Kansas Prep Basketball History Part 6               Revised July 16, 2012
 2012              Kansas High School Basketball  History

 Part Six:  Kansas CLASS AA, A & B Tournaments  1941-1951              * = Overtime    ! = Forfeit     by Patrick Macfee


Chapter 1: War Years 1941-1945     Chapter 2: Post-War Boom 1946-1951

                       1941   1942   1943   1944   1945  

1942    Class AA Tournament                           Topeka High School                          March 19-22

Frank Lindley ARK VALLEY 1 Newton (22-1)
^ El Dorado

Ollie Thomas ARK VALLEY 2 Winfeld (18-5)
Ineligible Player

Ashley Elbl INDEPENDENT 3 Wyandotte-K.C. (18-6)

Ernie Vanek INDEPENDENT 4 Topeka High (14-7)

Dodge City




El Dorado ^ 

Wyandotte  38-28

30-31 !  




Winfield   29-24




Topeka High 43-25

Topeka High

3rd Place

1st Team

Topeka High

Johnny Dewell C NEWTON
Joe Thornton G WINFIELD

Kirk Scott G NEWTON

2nd Team

Dodge City
Dodge City
Bill Lindquist F KC-WARD
Bob Durnil F EL DORADO
El Dorado
El Dorado ^
Bill Thornton G WINFIELD


Arkansas City



Topeka High
Topeka High

Junction City




Shawnee Mission
* Overtime


Darrel Hinkhouse Beloit

Andy Skradski Kansas City

Mike Oberhelman Randolph

William Hennigh Wichita

1942 Class A                    Stewart Coliseum                             Hays

Allen Burns TRI-VALLEY 1 Fredonia (23-1)

Dave Shirk INDEPENDENT 2 Augusta (21-6)

Harold Barb CPL 3 Lyons (20-5)

Harold Elliott UNION PACIFIC 4 Russell (19-5)



Norton 28-26 **


Russell   37-30


Sterling 27-22  




Garden City 35-32  


Fredonia   30-25 *


Hays 35-24

3rd Place



Russell 40-36

Augusta Augusta

Medicine Lodge 37-36

Sterling Sterling

KC-Turner 31-30

Garden City Garden City

Oberlin 37-21

Fredonia Fredonia

Smith Center 49-23

Norton Norton

Chapman 32-26

Russell Russell

Caney 55-30  ~

Lyons Lyons

Hiawatha 63-32

Topeka-Seaman Hays

Hays 28-25


Melvin Binford EL DORADO



Cecil Peterson TOPEKA

 1942 Class  B                        Convention Hall             Hutchinson

Hutchinson - Convention Hall

G.A. Haury * MID-KANSAS 1 Halstead (21-3)

Everett Fitzwater WKEA 2 Arnold (26-3)

Johnny Corrigan INDEPENDENT 3 Powhattan (28-3)

K.L. Henderson LITTLE SIX 4 Ingalls (23-4)



Cedar Vale 27-25 **


Powhattan   24-22


Macksville 31-18  




Sylvia 30-28  


Ingalls   37-35


Erie 35-33

3rd Place

Erroll Johnson G HALSTEAD

Gilbert Woodworth G HALSTEAD

Bob Moeller G ARNOLD
Rex Huxman G ARNOLD
Ingalls 38-26
Clarence Irsik G INGALLS

Carold Burns G INGALLS

Richard Pfister G POWHATTAN
Halstead Halstead
Grant Clothier G SYLVIA
Enterprise 44-39
Cedar Vale Cedar Vale
Utica 33-22
Ernest Clark C CEDAR VALE
Powhattan Powhattan
Eugene Olson C ERIE
Scranton 49-34
Ron Huxman F ARNOLD
Macksville Macksville
Richard Huxman F ARNOLD
Jamestown 43-36
Jack Schultz F HALSTEAD
Arnold Arnold
Melvin Smith F HALSTEAD
Appanoose 35-29
Lon Henderson F INGALLS
Sylvia Sylvia
Wilbur Humphries F CEDAR VALE
Frontenac 62-33
Ingalls Ingalls
Weldon Banz F SYLVIA
Edwardsville 55-38

Erie Erie

Almena 24-16


Earl Bevan Independence

Rollie Clarkson Goff

P. J. Forney Hutchinson

Rudolph Uhrlaub McPherson

SCORE SOURCE: "One Hundred Years of Hoops", KSHSAA 2011 except for
                                 Russell-Caney: Russell County News, March 26, 1942, 1
                                 Fredonia Daily Herald, March 19, 1942, 1


