A journal history of Piqua athletics

Duane Bachman For the PDC


World War II impacted the sports scene at Piqua High School. “Delbert P. Walton, Central High basketball-baseball coach, and First Lieutenant, attached to the staff of the Second Battalion, 136th Field Artillery, Ohio National Guard, has been granted a one year leave of absence by the Board of Education of Piqua public schools. The action was taken in the September meeting of the board when Lieut. Walton’s request was presented by Supt. G.C. Dietrich. In line with the policy recommended by state school officials relative to school men associated with the National Guard, the local board readily granted the request, to be effective October 15, the date the Ohio National Guard will be mobilized. The Central high cage and diamond mentor is also a capable instructor in the Industrial Arts department of the high school and has been teaching here for five years. School officials indicated that contacts are being made to secure a teacher to fill Lieut. Walton’s vacated position for the remainder of the current school year”

“Clinton ‘Lefty’ Gattshall, former Wooster college athlete and coach at Wilder Jr. High during the past year, has been named as head basketball coach for Central High School this season, filling the vacancy created by the temporary leave of absence granted to Lieut. D. P. Walton, of Headquarters staff, 2nd Battalion, 136th F.A. Ohio National Guard now enroute to Camp Shelby, Miss. Gattshall’s appointment was authorized by the Board of Education in its October meeting last night at the Central High building. He will be the second man to coach Indian cagers since the field house was constructed five years ago, Walton capably filling that post, giving Central High outstanding court aggregations.”

“A promising quintet of Central High Indians came near upsetting the dope bucket and knocking off a fast-stepping Covington team in the first court activity of the season at the field house but three quarters of fast basketball on the part of the visitors was a bit too much for Clint Gattshall’s basketeers who dropped their initial contest 23-22 in a whirlwind finish that had the 800 roaring fans on their feet in the concluding minutes. On Saturday night the Wilbur Wright basketeers handed the Piqua squad a 23-18 setback at Dayton.”

“Today’s important question — Where’s the basket? And there’s plenty of reason to wonder just where the scoring ring is, when the Central High Indians trod the hardwood. Last night the Indians dropped a 19-18 decision to the Kiser High cagers of Dayton for their third straight loss. And the loss can be attributed directly to the inability of the Redskin netters to hit the net. During the contest, they not only blew seven short shots as well as countless others, but also tallied ONLY FOUR out of 19 free throws. Unleashing a fourth period scoring surge to garner an even dozen points, the Central High Indians trounced the Memorial High basketball team of St. Mary’s at that latter city last night 26-18, the victory being the Tribe’s first win in four starts this season. Actually, the story of the Central triumph is wrapped up on that sparkling fourth period, for the Gattshall-coached lads garnered almost as many points in the final quarter as they did in the previous three quarters of the contest.”

“Coach Clint Gattshall’s Central High Indians climaxed the 1940 portion of their schedule Saturday night by edging the cagers of Milton-Union High School in the late stages, the actual victory coming in a three-minute overtime when a field goal by Harold Woods broke the 26-26 deadlock the prevailed at the end of the regulation playing time. Woods game-winning bucket came with just 40 seconds remaining in the first overtime period. The Central High Indians registered their third successive cage triumph last night at the field house, defeating Pleasant Hill 22-10, the Redskins unleashing a second half spurt to pile up the winning margin, having held an 8-6 advantage at the half-way mark.”

“Despite their usual last half surge in which they outscored the Teddies 14-13, the Central High Indians lost a fast and furious battle to Dayton Roosevelt 38-25 at the Field House Saturday night. From the time that Woods, southpaw forward, broke the ice for Piqua with a one-handed swisher until the final horn the game traveled at a speedy clip. But an edge in height, slightly better ball handling, and accurate long-range shooting spelled the difference which enabled the visiting quintet to rack up their hard earned victory. If there’s such a thing as a moral victory in sports competition, certainly the Central High Indians chalked up one rating box car type though actually losing a heart-breaker to a cocky, supposedly superior Greenville High quintet that fortunately clicked in the closing minutes to finish in front 24-23. The win was the seventh straight for Greenville. The crowd of over 1000 fans were treated to a first class thrilling basketball battle with the Indians, despite their lack of height, consistently applying the pressure on the invading Green Wave five that averages more than six feet in height.”

