The history of Piqua High School athletics … a journal

Duane Bachman For the PDC

Winter 1940

Emerging from their opening encounter with a 26-13 setback at the hands of the more experienced Buccaneers of Covington, the Piqua Indians tonight tackle their second non-league opponent when the Lions of Dayton Steele come to the field house for two games that inaugurate the 1939-40 season, locally. With only two weeks practice and lacking consistent marksmanship, the Walton Warriors nevertheless kept the Covington cagers stepping throughout the opening encounter and only because of the fact that the Simpson squad has had three victorious games previously and were better marksmen, were the Indians forced to drop the opening contest. Without belittling the fine play of the neighboring village team that now has four consecutive victories to its credit, in all fairness to Coach Walton and Indian players, Friday night’s game was a well played battle although a number of weaknesses, as expected, developed.

Working with a trio of youths who have seen relatively little varsity competition the Indians secured their share of shots but were unable to split the mesh for the telltale points or appear as a threat on rebound shots.

The Central High Indian courtsters were handed their second setback in as many starts when the Lions of Dayton Steele came from behind in the second half to win by a 21-15 count Saturday night at the field house. Trailing 8-4 in the closing minutes of the second quarter the inexperienced Indian quintet put on a five point scoring spree to grab a 9-8 margin at the midway mark. But failing to score in the third canto the Indians fell behind 13-9 and finished the contest on the short end of a 21-15 count.

The Central High Indians corralled their first win in three starts Friday night when they toppled the Panthers of Dayton Kiser by a 36-19 count and now come back to town to face the Bradford quintet tonight at the field house. Playing a much improved brand of ball against the Dayton Kiser team the Indians faltered momentarily in the opening minutes of the fracas but neglected to let a 9-1 disadvantage keep them down. They ran up an 18-15 lead in the waning minutes of the first half but finished at the midway mark knotted with the favored Kiser team 19-19. After that though it was the Indians all the way as the entire Walton squad played its best of the season to finally win 36-29 after a third quarter score of 26-25.

The current edition of the Walton warriors may not, as yet, be a whirlwind aggregation but, least it made history Saturday night by winning an 8-6 basketball game in the second overtime period from the Kissel coached quintet of Bradford high. It was Harold ‘Teeney’ Woods, only veteran from last season’s fast-stepping crew, who took a pass from Dick Sword at mid-court, whirled around to face his basket, and let loose with a looping toss to split the mesh as some 500 fans roared approval to climax a thrilling ball game. By far the lowest scoring game ever played at the field house and undoubtedly among the few such contests on the record books in the Miami Valley, the Saturday thriller found both ball clubs playing sparkling defensive games with the visitors having trouble making their shots count, dropping only three in 41 attempts.

The Central High Indians finished the 1939 portion of the basketball schedule on the wrong side of the fence when Memorial High of St. Marys knocked them off by a 20-13 count Friday night at the field house. It was the third loss in five starts for the Walton warriors who never did get underway against the upstate lads. Thirty-two times the Piqua players eyed the hoop but only four times did the leather crack the net for points from the court. Scoring in the first quarter was scarce as against Bradford but the visitors managed to grab a 4-2 advantage and then made it 8-4 by halftime. Coming back strong after a little prepping by Coach Walton the Indians netters knotted the count at 10-10 late in the third period but then again fell by the wayside as the Memorial high team pushed ahead to win 20-13.

The victory thirsty fans of Greenville High finally got a taste of sweet water Friday night when the Green Wave hardwood crew toppled Piqua 21-18 for its first win in 20 starts and gave the Indians one-down in the Miami Valley League. Unable to split the mesh but seven times in 45 attempts the Walton Warriors fell far behind the Radabaugh combination but with a nine point drive in the final quarter drew within striking distance. Bedlam broke loose when the final gun sounded victory and even though Piqua had to be the victims and Coach Walton had to break his record of four wins against that team, it was at least a satisfaction backers were after a long-last given something to crow about. Piqua Central High Indian basketball quintet copped its valley league game Friday night at the field house and managed to keep in the league running by sending Sidney into the cellar with a 21-16 setback while 500 ardent fans were brought to their feet in the final minutes when the contest developed into a thriller. After a 4-4 tie early in the game Sidney did not threaten the Indians until the final quarter when they pulled within two points as the score stood 17-15. But with Woods looping one before leaving the game in the last few minutes via the personal foul route and Sword adding another as the timers siren signaled the end of the game the Walton warriors checked that threat.