Class AA

          The headlines that declared the grim details of world war made the news of basketball competition in the high schools a trivial matter. But there were practical  reasons to continue athletic competition - the youth of the state were needed to fight the battles ahead and National and State authorities agreed that athletic competition  was an excellent way to maintain the physical conditioning of high school students.  The tournament play was  approved because it was thought that the event could boost overall morale during a time of great stress over world events. Gene Kemper commented on the upcoming tourney in his Topeka column, "We should be more appreciative than ever of these next four days. These kids should keep in mind that our games have a new objective now. No longer are they for glory, headlines and shiny trophies. They're to build our resistance, physically and mentally. Otherwise, they probably couldn't be justified in a country with men marooned on Bataan." 1

          Frank Lindley returned to the tourney with his favored Railroaders sporting a glossy 18-1 record. Johnny Dewell was the returning star at the center position. The greatest obstacle the team faced was an outbreak of Scarlet Fever in the area that forced cancellation of their final Ark Valley game. The basketball team was quarantined as much as possible and tested to prevent spreading the illness to other teams. Newton fans under 21 were prohibited from attending the regional tourney at El Dorado. 2

         Other schools that were discussed as possible challengers to Newton were Ark Valley foes Winfield and El Dorado. Winfield was known to play a very intense defensive game and they gave Newton their only loss of the season. El Dorado was a steadily improving team and was very impressive with a trouncing of Hutchinson (38-18) in the regional semi-final. They played one of their better games of the year in a close loss to Newton in the regional final. KC-Wyandotte and KC-Ward were mentioned  as dark horse threats as both were known for playing well in tournament contests. Parsons received credit due to the return of probably the state's best player in Dale Hall. Hall was winding up his four year high school career that totaled 1,140 points scored and consecutive appearances on the Topeka Daily Capital's all-state football team.

       The El Dorado win over Wyandotte was a cause for great celebration as many were convinced that the Wildcats were ready to take on and defeat their ancient rival Newton. It was strongly held that if they could get past the Railroaders, they would have their first state title. Bob Durnil was the leading scorer but Calvin Garland, the 6'4" colored flash, gave able assistance in the scoring department. 4 Then came shocking news to the KSHSAA director E. A. Thomas. Garland was too old for high school competition and El Dorado would have to forfeit their wins in the KSHSAA tournament. Wyandotte would be allowed to play Newton in the semi-final. 5

The Strange Case of Calvin Garland.

      The story starts when Jim Reed revealed that Calvin Garland was 20 years old in his column. Reed had learned that Calvin Garland's name appeared as a registrant for the country's 3rd lottery draw for military service. 6  The first lottery before war broke out was limited to men from age 21 to 35. Another lottery was held sometime later for those that turned 21 since the first draw. The third draft lottery involved all men between 20 and 44 who had not previously registered. 7 Calvin explained to the El Dorado Times that he wanted to join the Army after the school year. (He worked in a CCC camp for 2-3 years before he ever enrolled at El Dorado). He said he was really 19 but he had lied about his age in order to register and "get into the Army sooner." Calvin's mother backed his story but, after a very short investigation, it was determined that Calvin's actual birth date was exactly one year earlier than Calvin, Coach "Red" Royer and school officials realized. E. A. Thomas had received a letter with an El Dorado postmark that  confirmed Garland's birth date as November 18, 1921. 8
     A sobbing Garland expressed regret for the forfeits and tried to explain that he really believed he was 19. He said, "I guess my mother just became confused as to the time I was born, she had so many children (10)." Coach Royer expressed regret that he and the school accepted the birth date Garland's parents had submitted to his Junior High School. As a result of the matter, El Dorado finished the year without a victory as they had to forfeit all the games in which Garland appeared. 9

    Coach Lindley used more of his bench in 1942. This was a concession to what the old master had observed over recent years. The pace of the game was faster and the five man game was dead. An eight player rotation was becoming common. Johnny Dewell , who later played some with the Kansas Jayhawks, was his only recognizable star. The Railroaders exacted revenge against the surprise semi-finalist Wyandotte. The Bulldogs had ruined Newton's bid in 1941. The team's 16 of 21 shooting from the free throw line sealed the win. 10

    Ollie Thomas was also changing the way he coached his Winfield Vikings. They were still known as a great defensive team, but they had adopted the full court pressure techniques and an overall man-to-man defense. Their boys were smaller than previous Winfield championship teams. There were no star players like Gerald Tucker on the roster. 11 (Thomas joked that "Gerald Tucker was not the best player I ever coached. I did not have to coach Gerald.") 12 Topeka High didn't know what hit them as Winfield bounced them into the consolation game.

