A game gone wild.Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard
For so long, it was just another prep basketball game.
Eugene 18, Willamette 11 after one quarter.
Eugene 38, Willamette 29 at the half.
When Willamette's Bill DeYoung opened the third quarter with a bucket, the Wolverines trailed by only seven.
Then Eugene scored 29 straight points and the game played 50 years ago tonight - Feb. 22, 1955 - at Willamette High School Willamette High School is a school in Eugene, Oregon.
Willamette, or "Wil-Hi," is located in the Bethel-Danebo area of west Eugene, and is the only high school in the Bethel School District. suddenly became something different and historic.
In a strange twist, it became five-on-four in favor of Eugene, and the Axemen took advantage.
Pass to Mike Moran Mike Moran is the name of:
Pass to Mike Moran, layup.
Pass to Mike Moran, free throws.
Pass to Mike Moran, layup.
By the time it was over, the 6-foot-9 Moran had scored 59 points to set a single-game record that still stands among Midwestern League schools. The Axemen piled up 62 points in the second half en route to a 100-54 victory over Willamette.
How did it happen?
"At some point in the second half, I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. what their coach was thinking, but he pulled his fifth player and played only four guys," Moran, now 68 years old, recalled last week from his home in Palm Desert, Calif.
"(Eugene coach) Hank Kuchera said, 'Mike, stay down at one end of the floor,' and I did that for two or three minutes "Three Minutes" is the 46th episode of Lost. It is the twenty-second episode of the second season. The episode was directed by Stephen Williams, and written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. It first aired on May 17, 2006 on ABC. , and when we got the rebound they would throw a long pass to me for a layup. Then their guys were coming down and diving at me and that was when I got a lot of free throws."
Why did it happen?
Here's the other side.
"We were fouled down to five kids and when I looked at my bench to the last kid left I said, 'Do you want to go in there?' and he said, 'Are you saying you'd play with four guys?' ' said Les Wright, the Willamette coach at the time. "I told him that if he didn't want to go in that I was so upset with the officiating that I wouldn't put him in. There was nothing saying you have to have five players out there. He looked at me and said, 'Coach, I'm 5-foot-6. I don't think I can help you.' "
Nobody could help the Wolverines on a bizarre, record-setting night that many participants still clearly recall a half-century later.
Game gone wild
Wright knew Feb. 22, 1955 could be a tough night because the Wolverines had been hit by the flu bug and were missing two of their top three players for a showdown with the first-place Axemen.
"We were just helpless in warm-ups and it got worse as we went along," he said.
It really got worse when the 29-0 run gave the Axemen a 67-31 lead late in the third quarter. Wright recalled getting a technical foul technical foul
A foul, especially in basketball, that is called on a player, coach, or team for unsportsmanlike conduct or infringement of a rule and does not usually involve physical contact with an opponent during play. after he argued with the officials. Wright was also steamed at Kuchera, who he thought was running up the score.
"I totally lost my cool," said Wright, now 79 and still living in the Bethel Bethel, in the Bible
Bethel (bĕth`əl) [Heb.,=house of God].
1 Ancient city of central Palestine, the modern Baytin, the West Bank, N of Jerusalem. area of Eugene. "I ended up with nobody on the bench, and we were trying to play two guys on Moran and they parked him underneath the basket, and he kept shooting them through. I had 5-foot-8 kids trying to check him, and I got some bad calls down underneath and I blew my lid. I just felt I got bad officiating, and I was very upset with Hank."
The image of Wright's rant still sticks with Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson (b. 19 May 1931, Hendon, London - d. 14 August 1967, Northampton) was a Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and racecar driver from England. , a reserve guard for the Axemen.
"I remember their coach getting a little excited at the end of the game," said Anderson, a former principal and football coach at North Eugene. "It was one of those things where it just occurred. Nobody planned the thing, but the situation started going and it kind of got carried away. 'Kuch' was the kind of guy who could get cantankerous can·tan·ker·ous
1. Ill-tempered and quarrelsome; disagreeable: disliked her cantankerous landlord.
2. and he just let it go. Once it started going, he was the kind of guy to just say 'What the heck.' '
In addition to Moran's record, the team total of 100 points set a district record at the time.
"I don't think we had a plan ahead of time to get Mike a bunch of points," said Jerry Laing, a starter for the Axemen who is now a neighbor of Moran's in Palm Desert.
"I do not know why he ran up the score, because not only did we have Mike's 59 points but we scored about 100. I don't know that there was anything prior to the game between the two coaches, but we could have run the score up on a lot of teams, because we had an awfully good team with a lot of quickness."
The fourth Wolverine wolverine or glutton, largest member of the weasel family, Gulo gulo, found in the northern parts of North America and Eurasia, usually in high mountains near the timberline or in tundra. to foul out left the game late in the third quarter and Wright elected to go with four on the floor. The Axemen used four defenders to guard the Wolverines and left Moran back under the hoop at the other end to pile up points.
"We couldn't figure out what their coach was thinking, but it was kind of unique that he did that," Moran said. "He was probably upset. We didn't try to run up the score, but for me to get all those points."
Wright felt differently.
