Ken Sailors Stars as Wyoming Wins Right to Meet St. John's
by Arch Murray
It'll be towering Wyoming against high-powered St. John's in the championship to end all championships tomorrow night for the benefit of the Red Cross.
The hustling Cowboys came from behind at the Garden last night to beat a never-give-up Georgetown team, 46-34, in the thrill-studden final of the NCAA championship and thus qualify to meet St. John's in the all-important court finale. In the opener Manhattan Beach CG defeated the Aberdeen Proving Grounds five, 56-43.
It looked for a while last night as thought the long trip east from Kansas City, scene of the western playoffs, had been just another gesture of futility. The smallest crowd of the post-season proceedings - 13,206 - was quite convinced that the previous night's victors - St. John's - was due for a romp tomorrow night. The two NCAA finalists didn't seem in the same class.
Sailors is a Standout
But then the tall timbers of Wyoming started to move. The heralded stars, Jim Weir, and Milo Komenich were being throttled at every step. But a slim, blond youngster by the name of Ken Sailors took up the slack and made everybody forget Komenich and Weir.
Our town's best basketball minds all agreed tha here was one of the top players ever to show on the Garden boards. Joe Daher, Manhattan mentor, said he was "as good a player as ever walked on the Garden floor." Joe Lapchick, whose blood pressure was sent to unnatural heights by Sailors' brilliance, agreed. "He's one of the best ever to show in the Garden," he said.
It was Sailors, later voted the most valuable player award, who brought the Cowboys from the rear of a 15-10 deficit to a half-time lead of 18-16. And it was this same slim blond who sparked the second half drive that led Wyoming to ultimate victory. He just couldn't miss - especially when the heat was at its hottest.
If you have any doubts about Sailors' ability after a glimpse of the box score which shows him scoring six field goals and four fouls for 16 points - seven more than any other man on the floor - just ask the man who guarded him.
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"He's the fastest man I ever tried to guard," said blond Billy Hassett, young brother of the ex-Yankee first baseman. "I was told to guard him close but he was like an eel in there. He's the best I've been up against all year."