Kansas Prep Basketball History Part 3                      Updated April 15, 2012                        Kansas High School Basketball  History  by Patrick Macfeee

 Part Three:  Kansas High School Association Consolidation 1916-1920                * = Overtime    ! = Forfeit  


1916 Kansas Invitational and KSHSAA Tournament Combined      March 17-18, 1916      Robinson Gym    Lawrence, KS

                                                                                                                                                             Team                                   Coach                    League

   CH:  Newton  51  Iola  48 *                                                                                                             1. Newton  (18-2)                Frank Lindley       ARK VALLEY
   SF:   Newton  41  Atchison  22                                                                                                        2.  Iola  (25-2)                     W.P. Harriss          EKBL
   SF:   Iola  43  Arkansas City  15                                                                                                    SF Atchison  (7-5)               C.S. Miller             INDEPENDENT
   QF:  Newton  39  Dickinson County  25                                                                                        SF  Arkansas City  (12-5)   J.L. Robinson        ARK VALLEY
   QF:  Atchison  37  Leavenworth  20
   QF:  Iola  27  Winfield  14
   QF:  Arkansas City  16  Lawrence  12
   2R:  Dickinson County  28  Rosedale  14
   2R:  Newton  28  Ellsworth  14
2R:  Atchison  18  Moundridge  16
   2R:  Leavenworth  25  Randall  16
   2R:  Iola  38  Bonner Springs  13
   2R:  Winfield  32  Kansas City  19
   2R:  Arkansas City  37  Washington  9                                                                                  
Officials: Ralph Sproull, L.V. "Red" Brown, Gene Back, Ed Van der Vries
   2R:  Lawrence  20  Fowler  10                                                              
Dickinson County  32  Parsons  17                                                                                  Officials ALL-STAR TEAM
KC-Rosedale  25  Spearville  9                             
Newton  36  Holton  7                                                                                                       
1st Team:  Forrest DeBernardi (C)  IOLA
Ellsworth  16  Quenemo  12                                                                                                                 Orrin Brown  (G)  IOLA
1R:  Atchison  19  Baldwin  11                                                                                                                     Frank Jones  (F)  NEWTON
   1R:  Moundridge  31  Greeley  18                                                                                                              
Otto "Zeke" Kliewer (G)  NEWTON
   1R:  Leavenworth  33  Morrill  5                                                                                                                 
Frank Sidle  (F)  WINFIELD
   1R:  Randall  21  Lecompton  12
1R:  Iola  30  Seneca  13                                                                                                            2nd Team:  Earl Nelson (G)  IOLA
   1R:  Bonner Springs  2  Coldwater  0  !                                                                                                       
George Jennings (G)  WINFIELD
   1R:  Winfield  24  Larned  9                                                                                                                         
Phil Strauss (C)  NEWTON
   1R:  Kansas City  44  Sylvan Grove  8                                                                                                        
Robert Dunham (F)  IOLA
   1R:  Arkansas City  33  KC-Argentine  6                                                                                                    
Harold Alyea (F)  ATCHISON
   1R:  Washington  23  Osage City  16
   1R:  Lawrence  16  Lyndon  7
   1R:  Fowler  41  Merriam  40
   Preliminary:  Winfield  33  Burlington  12
   Preliminary:  Larned  22  Lawrence-Oread  13                                                                       
   Preliminary:  Kansas City  19  Macksville  13

   Scores Source: "One Hundred Years of Hoops" KSHSAA 2011 except as follows
Iola-Seneca : Lawrence Daily Journal-World, March 17, 1916, 1
                                        Atchison-Leavenworth: Atchison Daily Globe, March 18, 1916, 1


       A merger of sorts between the two tournaments was established in 1916. Kansas University was not willing to discontinue their open invitational tournament but at the same time did not want to miss out on the participation from the rapidly growing association members. The association could see that competition with the Kansas University tournament was a losing proposition. The joint venture held at Robinson Gym incorporated a separate KSHSAA championship bracket. A trophy was awarded to Newton by the association for the victory over Dickinson County (aka Chapman). The teams were placed in this part of the overall tournament by virtue of winning district tournaments conducted by the KSHSAA. 1

