1964-65 Return to Year-by-Year HOME Updated 7-28-2007
STATE CHAMPIONS CLASS AA: Wyandotte CLASS A: Chapman CLASS B: Osage City CLASS BB: Strong City
Hayden players gather after winning AA Regional at Topeka High
Ken Bueltel called this group "the greatest team I have ever coached at Hayden. It also was the first defensive team I have coached in my career." High scoring team started All-State forward Tom Sheahan (3 year letterman) and pressing guards Paul Donahue and Steve Gibbs. Mark Hanson played bigger in the post than his actual size. Jim McMullen might have broken all scoring records if the 3 point shot had been legal - as it was he had the 4th highest single season point total in school history.
Hayden was undefeated in Centennial League play, but flamed out in the Topeka Invitational Tourney. They saved their best performance for the post season. After a fairly easy Regional championship, Hayden played Hutchinson in the first round of the Class AA State tournament at Allen Field House in Lawrence. The Salt Hawks had their best team in history - 3 starters 6' 6" and taller. Topeka Daily Capital writer Dick Fensler called Paul Donahue's last second shot that won the game in overtime one of "the most dramatic moments in Class AA high school basketball tournament history." McPherson overcame an early Hayden lead to prevent Hayden from meeting eventual champion Wyandotte and their All-American Lucius Allen.
The road to the tournament had seen Hayden perfect their style of pressing defense that would spark a fast break offense. The team scored over 80 points 6 times and the 95 against Olathe tied a school record. *** The AA Regional was another jam packed frenzy over 3 nights. Highland Park upset Topeka High and Hayden had to play Highland Park for the fourth time. The game was tremendously exciting with Hayden pulling away late for the win.
Coach Bueltel prepared his team well for the first round game against Hutchinson. I still remember the page cut from the Hutchinson newspaper with photos of the Salt Hawk players posted on the Hayden East gym bulletin board. Crowd estimates vary from 7,500 to 10,000 for Hayden's game on that Thursday night. It was the last game of the day and there were a lot of neutral observers who were cheering the Hayden team by the end of the game. Paul Donahue jumped at center court against the Hutchinson post man at the start of each quarter (stolen from North Carolina strategy against Wilt Chamberlin). When Donahue was tied up for a crucial jump ball late in the game, the Hutchinson player was caught flat footed by the leaping Donahue. Coach Bueltel's strategy was matched by players who believed in themselves and overcame tournament jitters for Hayden's most dramatic victory.
The final play has always been a little difficult to describe. It started with Tom Sheahan taking a shot with little time left in overtime. There was a wild scramble underneath the basket. The original game report said that Paul Donahue tipped the ball back towards the basket. Donahue says he "caught and shot the ball in the same motion." The ball hung on the edge of the rim. The buzzer sounded ending the overtime period. The ball finally fell inside the rim and through the net. It really did seem like that ball stayed up there for 2 or 3 seconds before dropping in. Tom Sheahan said he thought maybe someone might have touched the net causing the ball to go in. More far fetched theories involved the crowd's collective breathing directing the ball through the net.
The immediate result of this basket was a mass stampede of every student and player onto the Allen Fieldhouse court. Paul Donahue was lifted on top of the crowd in a victory celebration that ended only when the P.A. announcer and crowd control (Fr. Santa) warned that the raised K.U. floor might collapse.
Dick Fensler's column of 3/14/65 in the TDC included a review of Hayden athletics by Ken Bueltel. He talked about the lack of serious attention to athletics in the early days of the school. He noted that the early success of teams in the late 1940's and early 1950's was also known for "poor crowd control". He gave credit to Topeka High School, Jack Dean, Buck Weaver and others for scheduling Hayden and convincing others to give competition a chance.
He also stated his philosophy about sports for young people. "I feel athletics teaches boys to live with other people. They learn to recover from setbacks, and they learn that no matter what you try to excel in, preparation is necessary. There are no short cuts. There is no doubt in my mind of the value of athletics. All I had to do was look up in the crowd Thursday night. There was Topeka High, Highland Park, Seaman and Topeka West, and all the rest, cheering like crazy for us. There was Dale Cushinberry (Highland Park star), greeting me as we went back on the floor for the second half against Hutchinson with 'Good luck, Coach.'"
