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Update: August 18, 2018
STATE CHAMPIONS 6A: Lawrence 5A: Salina Central 4A: Hayden 3A: Hesston 2A: Canton-Galva 1A: Thayer
Tom Meier: Washburn University 1985 Mark Turgeon: Kansas University 1987 25-0 Team honored prior to Hayden's upset of Highland Park 2-1-2008
THE GOLD STANDARD
There is no cliché about great teams that would not fit the 1982-83 Hayden basketball team. They had an inside and outside game. They had two of the greatest players the school ever had along with 3 other senior starters that would have been stars on other high school teams. They were able to press and run or slow it down and play ball control. They drew everybody's best shot since they were the defending 4A State Champs and highly favored to win the Centennial League. By the end of the season they had put away all challengers. They were the first Topeka team to complete an undefeated season in basketball and, in the opinion of most observers, they were the best high school basketball team in 1983 regardless of classification.
It was definitely not easy to accomplish this feat. Their first big challenge was against Topeka High at the "dungeon". Rob Reilly's "double--clutch" shot with 2 seconds left in OT won the game for the Wildcats. Coach Nicklin's Topeka High team played one of their best games of the year but still came up short. Highland Park tried to upset them in the semi-finals of the Topeka Invitational when Hayden was in serious foul trouble. Turgeon was forced to the bench and the Scots were effective keeping Tom Meier in check. So, Reilly, McGreevy and Gomez picked up the slack with help from Reyer,Thompson and Fangman from the bench.
The championship game against Lawrence at Municipal Auditorium was a throw-back to the old days of Coach Bueltel. The fans were enthusiastic for both sides. The team followed Coach Meseke's instructions to perfection. Mark Turgeon ran a disciplined offense that overcame the Lion's large front line that included Turgeon's future teammate at KANSAS University, Chris Piper . "That's why they're successful," Lawrence coach Ted Juneau said at the time. "They can play any way they want. They can run up and down if they want to, and they can slow it down. They played very intelligently tonight..". Coach Meseke also praised Turgeon using the "surgeon" nickname to describe his point guard's play. He also gave thanks to the Hayden crowd that had loudly supported the team. They blew all the air out of the place when Meier stuffed the ball past Chris Piper near the end of the game.
Shawnee Heights was the next team that took a shot at Hayden's dream season. Coach Ellis Dahl always had his team ready to play Hayden and Turgeon was out with the flu when they met at the T-Bird's gym. The offense was unable to get the ball into Tom Meier, but McGreevy and Gomez were steady from the foul line . Gomez picked off the rebound of Heights' last shot to preserve the victory. After another impressive win, 7 point win over Atchison at Atchison, everyone thought that Hayden might finally be over the hump. Wrong!
The dramatic "Christian Laettner" type shot by Tom Meier against Highland Park saved Hayden's undefeated season in the 3rd and final match-up played at Highland Park. The capacity crowd (almost all games that year were) had just witnessed a Highland Park score that gave the Scots a 2 point lead with only 2 seconds left in the game. The Scots fans had danced out on the court celebrating as the Hayden team huddled in a time-out. Tom Meier said at the time Turgeon " kept yelling that 'we could do it, we could do it.' We'd done it before, but this was unbelievable." Mike McGreevy threw the 75 foot pass to Meier who jumped high to catch the ball and then went right back up to hit the shot that put the game into overtime. After that, Hayden took over in the overtime period. Meier tied the school record with 36 points while Reilly and Turgeon excelled at feeding him the ball. Highland Park coach Bob Bodenheimer lamented the poor free throw shooting by his team, but noted that otherwise " we played as well as we can possibly play. We did everything we could possibly do. "
Hayden stumbled a bit in the semi-finals of the 4A State tournament against Thomas More Prep-Hays. They let a 18 point lead slip away in the second half - but Tom Meier bailed the team out with clutch shooting and a critical defensive play late in the game. He drew a charge against a TMP player that ended the Monarch's last run. The championship win over Atchison was the usual team effort: Gomez 15, Meier 17, Turgeon 7, Reilly 8, McGreevy 7 and Fangman came off the bench with 6. Coach Chic Downing of Atchison congratulated the Hayden players as they accepted their individual medals. Atchison lost only 3 games all year - twice to Hayden and once to Missouri 4A State runner-up VAN HORN (2 point loss earlier in the season).