       Iola, the defending KU champion, tore through the regular season with stars DeBernardi and Dunham leading the way to several impressive wins. Late in the season Iola defeated Chanute 77-17 and KC-Rosedale 79-18.
The legend of DeBernardi grew with the number of nicknames he acquired in this season. He was known as "De", "Red" (a reference to his reddish-blonde hair) and the "Blonde Frog". The latter name referred to his domination of the center jump that was required after every made field goal. He played mostly center during this season and he was always a threat to tip-in missed shots. He was a natural at feeding his able teammates like Robert Dunham who developed into a master court player and possibly the best dribbler in the state. 3

      Iola skipped their district tournament in order to play a game in Kansas City against Kansas City Central (MO). That team had another future All-American AAU player in Milton Singer. Iola lost the re-match from an earlier meeting in Iola, but considered the contest good preparation for the Lawrence tournament. Iola saw Newton as their main competition for the Kansas title. 4 That could have been another reason to stay out of the KSHAA district tournaments as they would have to play their closest rival in less than a championship situation. (Parsons won the district that Iola skipped). 5

     Newton did compete in and win the association bracket and was able to defeat Atchison in the semi-final of the overall tournament to set the re-match of the 1915 final with Iola. 6 This contest had the most controversial conclusion of all the Kansas University championship games.   

     Newton, under Coach Frank Lindley, was known for playing a hard-nosed zone defense.* DeBernardi was injured early in the game and was not much of a factor the rest of the game. The Iola Daily Register claimed that foul play by a Newton guard "turned the trick" that sent Red flying into the crowd. Still, Iola was ahead at the end of the half 26-20. 7

* Coach Lindley was one of several coaches around the country who became known as the inventor of the zone defense. He was one of the first to use it as his main defense. Coach Lindley abandoned the zone after losing to Pueblo, CO in the 1926 University of Chicago National Tournament. 8

     When the team scorekeepers checked with the KU official at the break, they discovered incorrect totals in the official scorebook. Lawrence Cole was the official scorekeeper and when the Newton and Iola team representatives pointed out the error, he made a correction in his record. 9

     The Iola team hung on in the second half with a subdued offensive attack. DeBernardi could only score four points in the game. Newton was surging as the game wound down and they made several trips to the free throw line in the last few minutes. When time expired the Iola team and fans celebrated the effort by their squad that preserved a narrow 47-46 victory and tournament championship.

    That is when Newton's Principal W.A. Sterba learned that the official scorekeeper Cole ( a Kansas University basketball player) had, in his view, tampered with the scorebook. He objected to tournament director Hamilton and a lengthy discussion took place. It is not recorded what was discussed, but it can be surmised that the protest centered around Cole's authority to make the change in the scorebook. The Iola Daily Register stated that it took forty-five minutes for Hamilton to decide that an extra period should be played to decide the contest. In the overtime period Newton was much stronger than the Iola five and the trophy was won by Newton 51-48. 10

    A war of words continued for a few days after the conclusion of the tournament. Iola reporters claimed that there could be no glory for the Newton team because of the manner in which the victory was accomplished. "The game was literally purloined from the Iolans." was the verdict of the Iola Daily Register. 11 The writer for the Newton Evening Kansan-Republican bristled at that protest and fired back a few days later. He said the little country sheet was guilty of whining and "poor sportsmanship." He told readers, "How in the world a bunch of players with so much yellow in them ever won a championship last year is hard to understand." 12

    Lawrence newspapers offered no further comment on the incident. They reported the long discussion and the decision to declare a  tie at the end of regulation but gave no further details. Others pointed out that if Iola had better free throw shooting they would have avoided any controversy. 13 It is probable that the scorekeeper could have avoided a debate if he had conferred with the game officials and the tournament director when the scoring error was detected. Procedures for rule implementation were not always clearly stated in the rule books of the day. The game was new and each year brought situations that would force revision in rule interpretation.

1. University Daily Kansan, March 8, 1916, 1
2.  Iola Daily Register, February 21, 1916, 1
3.  Ibid, March 13, 1916, 8
4.  Ibid, March 16, 1916, 8
5.  Ibid, March 14, 1916, 8
6.  Newton Evening Kansan-Republican, March 18, 1916, 1
7.  Iola Daily Register, March 20, 1916, 1
8.  Frank Lindley, "Basketball Theory, System and Style," ATHLETIC JOURNAL, January, 1937.
9.  Iola Daily Register, March 20, 1916, 1
10  Ibid
11  Ibid
12  Newton Evening Kansan-Republican, March 22, 1916, 3
13  University Daily Kansan, March 20, 1916, 1


