Kansas Prep Basketball History Part 6                       Kansas High School Basketball  History

 Part Six:  Kansas CLASS AA, A & B Tournaments  1941-1951              * = Overtime    ! = Forfeit     by Patrick Macfee    Revised 5/2/2013


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

                       1941   1942   1943   1944   1945 


1945                                  Final Four Officials All Classes: Mike Oberhelman RANDOLPH, Ralph Winegarner WICHITA, Maurice Fager TOPEKA, Cecil Peterson TOPEKA

1945 CLASS AA State Tourney Coach


Emporia - Civic Auditorium

32 CLASS AA Teams

Earl Morrison CKL 1 Salina (21-3)
Final 4 Played in Emporia

Chet Davenport INDEPENDENT 2 Topeka High (17-7)
Wyandotte Sectional

Lee Casida ARK VALLEY SF El Dorado (7-16)
Hutchinson Sectional

Russ Davee SEKL SF Columbus (20-1)


  Topeka High

Wyandotte 30-27

Newton (15-6)

Columbus   33-31    

  Columbus   Salina  

Chanute 42-29   51-40  



  Salina     Salina

Newton 39-38 *     45-43

    El Dorado    

ElDorado   44-42    

  El Dorado   Topeka High  

Wellington 35-29   46-30  

Topeka High    

Newton Newton
Emporia Gazette

McPherson 30-27

Wellington Wellington

Junction City 54-43
Gene Anderson SALINA

Salina Salina
Maurice Martin TOPEKA

Arkansas City 41-24
Jack Lippoldt SALINA

El Dorado El Dorado
Aubrey Linville SALINA

Hutchinson 29-27

Columbus Columbus

Shawnee Mission 27-26
Officials  AA, A & B

Chanute Chanute

Lawrence 36-28
Mike Oberhelman RANDOLPH

Topeka High Topeka High
Ralph Winegarner WICHITA

Coffeyville 32-25
Maurice Fager TOPEKA

Wyandotte Wyandotte
Cecil Peterson TOPEKA

Pittsburg 42-25

 CLASS A State Tourney 

Emporia - White Auditorium

81 Teams 1945 K.A. Piper SKL 1 Anthony (23-1)

B.J. Ertz EKL 2 KC-Turner (18-4)
Final Four played in Emporia Harold Elliott UNION PACIFIC SF Russell (18-6)

Dale Kessinger TRI-VALLEY SF Eureka (17-3)


Highland Park 


Turner 40-21


Russell   43-40


Abilene 44-36  




Fredonia 34-22  


Anthony   49-37


Hoisington 56-37

1st Team

Highland Park Highland Park
Chuck Truby   ANTHONY
Bill Copenhaver   KC-TURNER
Turner Turner
Ward Lee Clark   EUREKA
Seaman 44-19
Barney Menasco   ANTHONY
Abilene Abilene
Bob Cather   ANTHONY
Colby 34-27

Russell Russell

Minneapolis 46-29

Eureka Eureka

Wichita-Cathedral 26-24

Fredonia Fredonia

Altamont 30-27

Anthony Anthony

Hillsboro 54-29

Hoisington Hoisington

Garden City 39-32

Ottawa Sectional

Russell Sectional

Eureka Sectional

Hutchison Sectional

1945 CLASS B Tourney 

Emporia - White Auditorium

Avy Masterson MID-KANSAS 1 Halstead (26-0)
136 Teams > Districts George Norton MID-KANSAS 2 Pretty Prairie (23-5)
Emporia Final Four Ray Stewart INDEPENDENT SF Courtland (24-1)

John Parker TRI-COUNTY SF DeSoto





Lorraine 43-29


Halstead   61-34


Attica 51-21  


Pretty Prairie

  Pretty Prairie  

Arma 67-39  

  Pretty Prairie

DeSoto   61-39


Edwardsville 24-18

Courtland Courtland

Oakley 44-24
Emporia Gazette

Lorraine Lorraine

Palco 36-34 *
Harold England
Halstead Halstead
Junior Hess
Kipp 49-34
Homer Turner
Attica Attica
Bill Jones
Mullinville 46-27
Tex Smiley
Pretty Prairie Pretty Prairie


Arma Arma


DeSoto DeSoto




Ottawa Sectional  

Russell Sectional  

Eureka Sectional  

Hutchinson Sectional


     E.A. Thomas and the high school association awarded the final four tournaments to Emporia for 1945. This would be the last time this format would be followed. 

