1981-1982 Return to Year-by-Year HOME January 7, 2007
STATE CHAMPIONS 6A: Wichita West 5A: Washburn Rural 4A: Hayden 3A: Lindsborg 2A: St. John 1A: Waverly
Hayden dropped from 5A to 4A this season and hopes were high that the team would finally win a state championship in basketball. Tom Meier had proved himself as one of the top rebounders in the state with his performance at the Class 5A tourney in 1981. Mark Beck was a solid guard returning for his senior season. Juniors Rob Reilly, Mike McGreevy and Chris Gomez were expected to to contribute as starters but Coach Meseke stressed using 10-12 players in his pre-season review of the team.
Topeka High found a way to win one at Hayden, but otherwise Beck & Meier performed at a high level through several blow out wins early in the season. Then Washburn Rural (eventual Class 5A Champ) handed Hayden their worst defeat of the year. Mark Turgeon emerged from this game as an important part of the team's offense. He would gradually earn a starting role. Hayden gained revenge over Topeka High in the memorable championship game of the Topeka Invitational. Rob Reilly scored 20 and Meier and Beck added 16 a piece to build a 59-50 lead with a little over a minute left in the game. Coach Nicklin's team would not fold and they very nearly came from behind before losing by one point.
Hayden's season was in jeopardy when Tom Meier injured his ankle against Highland Park. Mark Beck saved the day against Atchison in an overtime win. He made several clutch free throws that allowed the team to gain needed confidence in winning games without their best player. Hayden won two more close games in preparation for their second match against Washburn Rural. Mike McGreevy hit the winning shot right before the final buzzer at Seaman's gym. A strong Chapman zone kept the score close through out the game played at Chapman. Rob Reilly and Mark Turgeon scored the final points for Hayden in that 55-53 victory.
Washburn Rural proved that they had just a little bit more experience when they edged Hayden on the road 60-56. The gym was full and further admittance denied a full hour before the game started. The good news for Hayden was that this was the last loss of the year for the Wildcats. Hayden breezed through the 4A Sub-State at Wamego.
There was fear amongst many alumni from Hayden that something would happen to stop Hayden in the state tournament. Ten years previously, Hayden lost in the finals against Chapman and Chapman was in the tournament again in 1982. The team had dropped a little in class in 1972 just as Hayden had done in 1982. Alumni fears seemed to be justified as a ghost of state tournaments past (dressed in a striped shirt) came back to haunt the Hayden boys. For some reason, one particular referee decided he was going to even things up in the semi-final game against Rose Hill. Several universally accepted bad calls kept Tom Meier out of most of the first half. The strategy of Rose Hill seemed to be to foul out Hayden's best players. Mark Turgeon had three fouls midway through the second quarter and McGreevy had 3 before halftime. That left it to Mark Beck to have one of his best games of the year - 21 points that gave Hayden a 55-41 win.
The finals against Pratt brought back former Hayden players and alumni from all over the area. Coach Meseke mentioned the heartbreak of previous near misses at tournament time to his team in the preparation for the game. The team responded with a game that satisfied all the hopes of the Hayden clan. Tom Meier scored 26 points and joined the all-tournament team with Mark Beck and Mark Turgeon. Mike McGreevy and L.J. Buckner were also key players - especially against Pratt. The Topeka Capital-Journal placed Meier on the first team all-state, all-class squad. Several state champs would follow over the years, but none were more celebrated by the fans than the 1982 group.
|1981-1982||COACH||Ben Meseke||Centennial League|
|Topeka Invitational Tourney Champion|
|1st Class 4A State|
|WON 22 LOST 3|
|12/4/1981||Shawnee Heights||W||62||41||Bueltel A.C.||Centennial|
|12/11/1981||Highland Park||W||75||64||Highland Park||Centennial|
|12/15/1981||Topeka High||L||54||58||Bueltel A.C.|
|12/22/1981||Topeka West||W||62||43||Topeka West|
|1/9/1982||Harmon - K.C.||W||61||41||Municipal Auditorium|
|1/15/1982||Washburn Rural||L||49||57||Bueltel A.C.||Centennial|
|1/20/1982||Harmon - K.C.||W||75||57||Highland Park||Topeka Inv|
|1/22/1982||Schlagle - K.C.||W||46||34||Highland Park||Topeka Inv|
|1/23/1982||Topeka High||W||60||59||Municipal Auditorium||Topeka Inv|
|1/29/1982||Shawnee Heights||W||52||43||Shawnee Heights||Centennial|
|1/30/1982||Marysville||W||92||47||Valley Heights-Blue Rapids|
|2/2/1982||Highland Park||W||62||47||Bueltel A.C.||Centennial|
|2/26/1982||Washburn Rural||L||56||60||Washburn Rural||Centennial|
|3/1/1982||Jefferson West||W||51||17||Bueltel A.C.||4A Sub-State|
|3/4/1982||Council Grove||W||71||50||Wamego||4A Sub-State|
|3/6/1982||Nemaha Valley||W||62||47||Wamego||4A Sub-State|
|3/11/1982||Sumner - K.C.||W||77||57||Bicentennial Center-Salina||4A State|
|3/12/1982||Rose Hill||W||55||41||Bicentennial Center-Salina||4A State|
|3/13/1982||Pratt||W||62||49||Bicentennial Center-Salina||4A State|
|L Jay Buckner||24||21||16||58|