1917 Kansas Invitational and KSHSAA Tournament Combined      March 16-17 1917      Robinson Gym    Lawrence, KS

CH:  Newton  58  Wichita  27                                                                                                  1.  Newton  (15-3)                       Frank Lindley       ARK VALLEY
SF:   Newton  26  Winfield  15                                                                                                 2.  Wichita  (16-3)                       John Barnes         ARK VALLEY
SF:   Wichita  41  Atchison  27                                                                                               SF  Atchison  (10-7)                     Ray Dunmire        NEKL
QF:  Newton  23  Parsons  4                                                                                                  SF  Winfield  (12-7)                      Frank Root           ARK VALLEY
QF:  Atchison  17  Belle Plaine  19
QF:  Wichita  20  Hazelton  14
QF:  Winfield  23  Bushton  21                                                                                              
2R:  Newton  27  Emporia  8
2R:  Parsons  17  Iola  15
2R:  Winfield  27  Gardner  9
2R:  Bushton  30  Macksville  8
2R:  Atchison  15  Arkansas City  14                                                                                       
Officials:  Ralph Sproull, ________________________
2R:  Belle Plaine  31  Preston  19
2R:  Wichita  22  Eudora  15                                                                                                   Officials & Press All-Star Team
2R:  Hazelton  27  Lecompton  3
1R:  Atchison  35  Dodge City  30
1R:  Arkansas City  45  Effingham  5                                                                                    1st Team:  Harold Youngmeyer   WICHITA
1R:  Belle Plaine:  21  Kansas City  17                                                                                                    Don Meeker  WICHITA
1R:  Preston  25  Mankato  7                                                                                                                   Edward Miller  NEWTON
1R:  Wichita  26  Lawrence-Oread  9                                                                                                       George Jennings  WINFIELD
1R:  Eudora  15  Halstead  4                                                                                                                    Clement Dodd   PARSONS
1R:  Hazelton  26  Wellington  12                             
1R:  Lecompton  26  Goodland  8                                                                                          2nd Team:  Lester Reber   EUDORA
1R:  Winfield  35  Baldwin  3                                                                                                                     John Dotson  NEWTON
1R:  Gardner  16  Sterling  9                                                                                                                     Fred Lighter  DODGE CITY
1R:  Bushton  28  Potter  6                                                                                                                        J.B. Brown  NEWTON
1R:  Macksville  20  Perry  2                                                                                                                    Lewis Tharp  WINFIELD
1R:  Newton  39  Winchester  4
1R:  Emporia  23  Cawker City  12
1R:  Parsons  26  Salina  9
1R:  Iola  Bye (Ellsworth declined)
Preliminary:  Dodge City  27  Merriam  17
Preliminary:  Arkansas City  18  Lawrence  16
Preliminary:  Belle Plaine  2  KC-Rosedale  0  !
Preliminary:  Kansas City  35  Reading  7
Preliminary:  Mankato  2  WaKeeney  0  !
Preliminary:  Wichita  30  Glen Elder  7
Preliminary:  Eudora  25  Greeley  6
Preliminary:  Halstead  22  Bonner Springs  10
Preliminary:  Hazelton  32  Osawatomie  10
Preliminary:  Wellington  2  Clay Center  0  !
Preliminary:  Lecompton  10  Larned  9
Preliminary:  Winfield  16  Alton  12
Preliminary:  Baldwin  17  Washington  8
Preliminary:  Gardner  20  Bucklin  10
Preliminary:  Sterling  32  KC-Argentine  15                                           
Score Sources:
"One Hundred Years of Hoops" KSHSAA 2011 except as follows
Newton-Wichita/Newton-Winfield /Newton-Parsons: Newton Evening Kansan-Republican, March 19, 1917
                                   Parsons-Salina/Emporia-Cawker City/Baldwin-Washington/Wichita-Glen Elder/Hazelton-Lecompton/Belle Plaine-Preston/Eudora-Greeley:  Lawrence Daily Journal World, March 17, 1917


   There would be no re-match between Newton and Iola in 1917. Iola's great player DeBernardi moved to Kansas City, Mo where he resumed his high school career at Northeast High. 1 Parsons  knocked out the Iola boys in the KSHSAA bracket .