"I was trying to logically think, 'Why are you doing this, Hank?' ' Wright said of Kuchera, who died in 1993 after winning 503 games over 28 seasons with the Axemen. "I felt he was running up the score and a few other coaches who were there scouting felt the same way."
The home crowd apparently agreed.
"I do remember, maybe it was a dream, but I do remember their fans were really irate," Laing said. "As we went out of the gym and back to the locker room they were throwing stuff at us and yelling profanities. Not the students, it was the adults."
Moran finished with 18 field goals and hit 23-of-31 free throws to reach 59 points before he was pulled early in the fourth quarter. That ended any chance Moran had to break the state scoring record of 73 points set three years earlier by McLoughlin's Jerry Crimins.
"'Kuch' got concerned and pulled me out of the game during the first part of the fourth quarter or else I probably could have scored into the 70s," Moran said. "I remember 'Kuch' said afterward, 'Mike, we could have easily gotten that record, but I could not take a chance on you getting hurt going into the state tournament.' "
The Axemen went on to win the state tournament, and Wright went on to face the school board over his decision to play shorthanded.
"They wanted to know why I'd do that and I said that I was so damn mad at the officiating that I was ready to take my guys off the floor and go to the dressing room," Wright said. "I remember the school board chairman said, 'Les, I'm with you, but I just wondered why you did that.' I said that I should not have done that and I wasn't proud of it, but I had been coaching for six years around the state and I've seen it come and go, but I had never seen anything like that."
Wright proudly recalled that he later got revenge against Kuchera.
"That game stuck in my memory, and a few years later we got Eugene on opening night and we were leading 29-0 after the first quarter and I was so damn happy sitting there," he said. "Like my wife used to say, 'What goes around comes around.' I couldn't believe it myself that we had them down 29-0, and I said, 'I want to win this game and I wouldn't mind winning by 50, but that does not make sense, so let's just play steady ball.' I called them off, but I thought I made a mistake when later they closed it quite a bit."
Meanwhile, Moran's 59 points still ranks eighth in state history for single-game scoring and first among Midwestern League schools. Thurston's Jay Mayernik came the closest during the past 50 years when he scored 53 points on Dec. 16, 2002, against Lebanon.
"That's amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. because records don't stand for long," Moran said. "Someone else always seems to come along and top it."
More records in college
Moran's big night surprised nobody in 1955, when he dominated District 6 with a scoring average of 31.7 points in 10 games. Overall, Moran averaged 26.1 points in 28 games while leading the Axemen to the state title.
Yet few saw this coming years earlier as Moran somewhat awkwardly grew into his tall frame.
"I remember Mike at Roosevelt Junior High and he barely made the team," Anderson said. "He was kind of tall and he could hardly put one foot in front of another. He was the 14th man on the team."
Moran was 6-5 as a sophomore and made the varsity as a part-time starter during his junior year.
"Mike could hardly go up and down the floor backwards when he was a sophomore," Laing recalled. "Then late in his junior year he had to take on (6-foot-6) Dave Gambee Dave Gambee was an NBA player, born on April 16, 1937 in Portland, Oregon. Dave Gambee was 6'6", and weighed 215 lbs. Before he became an NBA player he went to Corvallis High School in Corvallis, Oregon, and he went to college at Oregon State University. from Corvallis, and it was a coming-out party for him."
Moran took advantage of a smaller key that was only six feet wide and rarely had to stray far from the basket. He had a hook shot and had no trouble getting off an occasional jumper over a defender, but dunking was against the rules.
"Mike was as good as there was in the state," said Mel Krause, who coached at Willamette in 1953 and 1954 before leading Franklin to the state tournament in 1955. "There were not as many big men back then either, and Moran was terrific in there. He had a great ability to score around the basket and rebound. He wasn't a real stud as far as strength, but he was a very active player and a great player."
Moran was an all-state selection as a senior and was chosen to compete in a national all-star game An all-star game is an exhibition game played by the best players in their sports league. The players are often chosen by a popular vote of fans of the sport and the game often occurs at the halfway point of the regular season, although this is not the case for some all-star games in Murray, Ky. He was heavily recruited and signed with Marquette University Marquette University at Milwaukee, Wis.; Jesuit; coeducational; chartered 1864, opened 1881. The school achieved university status in 1907. Among its graduate programs are those in business, engineering, and law. after meeting Hank Aaron in the Milwaukee Braves' clubhouse on a visit to the school.
"I was looked down upon when I moved out of Eugene," Moran said. "That was only natural, but I really kind of wanted to go away. I was adventuresome and I thought if I could play basketball after college, the furthest NBA NBA
1. National Basketball Association
2. National Boxing Association
NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (= team in the west was the St. Louis Hawks. I thought I had to go back where I might be noticed."
Moran continued to set scoring records at Marquette.
He scored 44 points in a 94-48 victory over Creighton on Feb. 5, 1958 to set a single-game school record that still stands. He had 16 field goals in that game to set another record that has not been broken. He ranks 14th in school history with 1,355 points and 16th with 670 rebounds.