Some day another Hayden boys team will go undefeated in basketball - but only these guys can say that they were the first.
* Quotes in this review of the season came from the original game reports by Allen Quakenbush and were published in the Topeka Capital-Journal
** Above photos c. Topeka Capital-Journal Scroll down for comments from a member of the famous 25-0 team.
|COACH: Ben Meseke|
|12/3/82||Shawnee Heights||W||61||32||Centennial||Bueltel A.C.|
|12/10/82||Highland Park||W||68||44||Centennial||Bueltel A.C.|
|12/14/82||Topeka High||W *||58||57||Topeka High|
|12/21/82||Topeka West||W||73||38||Bueltel A.C.|
|1/14/83||Washburn Rural||W||57||43||Centennial||Washburn Rural|
|1/18/83||KC-Ward||W||73||59||Topeka Invitational||Topeka West|
|1/20/83||Highland Park||W||59||58||Topeka Invitational||Topeka West|
|1/22/83||Lawrence||W||53||39||Topeka Invitational||Municipal Auditorium|
|1/29/83||Shawnee Heights||W||43||42||Centennial||Shawnee Heights|
|2/15/83||Highland Park||W *||65||59||Centennial||Highland Park|
|2/25/83||Washburn Rural||W||59||46||Centennial||Bueltel A.C.|
|3/2/83||KC-Piper||W||75||45||CLASS 4A SUB-STATE||Bueltel A.C.|
|3/4/83||Meriden-Jefferson West||W||87||36||CLASS 4A SUB-STATE||Bueltel A.C.|
|3/5/83||Carbondale-Santa Fe Trail||W||75||47||CLASS 4A SUB-STATE||Bueltel A.C.|
|3/10/83||Andover||W||83||45||CLASS 4A STATE||Salina-Bicentennial Center|
|3/11/83||Hays-TMP||W||64||61||CLASS 4A STATE||Salina-Bicentennial Center|
|3/12/83||Atchison||W||60||50||CLASS 4A STATE||Salina-Bicentennial Center|
Tom Meier - 2 time All-State, All-Class Team 1982, 1983 - (Topeka Capital-Journal)
All 20th Century Team (High School) - City of Topeka - (Topeka Capital-Journal)
NAIA All-American 1987 at WASHBURN University. WASHBURN won the NAIA National Championship in 1987.
WASHBURN University Athletics Hall of Fame
Mark Turgeon - All-State, All-Class Team 1983 (Topeka Capital-Journal)
MVP 1983 KABC All-Star Game
Participated as player in 4 NCAA tournaments at KANSAS University
Currently Head Basketball Coach at TEXAS A&M University
Rob Reilly - WASHBURN University Basketball Letterman 1986 and 1987. Starter on NAIA National Champion in 1987.
Chris Gomez - Played Collegiate Golf at several Colleges including KANSAS STATE. Competed on four professional golf tours.
Currently Head Women's Golf Coach at WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY.
Mike McGreevy - 4 Year Football Letterman 1983-1986 at WASHBURN UNIVERSITY
Chris Reyer comments on the good old days - e-mail September 15, 2007.
What a bunch of fantastic memories. Unbelievable that it will be 25 yrs this season, 2007/2008, when we cut down the nets in Salina after completing the perfect 25-0 season. Wondering if anyone, former player or coach, or even current coach Dishman (now Ted Schuler*) or school administrator is planning a silver anniversary reunion for our historic team ? I think it would be appropriate.
I am so happy to find this sight. Looking at the photos and reading your information sure brought me up. I appreciate it. Take care and keep in contact. --Chris
* Earlier I listed Wes Meier as new Boys basketball coach. Wes Meier is the new Girls basketball coach. Ted Schuler, former assistant to Jeff Dishman, is the new Boys basketball coach. Sorry for the error and thanks to Mike Murphy for letting me know.