   A record forty-six teams entered the combination Kansas Invitational and KSHSAA tournament. Kansas University continued to host the event. Coach Hamilton gave a speech to the high school coaches prior to the tournament that advanced the quality of the players with not so subtle hints as to where they could play college ball. He told the coaches "that if the best players in the high school tournament would play together on one team they could easily win the Missouri Valley Conference championship every year." 3   The University Daily Kansan went on to remind their student readers to do their part in attracting the hometown high school athletes to make the trip to the University each year. The competition between the university teams was heating up in basketball and student help with hosting the players was expected and helped the organizers handle the administration of the huge tournament. 4

  Newton repeated as champion of the tournament winning both 1st place cups. This time there was no question as to who had the best team in the state. The final was a huge blow-out victory over their Ark Valley foe Wichita. Frank Lindley drew praise from the press for perfecting a style of play that rolled over every team in it's path. 5 Coach Lindley was known for his thorough training methods. The players began their education in this system from Lindley disciples in the elementary schools of Newton. Competition for varsity spots was  intense and only those left with talent and, more importantly, devotion to Coach Lindley's principles made the team. If they faltered, others could fill their position with little loss of quality. 6

   The fact that communication between coach and player was forbidden at any time during a game did not matter to the Newton club. Some critics over the years suggested that Lindley, or his bench, gave signals to the team from the sidelines in violation of the rules. The truth was the Newton team was so well drilled in a minimal variety of effective set plays that coaching from the bench was not needed. 8

1.  Northeast High School Annual, Nor'easter (Kansas City, MO, 1917) 118-119
2.  Lawrence Daily Journal-World, March 17, 1917, 6
3.  University Daily Kansan, March 19, 1917, 4
4.  Ibid, March 13, 1917, 6
5.  Newton Evening Kansan-Republican, March 19, 1917, 6
6.  Curtis Buller, comp, "Can't You Hear the Whistle Blowing?: A history of Newton High School Basketball The Years 1914-1958 & 1979" (Denver, Sid Gates, 2008), 17-18
7.  Ibid, 269
8.  Ibid, 270  


1918 Kansas Invitational and KSHSAA Tournament Combined      March 22-23,  1918      Robinson Gym    Lawrence, KS

CH:  Arkansas City  38  Newton  35                                                                                               1. Arkansas City (14-5)         Ivan Trusler      ARK VALLEY
SF:   Arkansas City  20  Winfield  17                                                                                              2.  Newton  (20-2)                  Frank Lindley    ARK VALLEY
SF:   Newton  37  Sedan  20                                                                                                            SF  Sedan  (?-?)                      Byron White      INDEPENDENT
QF:  Sedan  29  McPherson  24                                                                                                      SF  Winfield  (14-5)                Will French        ARK VALLEY
QF:  Newton  39  Emporia  17
QF:  Arkansas City  34  Macksville  4
QF:  Winfield  23  Iola  12                                                                                                             
Officials:  Phog Allen, Red Brown
2R:  Sedan  19  Wichita  18
2R:  McPherson  20 Larned  10                                                                                                   Officials & Coaches All-Star Team
2R:  Newton  28  Parsons  15
2R:  Emporia  12  Hays  9
2R:  Arkansas City  59  Argentine  6                                                                                         1st Team:  John Dotson  NEWTON
2R:  Macksville  25  KC-Rosedale  21                                                                                                         Edward Miller  NEWTON
2R:  Winfield  36  Baldwin  5                                                                                                                         McCarty  ARKANSAS CITY
2R:  Iola  19  Linwood  11                                                                                                                              Edmund "Chop" Cairns  WINFIELD
1R:  Sedan  22  Kansas City  21                                                                                                                    Arthur "Ox" Kahler  ARKANSAS
1R:  Wichita  14  Eudora  6
1R:  McPherson  22  KC-Turner  15                                                                                           2nd Team:  R. McSpadden  SEDAN
1R:  Larned  26  Bonner Springs  18                                                                                                               Ed Curtis  ARKANSAS CITY
1R:  Newton  26  Topeka  12                                                                                                                           Walt Rogers  NEWTON
1R:  Parsons  2  Reno County  0  !                                                                                                                  Albert Benfer  NEWTON
1R:  Emporia  18  Solomon  10                                                                                                                        George Gardner  ARKANSAS CITY
1R:  Hays  25  Lawrence  14
1R:  Arkansas City  27  Lecompton  5
1R:  KC-Argentine  2  Powhattan  0  !
1R:  Macksville  27  Merriam  11
1R:  KC-Rosedale  23  Horton  18
1R:  Winfield  37  Lawrence-Oread  0
1R:  Baldwin  25  Leavenworth  8
1R:  Iola  2  Williamsburg  0  !
1R:  Linwood  2  Viola  0  !                                   
                                   KSHSAA BRACKET

