LEWIS: Montgomery County Remembers: Other teams from the 1950s

Last time we looked at Crawfordsville High School’s success on the basketball court in the decades of the 1950s. While the Athenians might have been the premiere team of that decade there were plenty of other great teams from the county during the same time frame. While Crawfordsville led the county with four sectional titles, Waveland was close behind with three. The Hornets took the sectional crowns in consecutive years beginning in 1951 and ending in 1953. It all started in 1951 when Cliff Davis coached his Waveland team to a 22-0 record during the record season. That also included the Montgomery County Tourney title where they beat Linden 56-38 in the final. In the sectional, the Hornets disposed of New Richmond 36-24 and New Market 32-30 before beating Crawfordsville 46-44 in overtime. The 1951 team was made up of Keith Greve, Bill Wheeler, Don Whitecotten, Wayne Seybold, Bob Harbison, Duane Kelly, Ray Spencer, Burnam Tolliver and Daryel Newell. In 1952 the Hornets followed up the 1951 season with a 12-7 regular season but managed to win the sectional with wins over New Richmond (67-44), Crawfordsville (59-58) and winning the sectional title game 65-45. That year Ladoga had the best regular-season record with a 20-2 record and Linden had an 18-3 record. Linden won the County Tourney besting Ladoga 46-45. In 1953 Waveland was back on top of the county with a 19-2 regular season record under coach Jim Hannah. As was the case in 1951 it was a clean sweep for the Hornets as they won the County Tourney — beating Darlington 66-48 — and beating Crawfordsville for the sectional title 65-60, New Ross also put together a strong run in the mid-to-late 1950s, In 1954, Glen Harper coached them to a 16-3 regular season record and a sectional title. They won the sectional by beating Crawfordsville 59-54 in the title game. Skip a year to 1956 and the Blue Jays were on top of the county with an unblemished 21-0 regular season record. On the way to the perfect season they beat Waynetown 62-54 to win the County Tourney. In sectional play, the team defeated Crawfordsville 45-41 in overtime, Darlington 52-50 and Ladoga 38-23. Team members of the undefeated team were: Tom Harmon, Larry Myers, Dave Harris, Dave Anderson, Dick Haffner, Charles Stewart, Bob Morgan, Benny McAnulty, Larry Nichols, Joe Linn, David Fruits, Dick Feltner, Rusty Nichols and Dave Carver. Three years later New Ross was back on top. The Jays went 20-1 in the regular season and won the County Tourney beating Alamo 61-43. In 1957 the county belonged to Alamo. The squad ended with an 18-1 regular season and won the County Tourney. Alamo won the title with a 65-48 win over New Market. In the sectional, the team came up one game short of the title game losing to New Market 55-48. Of course we all know what happened in 1958, but that was a stellar season. New Market went 19-2, Darlington was 16-3 and New Ross and Waveland all won 15 games. So as we started a few columns ago the 1950s just may have been the Golden Decade of Montgomery County Basketball. Barry Lewis has been playing or covering sports in Montgomery County for more than 40 years and enjoys helping to keep our sports heritage alive with his bi-weekly column for the Journal Review.