    Thomas visited the venue in early March with a special concern that the auditorium floor be ready for the competition. The memory of the slick spots in the early games of the 1941 AA Tourney was still a concern in 1945. Advance ticket sales were brisk despite the dominance of world events on the mind of the general public. A wave of vandalism by teenagers caused a few pre-tournament jitters for the local management. Damage was done to the bathroom facilities and remote spectator areas. Emporia law enforcement blamed it on unsupervised elementary school kids allowed in on free passes. Some of the bold acts of destruction were traced to teeenage delinquents from Topeka. Local authorities established law and order and the Topeka vandals were returned to their parents well in advance of the state event.


  Coach Lindley brought his Newton team to the sectionals with what would turn out to be his final chance at a state championship. He was the man at Newton, except for one season, from the 1913-14 season until 1945. No one could match the record of Lindley in the State of Kansas during this period. Earl Morrison's Salina team presented another fast breaking challenge to the established style of the Railers. The two schools played a back and forth game that Salina appeared to have finally won with around five seconds left in the game. That was when Lester Haase caught a long pass off a missed free throw  and lofted a desperation shot a few steps past the half court line. His shot missed the mark but a hard foul knocked him to the floor. Coach Lindley called sucessive time outs to allow his player to regain his wind. With time expired Hasse sank both free throws sending the game to an overtime period. Salina's rebounding advantage won the game with a tip-in late in the extra period. Newton would not advance to the final four in Emporia.

  The battered Salina team prepared for  the surprise team of the  year  El Dorado. Writers had dubbed them the "children of destiny" due to the greatest late season turn-a-round in Kansas high school history. Coach Casida's boys were in the Ark Valley cellar when they defeated Hutchinson in the first round of the sectional. They then eliminated the Ark Valley champion Wellington who many thought was the favorite to win the state crown in Emporia. Wellington Coach Suran could only wonder why his team could not defeat the team they had so easily handled 66-29 and 43-20 during league play. "I don't know why things like this happen", Casida confessed to Suran as Wellington walked off the court with a 29-35 loss.

  El Dorado completed the unlikely run by defeating Salina in the Sectional final 44-42. The Wildcat players were inspired in building a big lead in the first half. Salina could only be effective with the running game intermittently - they did manage to come from far behind and tie the game at 24-24. That was when El Dorado went on another surge that allowed them to hang on. The Maroons wer gassed from the overtime game against Newton and suffered the effects of rough physical play from a Newton team fighting for survival. The knowledge that both teams would advance regardless of the outcome may have had a psychological effect on the Salina team down the stretch. They seemed to have less fire after clearing the hurdle over Newton.

  The eastern sectional at Wyandotte featured a semi-final contest between Topeka High and Wyandotte. The two had split a pair during the regular season. Wyandotte held a slight advantage on their home court until the last two minutes of the game. Topeka susbstitute Earl Hays sank a long set shot putting the Trojans ahead 28-27. Then Topeka stopped the Bulldogs and employed a stall. A defensive lapse by the Kansas City team allowed a lay-up that sealed the victory.

  Columbus continued an undefeated season with a 33-31 win over Topeka in the finals. The Titans relied on a zone defense and a versatile offense. They overcam stall tactics and fast breaking teams with equal ease. Their top scorer was Neil Ridley with Harry LaRue and Paul Churchill providing dominate rebounding.

to be continued