Score Sources: "One Hundred Years of Hoops" KSHSAA 2011 except as follows
Arkansas City-Macksville : Arkansas City Daily Traveler, 3-23-1918
                                   Newton-Topeka:  Topeka Daily Capital, March 23, 1918

    The dominance of the Ark Valley League of basketball teams continued in 1918. Three out of the four semi-finalists came from the group led by Newton. Newton was the champion of the league and their continued success fueled the race by other league schools to keep pace. Newton was a major hub for the Santa Fe Railroad and fans from the other towns on the Santa Fe line would travel by rail to watch their teams road games. The tough  competition and atmosphere of these league games gave the Ark Valley teams an edge in state tournament play. 1

   As conference champion, Newton was automatically considered the favorite to win the tournament. After winning the KSHSAA 1st place trophy*, they encountered the Sedan boys who were the surprise team of the tournament. Sedan had shocked Kansas City, Wichita and McPherson on the way to the semi-final battle. 2 Newton's zone defense was too much for the Sedan squad led by the hot shooting R. McSpadden. 3

   Arkansas City had struggled through the middle of league play with several key players out or hobbled by injury. A late season win over Wichita in league play gave the Bulldogs some momentum. 4 That surge carried over to the tournament where Arthur "Ox" Kahler helped in a key win over Winfield. George Gardner was the star of the team, but was not having one of his better games against Winfield. Kalher was the difference in the 20-17 victory. Both Kahler and Gardner would go on to great athletic careers at Southwestern College in Winfield. 5

   Coach Lindley was confident that his boys would put away Arkansas City for the third time. He did note that Newton's games in the KSHSAA bracket were longer than some of the preliminary twenty minute games played by Arkansas City. When Arkansas City sprang the upset, some Newton supporters suggested fatigue played a role in the loss. 6

   Arkansas City planned a rousing reception for the boys when they received the news by telegraph from Lawrence. Supporters were waiting for "No. 5" at the train depot and the  players were loaded into automobiles and carried uptown for a celebration in the streets. 7

   Kansas City Central, the Missouri high school champ, issued a challenge to play the Kansas champs in a benefit game for the Camp Funston recreation fund. Of course they wanted to host the event in Kansas City. The KC boys had completed their tournament a week earlier , while Arkansas City had both Gardner and Kahler with injuries that would take some time to heal. Coach Trusler offered to have a game in the Wichita area to offset some of the advantage that KC would have due to his team's injuries. That plan was rejected and the Kansas-Missouri championship game was never played. 8

* The KSHSAA trophy was awarded for the winner of their bracket and gained recognition as the KSHSAA champion. This was never really considered true by the contestants unless that same team went on to win the overall championship. As time passed, only the overall championship was recognized by the KSHSAA as the state championship. Newton's trophies for 1918 and 1920 don't represent state championships. 9

1.   Curtis Buller, 11
2.   Lawrence Daily Journal-World, March 23, 1918, 8
3.   Ibid, March 25, 1918, 8
4.   Arkansas City Daily Traveler, February 25, 1918, 
5.   http://www.buildersports.com/d/2009-10/Hall_of_Fame_Full_List.pdf
6.   Curtis Buller, 133
7.   Arkansas City Daily Traveler, March 25, 1918, 
8.   Ibid, March 26, 1918, 1
9.   http://www.kshsaa.org/Public/Basketball/PDF/CompleteHistory.pdf     