“The Central High Indians bested the Yellow Jackets from Sidney 30 to 27 in an overtime M.V. L. duel at Sidney Friday night. Play started slowly with each team racking a pair of field goals during the first quarter. Both Redskins and the Jackets experienced considerable difficulty in caging their shots in the first two periods with many bouncing off the rims. The Indians registered their second victory in as many nights by easily conquering the luckless and inexperienced Bradford High Railroaders Saturday evening 44-13. The Orange and Black lads tried valiantly but lacked both the ability and experience to match points with the Red and Blue.

A near capacity crowd of 1,100 rabid fans saw the Vikings of Miamisburg continue their undefeated record as one of Ohio’s best basketball teams Friday night when the visitors got by a nip-and-tuck first quarter to hand the Indians of Piqua Central a 36-19 trouncing at the Field House. It was Miamisburg’s 13th straight triumph.”

“Again leveling their season’s record at the .500 mark, the Central High Indians experienced little difficulty in downing the Van Wert Cougars 44 to 20 at the latters gym Saturday evening, for the locals sixth win in 12 games. Fighting a losing battle, the Piqua Indians dropped their seventh game in thirteen starts last night, falling before the Xenia Bussaneers, 43 to 29. Although behind all the way, the Gattshall-coached quintet never ceased its efforts, but the seventeen margin at the intermission was too much to overcome. Lack of height again proved a disadvantage and this, added to the fact that the Xenia lads were playing on their own spacious floor, enabled the downstate five to roll up its third MVL win.”

“Once again the Indians raised their won-lost record back to the .500 level as they downed the luckless Staunton Scotties 35 to 20 at the Field House Saturday night. Leading 19 to 13 at the half, Piqua maintained its six point lead at the third quarter mark 25 to 19, and, scoring ten times to the visitors once in the final period, registered their seventh triumph in fourteen starts, 35 to 20. Piqua’s Central High Indian quintet after several times reaching the .500 standing this season and then falling back finally made the grade by defeating Dayton Fairmont 23-17 at the Field House Friday night racking up victory number 8 against seven defeats. It makes the second win in Miami Valley League play for the Indians and assures them of finishing out of the cellar this season.”

“Ringing down the curtain on the 1940-1941 Miami Valley League season with a bang, the Central Indians hung an easy 36 to 16 defeat on the collective chins of the Troy High Trojans at the Van Cleve gym last night. Despite the fact that that the season’s won-lost record will not look too impressive, the win last night might be regarded as the indication of a successful year, as the victory over Piqua’s ancient rival is the most treasured triumph of the schedule. Piqua, by virtue of its win last night, holds a 12-0 edge in points toward retaining the Piqua Call-Troy News trophy. The Central High Indians dropped their eighth game in 17 starts as they completed the 1940-41 season, but traveling to Oxford Friday night where they lost a 35-26 decision to the McGuffey High Green Tigers. The contest presented a contrast in performances; the opening two periods seeing both clubs in free scoring tactics while the last half was featured by close defensive play and the point-making pace slowed down considerably.”

“Given only an outside chance at the best to even be in the running while facing the well-rated Roosevelt High five of Dayton, the Central High Indians gave the Teddies a fierce four-quarter battle in a second round battle of the Class A division of the Southwestern Ohio schoolboy basketball tourney at the Coliseum in Dayton Saturday night. The Indians wound up on the short end of a 27-21 count but actually the performance of the Red and Blue was in every sense of the word —- that trite but appropriate phrase—‘a moral victory’. The near capacity crowd was prepared to watch Roosevelt roll up a lopsided triumph over Coach Lefty Gattshall’s lads from Piqua. Instead they were amazed to see the Tribe set the scoring pace the first 22 minutes of the contest. The Indian season finished with a record of 1o wins against 9 losses.”

Duane Bachman For the PDC
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_bachmanmug-1.jpgDuane Bachman For the PDC
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