The Miamisburg Vikings, hotter than the proverbial fiery furnace, handed the Piqua Indians defeat number two in the Miami Valley League play Friday night with a 37-21 count recorded as the final bell sounded in the Viking’s gym downstate. Hitting the hoop for the uncanny percentage of seven baskets in 10 shots during the first quarter and continuing to play the same brand of ball in the second quarter was too much for the Indian combine which appeared completely demoralized when the Viking basketeers netter seven for ten shots from mid-court in the first quarter and made it 11 field goals in 24 tries at halftime. It wasn’t just one player that was hot all of the starting five who just up and tossed with the .leather splitting the mesh in a sickening whine for Indian fans. The Central High Indians turned in their best game of the current season Saturday night although the quintet from Oxford McGuffey won by a 33-26 count at the field house in a non-league game.

Coming back from the stinging league defeat at Miamisburg Friday night, the Walton Warriors found their shooting ability better and ball handling improved. ‘Tubby’ Wilson, who has been in action with the reserves this season and perhaps the most ardent admirer of Indian athletes, having been waterboy and assistant manager to the gridiron squad for a few years back, turned in his second varsity performance in a commendable fashion, Miamisburg being the first game in which he saw notable varsity play.

The Central High Indians sent a crowd of approximately 1000 rabid fans into a frenzy last night at the field house as they scored one of the biggest MVL upsets in years by toppling the league-leading Buccaneers of Xenia Central 22-20 in a thrilling, hair raising, photo-finish ball game that was featured by the sparkling defensive play of the Walton Warriors. Tied at 7-7 midway in the game, with a team which was expected to romp over the visitors in an easy fashion, the Indians showed the visitors who were masters of the evening and after exchanging leads six times in the final canto emerged on the long end of the 22-20 count. All six varsity players who saw action that was action last night are deserving of heaps of praise for their ‘underdog’ exhibition of basketball, which will undoubtedly be a high spot in Central High athletics for a good many seasons.

Local schoolboy basketball teams finished on the short end of decisions last night, the Central High Indians dropping a 17-14 decision to Fairmont at Dayton while the Catholic High tossers were trounced 31-19 at Maria Stein. In both games, opposing clubs rolled up first half margins to actually clinch the respective contests, Fairmont leading the Redskins 11-5 and Maria Stein being in front 21-6. The Dragons despite their height advantage were unable to make an impressive showing over the much smaller Indian quintet .and were actually threatened in the final minutes of the contest when the invaders hit the hoop for six points to pull within the final three point margin. It was the attempt at the basket that again proved fatal to the Piquads as only 5 of 30 shots actually meant anything for the Walton five while the Fairmont crew netted seven for 38 attempts. Three of the downstate squads seven field goals came as a result of breaking up; the Indian offense at midcourt and streaking uncontested for the basket.

The Central High Indians and Troy Trojans staged another one of their traditional hardwood battles at the field house with the visitors trailing throughout the contest until the final 10 seconds when forward Hall looped a one-hand shot from the side of the court to put his team on top 26-25 as a thrilling climax to a hard-fought ball game. More than 1,000 fans roared approval (and dismay) as the lanky Hall literally up and threw the ball for the winning points and then waited anxiously to see if the Indians would repeat their Xenia experience by taking the ball downcourt in the last few seconds to score—they took the ball alright and shot a half-dozen times in the last few seconds but to no avail. Out in front most of the game excepting on a 12-11 score in the second period, the Walton Warriors battled a much taller squad of basketeers to a standstill and had a 22-16 advantage as the fourth period got underway but the Trojans tied the count at 24-24 with one minute to go. Shipley then dropped one of the Indians 12 successful free throws to put his squad on top 25-24 after which came the heart rendering (to Piquads) performance of Hall.

Completing a season which has been jammed with ups and downs with the ‘downs’ being the more prominent, the Central High Indians will travel to Celina Friday night. Hampered by inexperience, lack of height as well as injuries, the Indians varsity personnel has presented almost a panorama of new and old faces as Coach Curley Walton diligently sought to mould together a heads-up, winning cage combination.

The Central High Indians closed the 1939-40 hardwood season Friday night by losing to Celina with the final score being 25-20 after having a 11-9 halftime advantage. The completion of the regular playing season and the loss to Celina gives the Warriors a record of four wins in 15 games. Scrappy Dick Sword again paced the Indians with three field goals while Harold Woods and the much improved Bill Shipley counted five points each.

The Central High Indians along with West Milton, another Miami county team, closed the 1939-40 basketball season Saturday afternoon when they were eliminated from Class A and B district competition at Dayton, the Indians dropping a 30-25 contest to Dayton Dunbar and Germantown topping West Milton 27-20. For the Walton Warriors it was not a humiliating defeat as they kept the Dunbar quintet working the entire 32 minutes and never once let up, even having the edge on several occasions. In the final quarter the Piqua maintained its whole hearted effort to stage a major upset. With hard luck shooting they were unable to match the Dayton team’s efforts and finally was subdued 30-25.