1919 Kansas Invitational and KSHSAA Tournament Combined      March 28-29             Robinson Gym    Lawrence, KS

CH:  Winfield  28  Lawrence  17                                                                                                1. Winfield  (23-0)             Will French         ARK VALLEY
SF:   Lawrence  36  Girard  8                                                                                                     2.  Lawrence  (17-5)          Julius Uhrlaub     INDEPENDENT
SF:   Winfield  29  Arkansas City  15                                                                                       SF  Girard  (12-5)               C. S. Robinson    INDEPENDENT
QF:  Lawrence  28  Dodge City  16                                                                                          SF  Arkansas City  (17-6)  Ivan Trussler      ARK VALLEY
QF:  Girard  14  Kiowa  12
QF:  Arkansas City  19  Fort Scott  15
QF:  Winfield  32  Topeka  8
2R:  Lawrence  22  Viola  12                                                                                             
Officials:  John Bunn, L.V. "Red" Brown, Rudolph Uhrlaub, Roy Bennett, Kelsey Mathews
2R:  Dodge City  19  KC-Turner  5
2R:  Girard  34  Bancroft  7
2R:  Kiowa  27  Eudora  11                                                                                                Tournament All-Star Team - Voted by Officials, Press & Coaches
2R:  Arkansas City  21  Concordia  8
2R:  Fort Scott  24  Wellsville  11
2R:  Winfield  16  Wichita  5                                                                                               Wilber Johnson  (F)   WINFIELD
2R:  Topeka 18  Iola  17 **                                                                                                 Paul Endacott (F)  LAWRENCE
1R:  Lawrence  26  Gardner  8                                                                                            Art "Ox" Kahler (C)  ARKANSAS CITY
1R:  Viola  34  Enterprise  2                                                                                                Boyd Smith  (G)  WINFIELD
1R:  Dodge City  18  Ottawa  11                                                                                         Armin Woestermeyer (G)  LAWRENCE
1R:  KC-Turner  12  McPherson  8
1R:  Girard  33  Mahaska  9
1R:  Bancroft  29  Macksville  27
1R:  Kiowa  24  Lecompton  4
1R:  Eudora  17  Atchison  16
1R:  Arkansas City  28  Burlington  14
1R:  Concordia  18  Perry  10
1R:  Fort Scott  31  Sabetha  7
1R:  Wellsville  23  Coldwater  14
1R:  Winfield  43  Linwood  4
1R:  Wichita  14  Emporia  10
1R:  Topeka  11  Ellsworth  8
1R:  Iola  2  Buhler  0  !
Preliminary:  Lawrence  30  Preston  12
Preliminary:  Gardner  19  KC-Argentine  6
Preliminary:  Ottawa  21  McLouth  12
Preliminary:  Eudora  46  Cheney  6
Preliminary:  Arkansas City  34  Valley Falls  12
Preliminary:  Burlington  17  Kansas City  12
Preliminary:  Perry  16  Vinland  11
Preliminary:  Wellsville  24  Baldwin  13                                            

Score Sources: "One Hundred Years of Hoops" KSHSAA 2011 except as follows
Wellsville-Coldwater/Lawrence-Gardner/Kiowa-Lecompton - March 29, 1919 Lawrence Daily Journal World

   It appeared to Lawrence High School fans and civic leaders that the local "red & black" would break the hold of the Ark Valley on the state championship. Tom Sweeney of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce announced, "We have a wonderful Lawrence High School team ... that clearly demonstrated its championship quality by defeating the cream of the Kansas City schools here." He was referring to the KC-MO All-Stars that the Lawrence boys defeated after losing two previous matches against the elite team of high school players. 1 Two previous encounters resulted in losses for Lawrence - their only other loss was by one point to Emporia. 2

    A review of the Lawrence roster included three future Kansas University basketball stars. Heading the list was Paul Endacott  who would become a Helms Foundation All-American in 1922 and Player of the year in 1923. He was inducted into the Naismith Hall  of Fame in 1972. Tusten Ackerman was also a Helms All-American in 1924 & 1925 as well as an AAU All-American player. Armin Woestermeyer was also a key player on Phog Allen's legendary teams. 3

   The tournament continued the dual championship brackets with time periods of twenty minutes for all games that preceded the semi-finals. The semis were played in two fifteen minute halves and the finals reverted to the then standard two twenty minute halves. Thirty-eight teams were entered in the event managed by Coach Hamilton for the last time at Kansas University. 4

   Despite the views of many in the eastern part of the state, no team could match the class of the 1919 Winfield Vikings. "Pete" Rief, Edmund "Chop" Cairns and Wilber Johnson were the headliners for Coach Will French's team.  They came to Lawrence undefeated on the season and doing that with the type of schedule they faced was quite an accomplishment. 5

   They were known for deadly outside shooting and that was how they built an early lead against Lawrence in the finals. Winfield finished 23-0 with the best record of any team that had competed in either version of the Kansas tournament. 6 Lawrence missed the ability of Clarence Houk due to a bout of influenza (possibly pneumonia) that prevented him from playing in any tournament games. The Lawrence press reported that he tried to make it to the gym on Saturday but was simply unable to shake the bug. 7 Still, Winfield won the tournament final without their best scorer Pete Reif. He was one of the most popular players on the team and he urged his teammates to win school's first championship. He stayed behind in Winfield due to an attack of appendicitis one day before the boys left for Lawrence. Maurelle Dobson filled in admirably at forward as the team pulverized the field . 8