    The championship game was a fitting clash between the top two high school traditions. Winfield had seven state championships (1919-1920, 1927-1929, 1939-1940) while Newton had just as many official titles (1916-1917, 1921, 1926, 1931, 1936-1937). Coach Lindley and Newton loyalists stubbornly claimed one more as they won the Association Cup in 1920. 13 ( The cup was no longer recognized as a championship by the KSHSAA.) Game reports claim that the 3,500 fans were "in a continuous uproar by the pulse quickening contest." But a review of the box score showed a lot of scoring from the foul line. Winfield shot 7 for 20 while Newton won the game by shooting 17 out of 24. The "leech-like guarding" by the Vikings eventually caused four of their players to foul out of the game. 14

   Coach Lindley drew a lot of praise from the press of the day. Jim Reed marveled at Lindley's halftime talk with Newton tied 11-11 with the Winfield boys. "Frank Lindley's halftime talk to his Newton boys must have been the shortest in tourney history. Two minutes after the Railroaders left the floor they were back on the court." 15 Winfield writer Harry Hart had pointed out earlier in the year that Lindley was a graduate of Winfield high school and Southwestern college. He praised his great work over the years building the Newton dynasty. 16 Lindley summed up his last championship season,  "I've never  appreciated a state championship as much as I did this one. They're the finest bunch of boys I've ever worked with and have the finest morale and spirit of any bunch I've ever had. " 17

Class A

   The reformed Class A moved to Stewart Coliseum in Hays and the press coverage to most areas of the state was very weak. The Hays Daily News provided the game reports but the larger papers of the state did not send reporters to cover the events in Hays. Wartime travel restrictions were in the early stages - new tires were not available and flats could leave a traveling reporter stranded. 18 Class A would not gain a big audience until the post war era.

   The local media touted Lyons because they had an excellent record and were the defending champion. Augusta's Coach Dave Shirk was a big proponent of a challenging regular season - Emporia and several Ark Valley teams from the Class AA group made the Orioles schedule. 19 Fredonia had the best record and some players who had already graduated who were enrolled in a war time vocational-technical program that prepared young men for war-time jobs in the military. 20

   Augusta survived a rare two overtime game to defeat a determined Norton squad in a quarter-final. Harvey Hathorn pushed one through to end the contest in sudden death. (Games tied at the end of regulation now continued for one full overtime period of 3 minutes and any further overtime periods reverted to the sudden-death format used in 1940.) Russell was favored to advance, but Bill Sapp showed great shooting form and Augusta's fast breaks eventually beat back a last quarter rally by Russell. 21

   Fredonia was described as a "dark horse" even though their only loss of the year had been against Emporia. Their center, Howard Martin, was a key factor and he scored 14 points in the overtime win over Lyons. Yellow Jacket forward Jimmy Neuman was the best player on the court in the 4th quarter and overtime period - he scored five points in each. 22

   The Orioles played all ten men in an effort to wear out Fredonia. The final score was not indicative of the closeness of the contest. When star player Sapp fouled out early in the 4th quarter, Fredonia gradually pulled away. 23

   A caravan of 75 cars greeted the boys north of Fredonia at 6 mile corner. They escorted the team into town where Coach Allen Burns addressed a crowd that had gathered in the streets. Another celebration was held at the school on Monday. The students were dismissed from school after the pep rally and there was a snake dance through the business section. Everyone was treated to a free movie at the Kansan to top off the celebration of  Fredonia's only state basketball championship. 24

No Class A All-Star team was named

Class B

    Once again, over 500 small schools fought it out in district and regional play to gain one of the sixteen spots for the Class B bracket at Hutchinson. Scranton, Appanoose (township school) and Utica made their first and only trips to a state tourney and were dispatched in the first round. 25 The more familiar names - Halstead and Powhattan - were on a collision course. Powhattan brought their most experienced team - all five starters were seniors. Their popular coach Johnny Corrigan possessed a genuine star player in Richard Pfister. 26 Gus Haury was the coach of the Halstead squad in tournament play. He stepped into the job after Coach David McGill was called into military service. His players asked the authorities to delay McGill's departure until after the tournament, but the requests were denied. The Halstead boys had the overall height advantage over most teams with 6'5" Max Smiley being the tallest player in the field. 27