Sources: TDC TSJ dates in March - Dick Fensler Column , HYB SEE Jim McMullen's comments about Hayden's most famous victory (below).
Photo courtesy of Paul Donahue estate
Back Row: Ron Esquibel, Pat Dickey, Tom Sheahan, Jerry McMorris, Mark Hanson, Don Grantham
Front Row: Vince Rolsing, Lee Allen, Steve Gibbs, Paul Donahue, Jim McMullen, Tom McLaughlin
Coach Ken Bueltel
1964-65 WON 21 LOST
Centennial League Champion CLASS AA 3rd Place
|12/11/1964||Highland Park||W||79||61||Topeka High||Centennial|
|1/9/1965||Topeka West||W||58||40||Municipal Auditorium|
|1/16/1965||Shawnee Heights||W||83||65||Shawnee Heights||Centennial|
|1/21/1965||Lawrence||L||52||63||Topeka West||Topeka Inv|
|1/22/1965||Topeka West||W||54||45||Topeka High||Topeka Inv|
|1/23/1965||Highland Park||W||70||56||Topeka High||Topeka Inv|
|1/29/1965||Washburn Rural||W||62||44||Washburn Rural||Centennial|
|2/6/1965||Highland Park||W||62||45||Municipal Auditorium||Centennial|
|2/19/1965||Topeka High||L||65||68||Municipal Auditorium|
|2/20/1965||Shawnee Heights||W||81||67||Municipal Auditorium||Centennial|
|2/26/1965||Washburn Rural||W||61||50||Washburn Rural||Centennial|
|3/2/1965||Topeka West||W||79||53||Topeka High||AA Regional|
|3/4/1965||Seaman||W||84||65||Topeka High||AA Regional|
|3/5/1965||Highland Park||W||67||53||Topeka High||AA Regional|
|3/11/1965||Hutchinson||W *||53||51||Allen Fieldhouse - K.U.||AA State|
|3/12/1965||McPherson||L||45||55||Allen Fieldhouse - K.U.||AA State|
|3/13/1965||Wichita East||W||62||49||Allen Fieldhouse - K.U.||AA State|
|Shawnee Heights game 1-16-65 TDC story & box per P Donahue scrapbook|
|Microfilm copy of that page was not available|
Jim McMullen comments on the famous Wildcat - Salt Hawk contest.
E: MAIL: November 7, 2005 Jim McMullen Class of 1965.
Coach Bueltel's bulletin board "scouting report" on the Hutchinson Salt Hawks.
*** TOPEKA CLASS AA REGIONAL: March 2-5 How Hayden got to the CLASS AA State Tournament
Hayden benefited from 2 big upsets in the CLASS AA Regional at Topeka High. Seaman (6-11) upset Manhattan (16-2) in an overtime contest. John Johnson was the leader of the Vikings and had one of his best games. Hayden drew Topeka West (3-14) and had no problem defeating the Chargers. Topeka High was give a bye at 15-4 - I am guessing that was because they had victories over Hayden, HPHS, TWHS and Lawrence. Highland Park defeated Lawrence and faced off against Topeka High in the semi-final. They shocked the Trojans with great play from Dale Cushinberry and Steve Workman - the Scotties were 29 for 31 from the free throw line.
Hayden beat Seaman for the third time by shutting down Johnson and executing the press as they had all year. The championship game marked the 4th meeting of the year between the Scots and the Wildcats. The turn away crowd of 4500 fans warmed up during the 3rd place game won by Topeka High. In this era it was not unusual to hear cheers from the opponents playing on then current Catholic dietary rules ("fish eating") and Hayden fans would respond by spelling the name of the school over and over and over.. until everyone was sick of it. There were fans without tickets who stood in the lobby just to see a sliver of the game action that was available from that viewpoint. And others, who just wanted to hear the crowd and peek up at the scoreboard every now and then. When it was all over both teams received a standing ovation from the fans. Hayden had the usual balanced scoring attack to cinch the trip to the State Tournament ( Hanson 18, Sheahan 17, Gibbs 14, McMullen 12 and Donahue 6).
TDC March 2-5