1.   Lawrence Daily Journal-World, March 25, 1919, 1
2.   University Daily Kansan, March 25, 1919, 1
3.   http://hoopszone.net/Kentucky/Kansas/Season/1923Team.htm 
4.   Lawrence Daily Journal-World, March 27, 1919, 3
5.   Winfield Daily Courier, March 4, 1919, 6
6.   Lawrence Daily Journal-World, March 31, 1919, 6
7.   Ibid, March 27, 1919, 3
8.   Winfield Daily Courier, March 27, 1919, 3


1920 Kansas Invitational and KSHSAA Tournament Combined      March 19-20             Robinson Gym    Lawrence, KS

CH:  Winfield  60  KC-Argentine  31                                                                                       1. Winfield (26-1) *            John Reber          ARK VALLEY
SF:   KC-Argentine  36  Oxford  16                                                                                         2.  KC-Argentine (25-3)     L.L. Watt             NEKL
SF:   Winfield  28  Arkansas City  25                                                                                      SF Arkansas City (15-8)    Ivan Trusler         ARK VALLEY
QF:  Winfield  18  Newton  13                                                                                                 SF  Oxford  (15-4)               Henry Wartick    SUMNER COUNTY
QF:  Arkansas City  18  Dodge City  8                                                                         
QF:  KC-Argentine  27  El Dorado  7                                                                                      Tournament Manager: Forrest "Phog" Allen
QF:  Oxford  14  Lawrence  6                                                                                                 
Officials:  L.V. "Red" Brown, Ray Dunmire
2R:  Newton  21  Horton  11                                                                                                     * Winfield record includes games at Madison, WI tournament.
2R:  Winfield  43  Girard  5
2R:  Arkansas City  30  Vinland  2
2R:  Dodge City  18  McPherson  8                                                                                         OFFICIALS ALL-STAR TEAM
2R:  KC-Argentine  29  Cherokee  14
2R:  El Dorado  23  Lewis  20                                                                                                  1st Team
2R:  Lawrence  27  Baldwin  12
2R:  Oxford  30  Liberal  17                                                                                                     Paul "Pete" Reif                WINFIELD
1R:  Baldwin  19  Towanda  16                                                                                                Jimmie Gardner                  ARKANSAS CITY
1R:  Lawrence  2  Burlington  0 !                                                                                            Maurelle Dobson               WINFIELD
1R:  Oxford  22  Greenleaf  17                                                                                                Jay Swarner                       KC-ARGENTINE
1R:  Liberal  30  Meade  19                                                                                                     Hardy                                 ARKANSAS CITY
1R:  Lewis  24  DeSoto  16
1R:  El Dorado  15  Clyde  6
1R:  KC-Argentine  29  Bonner Springs  21                                                                            2nd Team
1R:  Cherokee  30  KC-Rosedale  15
1R:  Arkansas City  23  Fredonia  12                                                                                      Charles Mercer                 KC-ARGENTINE
1R:  Vinland  2  Herington  0 !                                                                                                 Stanley "Toad" Reif         WINFIELD
1R:  Dodge City  24  Lecompton  4                                                                                         John Lonborg                     HORTON
1R:  McPherson  17  Lawrence-Oread  13                                                                             James Weed                       LAWRENCE
1R:  Winfield  45  Leavenworth  5                                                                                           Rudy Enns                          NEWTON
1R:  Girard  2  Oskaloosa  0  !
Newton  15    Eudora  13
Horton  15  Hays  11
Preliminary:  Baldwin  28  Potwin  10
Preliminary:  Lawrence  29  Uniontown  11
Preliminary:  Greenleaf  19  Osawatomie  13
Preliminary:  Oxford  25  Valley Falls  15
Preliminary:  Liberal  13  Edwardsville  8
Preliminary:  Meade  24  Chanute  17
Preliminary:  Lewis  23  Virgil  16
Preliminary:  DeSoto  2  Scott City  0 !
Preliminary:  Clyde  2  Iola  0 !
Preliminary:  KC-Argentine  41  Great Bend  17
Preliminary:  Cherokee 20  Larned  6
Preliminary:  KC-Rosedale  2  St. John's Military 0  !
Preliminary:  Arkansas City  37  Wamego  7
Preliminary:  Vinland  2  Attica  0  !
Preliminary:  Dodge City  26  Kansas City  12
Preliminary:  McPherson  2  Gardner  0 !
Preliminary:  Leavenworth  2  Sedan  0 !
Preliminary:  Winfield  2  Wellington  0 !
Preliminary:  Newton     BYE
Preliminary:  Eudora  18  Fort Scott  12
Horton  12  Manhattan  4
Preliminary:  Hays  19  Emporia  12                                                                          KSHSAA BRACKET