    The quarter-final between Halstead and Cedar Vale was the most entertaining of the many bitterly fought contests at Convention Hall. The Dragons were forced to comeback in the final two minutes of regulation to tie the score with Cedar Vale. In the first overtime, Halstead missed two setups and Cedar Vale was unable to penetrate the defense. Halstead's Errol Johnson hit a shot from the corner in the second overtime period to end the game in a sudden death manner. 28 Powhattan rolled their first two opponents and seemed ready to do the same to the Dragons as they built a 14-4 halftime lead. Coach Haury switched offensive tactics in the 2nd half and Halstead reduced the lead to 4 by the end of the 3rd quarter. They continued to shoot well and gained a slim lead late in the game. Then, with Halstead ahead 23-22, the Powhattan Captain called a timeout to plan a last minute strategy, but officials assessed a technical foul on Powhattan because  they had already used all of their timeouts. Jack Schultz connected on the free throw and Halstead won the game 24-22.

    Arnold made their last trip to the state tournament one to remember. They were guided by the Huxmans - identical twin brothers Ron & Richard and their cousin Rex. They were known for their smooth passing game that froze the ball late in the win over Sylvia. After so many close calls, the Dragons decided to play their best game of the tournament in the finals. Arnold never posed much of a threat in the 33-26 victory for Halstead. 30

    Many of the old-time champs from the 1908 and 1909 Halstead teams attended the finals and made plans to attend the victory banquet held in honor of the Halstead team and coach. 31 "Gus" Haury had spent a long time as a coach in Kansas. He was Lindley's assistant at Newton, a coach at Bethel College and Buhler high school. 32 He was described as a "sphinx" or emotionless until he smiled broadly as he marched with his players to center court to accept the first place trophy. Haury was quick to point out that Coach McGill, away in the military for the last month, was due the greatest credit for bringing the boys along through the tough Mid-Kansas League. Many of the players sent word ahead to McGill describing all the details of the Halstead celebration. 33

    Class B gate receipts were nearly as strong as in 1941. Business interests were well pleased with hosting the B tourney and hoped to make the event permanent in Hutchinson. But a significant change in tournament operation would alter that plan for the next few seasons. 34

1   Gene Kemper, "Gene Kemper's Column", Topeka Daily Capital, March 18, 1942
2   Curtis Buller, 377
3   Jim Reed, "Off the Sports Cuff", Topeka Daily Capital, March 18, 1942
4   El Dorado Times, March 20, 1942, 2
5   Jim Reed, "Off the Sports Cuff", Topeka Daily Capital, March 21, 1942
6   Ibid, March 19, 1942   
7   Topeka Daily Capital, March 18, 1942, 9
8   Jim Reed, "Off the Sports Cuff", Topeka Daily Capital, March 21, 1942
9   Will R. Feder, "The Garland Story", El Dorado Times, March 21, 1942
10 Topeka Daily Capital, March 21, 1942, 12
11  Ibid
12 Jim Reed, "Off the Sports Cuff", Topeka Daily Capital, March 19, 1942
13 Newton Evening Kansan-Republican, March 23, 1942, 1
14 Topeka Daily Capital, March 22, 1942, 12B
15 Jim Reed, "Off the Sports Cuff", Topeka Daily Capital, March 23, 1942
16 Curtis Buller, 375-376
17 Ibid, 383
18 Jim Reed, "Off the Sports Cuff", Topeka Daily Capital, March 19, 1942  Harry Hart (Winfield Courier) passed up the state meet because of thin tires.  
19 Augusta Daily Gazette, March 23, 1942, 1
20 Carol Swenson, "One Hundred Years of Hoops: The Official History of the KSHSAA State Basketball Tournament" (KSHSAA 2011), 50
21 Augusta Daily Gazette, March 20, 1942, 1
22 Hays Daily News, March 21, 1942, 4
23 Topeka Daily Capital,  March 22, 1942. 12B
24 Fredonia Daily Herald, March 23, 1942, 1
25 Carol Swenson, 19-23
26 Horton Headlight, March 19, 1942,1
27 Halstead Independent, March 20, 1942, 1
Hutchinson News, March 20, 1942, 2
29 Ibid, March 21, 1942, 2
30 Ibid, March 23, 1942, 2
31 Halstead Independent, March 3, 1942, 2
32  Ibid,  April 10, 1942, 1
33 Alvin Dumler, "The Fanning Bee", Hutchinson Herald, March 23, 1942
34 Ibid