Piqua hoopsters stun Greenville in tourney


1944 season ends with loss to Troy

Duane Bachman


THE HISTORY OF PIQUA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS – A JOURNAL

WINTER 1944

“Dropped by the wayside in their first encounter of the season, the Central High Indians fell before a smooth running, experienced Covington High team 43-34, on the Bucs home court Friday night. It was Covington’s sixth straight win. Woods and Winans carried the scoring load for the Red and Blue lads. Last night’s contest showed that the Tribe is weak on shooting. Showing the strains of two successive battles, both the Central High Indians and the Dayton Parker Co-op Beavers had to fight for every point gained when they met at the Field House here Saturday night, the Beavers nosing out the Indians by a 24-23 margin, in an overtime tilt.”

“Breaking the jinx that has dogged their footsteps since the opening of the season, the Central High Indians came home with the bacon Friday night when they trampled a strong Dayton Kiser quintet, 34 -31. It was a hectic battle, both squads fighting for the winning points, but the scrappy Indians, leading by a 16-11 margin at the half, put the pressure on the Panthers, whose spurt in the fourth quarter came too late, and the locals reaped their first win. Forty years ago, December 17, the Wright brothers made their first flight, but Friday night, on the anniversary, Wilbur Wright went into a tailspin, as the Central High Indians, waxing hot, blasted them from the skies with a 40-26 score. The Tribe was hitting last night, and was in true winning form, dropping baskets from every angle of the court, sinking 14 out of 16 foul shots, the visitors managing only six out of 14.”

“Showing signs of weariness after battles the previous night, the Central High Indians and the West Milton netters eased through their contest Saturday night on the Milton floor with the Indians scoring a 36-27 win, marking up their third victory of the season against two defeats. Wilbur Woods, Indian center, was in top form Saturday when he made 19 points, eight field goals and three foul shots, while Milton’s Hunt, forward, chalked up ten points to lead his squad. The Central High Indians handed Coach Joe Schmidt a Christmas present Thursday night when they subdued the Bellefontaine netters for a 32-26 win, copping their fourth straight victory of the season. From start to finish it was a real battle with an occasional bit of rough play in the second period when the Chieftains became overly anxious to remain undefeated, but the Indians, doing a fairly good job of maintaining their composure, and managed to keep well out of reach of the visitors.”

“Knocked off their pedestal by the Tipp City Red Devils Wednesday night, the Central High Indians reluctantly dropped a 20-19 decision to their hosts, who booster their wins to eight straight, the Tribe going down for the third time this season. The Red Devils led at the end of the third quarter 14 – 12, but the Indians rallied in the final period to shoot ahead, but Peters, the fair-haired boy for the Devils took advantage of play to drop his only basket of the evening to win the game 20-19. Basketball fans at the Field House Saturday night didn’t display much enthusiasm during the first half of the Piqua High-Bradford game, for it wasn’t until the Indians trotted out on the floor for the second time that they really began to play ball, and ended up on the big end of a 45-26 score. Coach Joe Schmidt evidently gave his boys a locker room pep-rousing chat between halves, for when they took the floor again they began to show new spirit and basket appeal.”

“Friday night at Greenville the Piqua Indians got a taste of what real basketball competition is when they bucked up against a strong Green Wave who washed them out by a 35-23 score, forcing the Indians to start in the Miami Valley League with one strike against them. It was a tough evening for the Tribe, their leading scorers being sewed up in Greenville’s tight defense and when that happened they found themselves playing the majority of the time in the middle of the floor, or with one player dribbling down to shoot without the support of his teammates. Piqua wins from Sidney by four points! That’s the big news in local sports circles today, because a near-capacity crowd at the Field House Friday night watched the Central High Indians snatch their first MVL win right out from under the noses of the Yellow Jackets, who came to Piqua with the expectation of tucking another victory under their belts. But the tide was turned, for the Tribe, defeated last week at Greenville, started battling for victory the minute the opening buzzer sounded, and kept right on fighting until the final score read 27-23 in its favor. Fans from both Piqua and Sidney were there last night backing their teams up, and latecomers found that the only available seating room was at the south bleachers. Enthusiasm ran high as the two schoolboy quintets fought for what might have been a life and death struggle. Loud cheering from both sides and the peppy music from the P.H.S. band nearly bulged out the sides of the Field House.”

“It’s tough to lose a fight, but the Indians had to take it on the chin Friday night at Miamisburg when they failed to break the jinx that has hovered over Piqua teams when they played on the Viking floor since 1929, losing their second MVL game this season, 40-37. Staging a real battle, and sticking to the lead during a good part of the game, they failed to muster the last minute points to save the evening and were thrown for a loss. In the first quarter it looked as though the Xenia Buccaneers were going to give the Central High Indians some real competition, but they soon took a back seat at the Field House Friday night because the Indians were out to scalp them, and that they did with Tyson and Woods as their chiefs, putting 38 niches in their belts to Xenia’s 30.”

“The Central High Indians just ‘didn’t have it’ when they tangled with the deadly Fairmont Dragons on the Dayton floor Friday night, losing to the superior outfit 42-27, and waving goodbye to even any possible hopes of staying in the upper brackets in the Miami Valley League race. In short, the hitting ability of the Tribe just couldn’t touch that of their hosts, and although they lost, it was to a team that can easily outclass nearly any squad in the league. It was ‘Yea Troy’ Friday night at the Piqua Field House for the swift moving Trojans blanked the Indians from the win column, 29-19, while clinching their tie with Greenville for the league title. While showing signs of rallying in the third period, for the majority of the game the Indians just couldn’t hit. They found it tough to break through Troy’s defense, but when they did would fail to drop the ball through the hoop.”

“Registering their eighth victory in 16 games the Central High Indians wound up their regular season schedule in basketball by walloping Memorial High of St. Marys 57-27. Piqua led at the half 31-13. The point total for the Tribe was the greatest in the past two decades and the scoring tactics of Tyson and Woods with 18 and 17 points respectively completely overshadowed activities of other players of both teams. The former hit for nine fielders while the Indian center weighed in with seven baskets and a trio of foul goals. Taking the first hurdle in the Southwest Class A district tournament at the Dayton Coliseum in winning stride, the Central High Indians who knocked out Hamilton Catholic 37-17 Wednesday night, will try their luck again Saturday at 8 p.m. when they meet the winner of the Fairmont-Greenville tussle. The Indians met little opposition last night, and spent most of the evening showing the other team how to plunk them in. Although the teams appeared about evenly matched in height, the comparison ended there.”

“Swishing the ball through the net with an accuracy that surprised their opponents, and playing a tight zone defense, a fighting and determined Piqua Central quintet turned in one of the big surprises in the Southwestern Class A basketball tournament Saturday night at the Dayton Coliseum, upsetting the Greenville netters, co-champions in the Miami Valley League, 26-23. In Thursday’s action in the Southwestern Ohio district tournament , the Indians bowed to their old rivals, Troy High 36-17. In the Piqua-Troy tilt, the squads appeared evenly matched during the first half, and the game had the ear markings of a thriller, the half ending with Troy leading by one point. 9-8. In the third quarter a foul shot by Bayman tied the score, but from there on, the Trojans, led by Hartman, broke loose in scoring and the Tribe found themselves lost at the end of the period, 20-13. The Indians were unable to shake the Trojan defense in the final canto, their only scoring coming from an under-the-basket shot by Woods and two free throws by Wertz, while Troy tossed 16 counters through the hoop. The Indians finished the season with ten wins and nine losses.”

Duane Bachman
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_bachmanmug1.jpgDuane Bachman
1944 season ends with loss to Troy
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