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1943 Milford Basketball Team
Finals of the Section Tournament
Back Row: Merril Johnson `44, Earl Johnson'43, Don Halverson `43, Glen Egland `43, Supt and Coach B.G. Halverson. Front Row: Russell Clark`44, Glen Sampson `43, Fred Matters `44.

Probably the largest school any Milford sports team ever played an official game against was when this 1943 team played Ames High School in the finals of the Sectional Tournament on the Ames court. (The team of 1955 played one of the large schools in Des Moines but; although both teams played as though it were for the league championship, it was a `pickup' game--Milford won! This game- page 107)

Of the 1943 game the Nevada Paper writes it very well--

“Milford Consolidated school's ?____? functioning basketball team almost accomplished the seemingly impossible Saturday night in the final of the sectional basketball tournament at Ames as they gave the Little Cyclones 32 minutes of as hard work as they have experienced this season and then the best the highly favored Ames team could do was to win 32 to 28 by virtue of charity shots.

“It was rough going all the way for the Little Cyclones who never could pull away to any appreciable lead and several times were on the short end of the score.

“Heralded as one of the favorites in the tournament, Milford's husky outfit came roaring into the finals and pregame predictions had the game doped as a toss-up and certainly the game, from the opening whistle to the final horn was all of that.

“Sparked by Earl Johnson, who dumped in six field goals and two charity shots, the Milford club clearly set themselves up definitely as one of the really strong teams of this section.

“Milford jumped into an early lead over Ames on baskets by forward Glen Sampson,“ but Ames “managed to squeeze out a 9-5 lead over Milford for the first quarter.

“The opening minutes of the second period was a match-shots affair, but midway in the period, Don Halverson, Milford forward, who was widely acclaimed as one of the best players in the tournament, and Earl Johnson, found the hoop for three field goals and two charity shots to push Milford out in front 19 to 15. Ames took time out and apparently accomplished their purpose as they rapidly overhauled Milford as play was resumed to leave the floor at halftime, sporting a 22-19 lead.

“They (Ames) increased it to 25 to 19 in the opening minutes of the third quarter, when Earl Johnson and Fred Matters combined to cut the Ames margin to 24 to 26 at the close of the third quarter.

“Again it was Earl Johnson with two quick baskets in the opening minutes of the final period to put Milford out in front 28-26.

“Busby (Ames) again hit a one- hander to knot the score at 28-28. Ileman (Ames) contributed a charity shot, Busby dropped in another one- hander and Ilemen dunked another charity shot to give the Cyclones a 32- 28 win for sectional honors.

“A study of the boxscore shows both clubs dropping in twelve field foals each, but the Little Cyclones dropped in eight out of 13 opportunities from the charity line while the best Milford could do was four out of sixteen, and Milford, in previous games, had been registering a fine percentage from the free-throw line.”

MilfordFGFTPFYr
Glen Sampson211Sr
Don Halverson311Sr
Earl Johnson624Sr
Merril Johnson003Jr
Fred Matters100Jr
Russell Clark003Jr

This game undoubtedly gave both coaches the golden opportunity to lecture the teams for many years later on the importance of shooting and making free throws.

The 1943 Sectional Program with Milford's and Roland's Roster of names and numbers.

Before this sectional tournament, some of the team records were: Milford 8-4, Ames 11-3, Huxley 15-1 with their only loss to Milford, White Oak 10-2.

If the weather were good for game night, it would have been expected the auditorium would have been packed with very excited spectators and the noise level unbelievable. It would have been a fun game to have played in and a great game to have witnessed.

The Johnsons, sons of Lloyd, lived, apparently, in Sec 6, "barely within Milford Twp" with a Story City address.

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Page 313 of 354

© 2012 Mark Christian
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