between as the Gustavus coach.
Erdman is in the Minnesota Basketball Coaches and Gustavus halls of fame. He spent much of the 2000s watching his granddaughters and a grandson play high-level basketball.
Webb had assisted in football at Breck, where his daughter is a student. There were coaching changes in boys’ basketball in consecutive seasons. Webb asked for the job.
Breck questioned Webb’s coaching experience. “I’ll get Bob Erdman,” he said.
Webb was the head coach and Erdman, at 81, was his No. 1 assistant for this season. The Mustangs, including senior standouts Willie Culliton and Mo Lawal, reached the Class 2A, Section 5 title game Friday night in St. Cloud.
The Mustangs led Annandale by three at halftime, went ice cold and lost 65-42.
“You always feel bad for the kids,” Erdman said. “They did everything we asked. They worked hard. They had a good year.”
Plus Three from Patrick
Watch out, Northern Sun. Minnesota Crookston has been overmatched, but young coach Dan Weisse has signed a promising freshman class for 2015-16:
• Chase Knickerbocker, 6-6 wing, Annandale. Everything with the state tourney-bound Cardinals revolves around his offensive talent.
• Nate Lorenz, 6-7 forward, Breckenridge. Strong inside and with shooting range.
• A pair of 6-foot guards: Connor Gamble (a three-point shooter) of Stillwater and Kobe Critchley (a point guard) of Roseville.