Moran went on to play six seasons in the National Industrial Basketball League The National Industrial Basketball League was founded in 1947, to enable mill workers a chance to compete in basketball. The league was founded out of the teams that did not join the newly-formed NBA. before he retired from basketball.
Moran was co-founder of Bi-Mor Gas Stations Inc., a convenience store and gas station business in Medford, from 1978 until 1999.
He and his wife of 43 years, Teri, spend the winter at their home on Monterey Country Club Built before 1885, the Monterey Country Club is home to one of the oldest golf courses in the United States. The club sits just below the peaks of 1,720 Mt. Dunlap and 1,365 Monterey Peak in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania and is less than one mile from the Mason-Dixon Line and in Palm Desert and the summer in Medford.
He will be back in Eugene for a 50-year high school reunion High School Reunion
"Especially when I see the fellows I played with, we always talk about that year," Moran said. "It comes up all the time in conversation. Those are great memories."
THEY SHOOT, THEY SCORE
Oregon high school boys basketball records
MOST POINTS IN A GAME
73 - Jerry Crimins, McLoughlin, Feb. 23, 1952 vs. Hermiston
71 - Swede Halbrook Harvey Wade "Swede" Halbrook (January 30, 1933 - April 5, 1988) was an American former NBA player who played from 1960-1962. He played in college for Oregon State University, and at 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m), was at the time the tallest player to ever play college basketball. , Lincoln, Feb. 22, 1952 vs. Roosevelt
67 - Jerry Bloom, Crow, Jan. 25, 1952 vs. Lorane
66 - Swede Halbrook, Lincoln, Jan. 12, 1952 vs. Molalla
61 - Nick Derscheid, Glendale, Feb. 19, 1965 vs. Butte Butte, city, United States
Butte (byt), city (1990 pop. 33,336), seat of Silver Bow co., SW Mont.; inc. 1879. It is a trade, ranching, and industrial center. Falls
60 - Brandon Brooks Brandon Brooks (17 November 1973, Nashville, Tennessee, USA) is an American sitcom actor. He has starred in a number of Peter Engel productions such as USA High and the role of the stereotypical surfer Murray Updyke in Malibu CA. He is of part English, Irish and part Cherokee descent. , Grant, Feb. 18, 1998 vs. Lincoln
59 - Mike Moran, Eugene, Feb. 22, 1955 vs. Willamette
59 - George Wait, Canby, Jan. 26, 1917 vs. Hubbard
58 - Damon Stoudamire Damon Lamon Stoudamire (born September 3 1973 in Portland, Oregon) is an American professional basketball player, currently playing for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. He was selected by the Toronto Raptors in the first round (seventh pick overall) of the 1995 NBA Draft. , Jan. 16, 1991 vs. Grant
58 - Freddie Jones
David Douglas (June 25, 1799 – 1834) was a Scottish botanist.
58 - Brandon Brooks, Grant, Feb. 26, 1998 vs. Franklin.
OTHER 50-POINT MWL MWL Muslim World League
MWL Most Wanted Live (band)
MWL Muslim Women's League (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
MWL Mean Water Level
MWL Modality Work List (medical imaging) PERFORMERS
53 - Jay Mayernik, Thurston, Dec. 16, 2002 vs. Lebanon
52 - Blake Stepp Blake Roy Stepp (born February 4, 1982 in Eugene, Oregon) is an American basketball player who graduated from Gonzaga University and was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2004 NBA Draft. , South Eugene, Dec. 11, 1999 vs. North Medford North Medford is the name of some places in the United States of America:
50 - Mel Counts Mel Grant Counts (born October 16 1941 in Coos Bay, Oregon) is a retired American NBA player from 1965–1976. He was on the United States Olympic basketball team that won the gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics. , Marshfield, Dec. 18, 1959 vs. Reedsport
MOST POINTS IN A SEASON
1,035 - Swede Halbrook, Lincoln, 1951-52, 38.3 average
897 - Freddie Jones, Barlow, 1997-98, 29.9
819 - Brian Jackson Brian Jackson is the name of:
813 - Pudgy Hunt, Knappa, 1956-57, 30.1
787 - Leif Spencer, Cleveland, 1991-92, 32.8
745 - Brenson Parks, Lowell, 1996-97, 26.6
744 - John Stephens There are several notable people named John Stephens.
731 - Mike Moran, Eugene, 1954-55, 26.1
725 - Brian Jackson, Knappa, 1997-98, 25.9
719 - Joe Mann, Irrigon, 1955-56, 34.2
MOST FREE THROWS MADE IN A GAME
32 - Brandon Brooks, Grant, Feb. 18, 1998 vs. Lincoln (32-37)
24 - Monte McDonald, Mohawk, Jan. 31, 1970 vs. Harrisburg (24-29)
24 - Kevin Kolfstad, Colton, Jan. 24, 1992 vs. Kennedy (24-28)
23 - Mike Moran, Eugene, Feb. 22, 1955 vs. Willamette (23-31)
20 - Evan Keiling, Gladstone, Jan. 3, 2001 vs. Lake Oswego Lake Os·we·go
A city of northwest Oregon, a residential suburb of Portland. Population: 35,800. (20-21)
- Source: Mal Van Meer