Score Sources: "One Hundred Years of Hoops" KSHSAA 2011 except as follows
Cherokee-Larned/Liberal-Meade/Dodge City-Lecompton/KC-Argentine-Cherokee/Dodge City-McPherson/Newton-Horton, Topeka Daily Capital, March 20, 1920, 8
                                     KC-Argentine-El Dorado/Arkansas City-Dodge City, Topeka Daily Capital, March 21, 1920, 10B

There are a number of forfeits that the KSHSAA book did not record - basically meaningless - but I listed them anyway. These were teams that were not able to
raise travel funds or drew opponents that made 1st round elimination almost certain.  Eudora-Fort Scott and Hays-Emporia games were left out of the book and 
I did not notice it when I discussed these changes with Mr. Swenson. They are reported in the Lawrence Daily Journal-World, March 20, 1920, pg 1.

         This tournament marked the end of Kansas University involvement in the KSHSAA championship. Phog Allen directed the largest number of entries in the history of the event, but ten teams never showed up to play their games at Robinson Gym. 1 A separate bracket was played for the association's district winners - Newton won that award but failed to reach the semi-finals. 2

        The early story of the tournament was the play of the Oxford, the small school from Sumner county. Neutral observers were impressed by the Henry Wartick trained squad.3 While their coach was not present at the tournament, the team Captain Lowery called out the plays their mentor taught them. 4 School administrator John Wengler was on hand to see the boys march through the tourney. They made it all the way to the semi-finals by defeating Valley Falls, Greenleaf, Liberal and Lawrence. The professor could not contain his pride and wrote for the local paper his poetic summation of the performance. "Before the fiery attack of the Oxford boys the green leaves withered, before the hurricane offense the cottonwood falls, by liberal treatment we acquired our third victory, and by strategic movement Lawrence was sacked." 5

       One of those impressed with the boys was Dr. Naismith who met the players at a local Sunday school. He offered his touring car and a chauffeur to the team for an afternoon ride to the historic spots of Lawrence. 6

      The main attraction of the weekend was the dominant play of the defending champion Winfield that was now coached by John Reber. They won the championship over KC-Argentine capping off their second undefeated season and Kansas championship. They were led by Paul "Pete" Reif and his brother Stanley "Toad" Rief. 7

  The winner of the association bracket, Newton, was entitled to the $200.00 the group provided for expenses to the Chicago University National Tournament directed by Amos Alonzo Staag. Winfield stayed out of the district tourney that Newton won due to a commitment to participate in an inter-state event sponsored by Southwestern College on the same weekend.  Coach Lindley declined the money and the trip due to the crippled condition of his team. It went unsaid that after losing three times to Winfield during the year, Coach Lindley felt a bit uneasy about accepting the spot in the Staag tourney. 8

  Winfield found a place in the Wisconsin University Interstate Basketball Tournament held in Madison, Wisconsin. This event had participants from Michigan, North Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Illinois and Kansas (Winfield). This was the first appearance by a Kansas high school in a major post-season "national" type tourney. 9

   The Vikings were very successful in tournament play defeating Red Wing, MN, Centralia, IL and Canton, IL to make the bracket final. The local fans and press predicted victory for Winfield but they dropped a two-point decision to the Cedar Rapids, IA high school. Reporters who marveled at Winfield's "fast" game noted that the Winfield players made numerous errors and  appeared to be strung out by the competition. Winfield's star players were unable to get their shots to fall early in the contest and never fully recovered. 10

   An eligibility question in regard to the Cedar Rapids roster caused official embarrassment in the weeks that followed the event. No change in the official outcomes resulted from the investigations and the story faded away. The second place finish ended the Winfield consecutive win streak at forty-nine.

 1.   University Daily Kansan, March 18, 1920, 1
 2.   Newton Evening Kansan-Republican, March 22, 1920, 8
 3.   Winfield Daily Courier, March 20, 1920, 6
 4.   Ibid
 5.   Oxford Review, March 25, 1920, 
 6.   Ibid
 7.   Winfield Daily Courier, March 23, 1920, 6
 9.   Winfield Daily Courier, March 26, 1920, 8
10.  Ibid, March 29, 1920, 6
11.  Ibid, April 5, 1920, 6