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Beavers Place Second in State Basketball Meet                             The Beaver Press, Friday, March 19, 1948           


Hundreds of Fans Invade Salt Lake for Final Game


1.     B. Y. High

2.     Beaver

3.     Gunnison

4.     Wasatch

5.     North Emery

6.     Spanish Fork

7.     Pleasant Grove

8.     Park City

Beaver’s achievement marks the first time in the history of the school that a team has finished better than fifth place in the state prep classic. In 1933, a Beaver quint went into the final night of play and won the consolation title.

Winning second place in the Class B prep tourney, the Fighting Beavers returned Sunday to be greeted by hundreds of proud and happy local fans. The stout-hearted Beaver quintet was defeated 33 – 27, by B. Y. High in the championship battle in the University of Utah Field House on Saturday night. Before the greatest turnout in Utah High School hoop history, a crowd estimated at 6,000, watched the champions battle for the title.

Never in the history of Beaver, say the “old-timers”, have so many Beaverites been in Salt Lake at one time, as on Saturday night for the final game of the tournament. Through the efforts of William A. Merrell, mayor, and others, arrangements were made to take members of the band to Salt Lake City for the final game. Literally hundreds of Beaverites and former residents were on hand to cheer for their favorites.

Paced by blond Harold Christensen, perhaps the best all-around center in the 48 hardwood classic, the Wildcats from Provo pulled out of a 22 – 21 third period stalemate and spun the score board decimals to 33 – 21, Christensen garnering seven of those digits. B. Y.’s tight defense held the high-scoring Beavers to six field goals until midway through the fourth canto, and forced the Region Six champs to snipe at long range, but with little effectiveness. Ray Pearce, Beaver’s candidate for high-scoring honors, was held scoreless until the second half, and managed to score only five points in the tight battle.

Dick Horton, stellar Beaver guard who played outstanding ball the first two days of the meet, suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his ankle and was unable to assist his teammates in the two final games.

Though they were never behind, the new state champions nevertheless had their hands full for those first three tempestuous periods. The score was tied up seven times.

When Fay Ashworth, Beaver’s hard-working center and key man in their defensive pattern, was ejected from the tense battle via the foul route before the end of the third period, It didn’t help the Beaver’s cause. His absence left a gap in what had been a tough defense for the Wildcats to solve.

At halftime, it was 13 – 11 for B. Y. High and as far as the hysterical crowd was concerned, it was anybody’s ball game. Free tosses by each club spun the score around to 15 – 14 for B. Y. but Kent Broadhead slipped one into the net to give the Cats a 17 – 14 margin. Pearce amputated that lead with a difficult shot as he headed for the left-hand corner, and when Balif swished a free toss, Pearce came back to tie up the score at 18 – 18 with a roof duster which sent Beaver fans into delirium.

Christensen broke loose under the ring for his first field goal to give the Provoans a momentary lead, but Doug McShane flipped in a beauty from the side to knot it up again at 20 – 20.

Within a few minutes after the opening of the last frame, Prove had run the score up to 33 – 21. Although the cause looked almost hopeless, the Beavers never quit trying, however, as Hollingshead hit a long one, Lee and Swindlehurst hit free tosses and Hollingshead hit another looper to close the gap to 33 -27, just an instant before the buzzer.

D. R. Mitchell, former UHSAA presented the championship trophy to the new state champions after the finale, and the runner-up trophy to Beaver. It marked the first time that either quintet had gained the championship classic.

Rhoda Ann Schwob, one of Beaver’s vivacious cheerettes, received commendation in The Telegram and a large individual picture of herself from the paper.


Beaver snatched a hectic 26 – 23 triumph from jinx-ridden Spanish Fork on Friday afternoon to win their way into the finale.

Friday’s defeat was particularly discouraging to the Spanish Fork Dons, who for five successive state tournaments have played great basketball to move into the semi-final battle, and for five straight years have stumbled over that lst hurdle separating them from the title classic.

Beaver tallied six points before the Dons found the range, but after Monye, Nelson and Brockbank had each hit the ring, the Forkers moved out in front and nursed a slim lead up into the fourth period.

Trailing 20 – 19, Beaver moved up on a jump shot by Ray Pearce and went in front when Jack Hollingshead dribbled in from mid-court. He was fouled on the scoring play and his conversion pushed the southerners out in front 22 – 20. Pearce hit a left-handed push shot from the foul line and with five minutes left in the torrid tile, the Beavers led 24 – 20. Doug McShane hit one more deuce to run the count to 26 – 20.

Behind by six points, the Don’s were unable to handle the effective stall set up by Coach Mel Heslington.


By proclamation of Mayor William A. Merrell, Thursday March 18, will be observed as “Better Beaver Day”. Brigadier General J. Wallace West, state adjutant general, or a member of his staff will be guest speaker at the “Victory Program” in the high school auditorium at 8:00 p.m. Preceding the program, a luncheon will be sold in the basement of the school, and following the program a dance will be held at the Legion Hall. Hundreds of citizens, both young and old are expected to attend this affair to honor the runner-up basketball squad and to pledge themselves to build a “Better Beaver”.

The whole-hearted support of the people of Beaver toward the basketball squad and coach and the homecoming celebration Sunday gave rise to the thought of a “Better Beaver Day” which was proclaimed by Mayor Merrell. The fine achievements of the basketball team proves that Beaver has the “what it takes” to “go places” and the purpose of Better Beaver Day, said Mayor Merrell is to encourage further unity and cooperation as we look ahead to future accomplishments.

Commencing at 6:00 p. m. in the lower hall of the high school an “all Beaver” luncheon will be sold. Products comprising the lunch, locally produced and processed, include beef, grade A milk, butter, cheese and ice cream. The nominal charge of 25 cents it is hoped will cover the bare expense of the lunch.

The program, to commence at 8:00 p.m. in the auditorium will include selections by the Beaver high school band, and other musical numbers. The beautiful basketball trophy, presented to Jack Hollingshead, team captain, at the conclusion of the tournament Saturday night, will be presented by him to the student body president Bob Osborn. A gold medal will be presented to Ray Pearce for gaining a place on the News All State Five, and other medals and awards will be presented.

General West or a member of his staff will be the guest speaker and Mayor Merrell will outline the plans for the future growth and development of Beaver.

The festivities of the day will conclude with a dance at the Legion Hall. Committees have worked hours outlining and preparing these events and it is expected that one of the largest crowds in Beaver’s history will attend.



This page last updated on September 27, 2011 .