Little Chap Wyoming Hero
Court Giants Take Back Seat As Sailors' Team Wins NCAA Title
by Lawrence Robinson
Coach Everett Shelton, scholarly-appearing Wyoming court mentor, is thankful today for all the time he spent on little Ken Sailors, his captain and real ace in the hole. Because it was Ken who brought about Wyoming's conquest of Georgetown, 46-34, and the National Collegiate A.A. court championship, something that Shelton admitted he "had been waiting 20 years for."
With all his speed and natural ability to cut and dodge, Sailors is still a "made" player, the handiwork of his veteran coach, one-time teammate of Stout Steve Owen, Giant grid coach, at Phillips College, Oklahoma.
"I always look for a little fellow with speed and co-ordination and train him for the driving spot," admits Shelton. "I'm doing the same thing with No. 11, Jim Reese. He is beginning to catch on, too, even though he made a lot of mistakes when I sent him in last night. Sailors did the same as a sophomore."
Amid all the hullabaloo today about the advantage of having tall men, and Wyoming has its share of height, it was the little guy who clinched the Western team's victory on the Garden floor last night. For a time it even looked as if Wyoming might not make it, with Georgetown keeping even with its usual hell-bent driving. The big Wyoming fellows were unusually wary, and the Hoyas were ahead midway through 13 minutes of the second half on sheer aggressiveness.
Coast Guard Through With Outside Games
At this critical stage Sailors took over. A blond wisp of a lad, weighing not more than 140 pounds. Ken uncorked on-man forays right through the strong Hoya defense, driving right up under the hoop to score. It injected new life into the desultory Wyoming performance, inspired the club to put on its whirlwind finish that netted four goals in the last 40 seconds. The 12-point final margin does not do justice to Georgetown's excellent playing.
In the opening game of last night's twin bill, the third championship of the last two days was settled when Manhattan Beach Coast Guard's strong five won the Eastern service team title by downing Aberdeen Proving Ground, 56-43. It was the farewell to outside competetion for the Coast Guarders, who will engage only in intramural contests in teh future, and a bright conclusion, with Laverre Astroth, Bob Dorn and Ed Spotts permorming well.
Wyoming has one more row to hoe before hitting the trail for home, the Red Cross Benefit match tomorrow night with St. John's, winner of the Garden Invitation final over Toledo Monday night. The Cowboys had better be ready for heavier action against the Redmen. Coach Shelton, who saw St. John's beat Toledo, says of the game, "I hope we can make it a close game. Coach Lapchick has a great club, one of the best I've ever seen."
The Wyoming team got one big break last night, the early build-up of three personal fouls on Dutch Kraus, Georgetown's playmaker and floor boss. Coach Elmer Ripley had to pull his hard-working southpaw, and turn the strategy over to Hassett. Billy did a good job under the circumstances, but missed the adroit passing and keen eye of Kraus.
However, his extra assignments cut into Hassett's efficiency somewhat, as evidenced in his failure to make a double foul at the crucial point, 17:30 of the second half when those free throws would have made it 38-36 with a chance to tie. Against De Paul, Billy made seven for seven.
Neither Milo Komenich,Wyoming's touted big fellow, nor John Mahnken, Hoya tower of flesh, lived up to advance notices, finishing in a sort of reciprocal stalemate. Both teams played warily under their own baskets, apparently satisfied to let the other club take the rebounds. Wyoming seemed scared of close rule-calling by Referees Kennedy and Begovich, which did not enhance their floor play.
Speaking of the game, Coach Ripley of the Hoyas said, "We lost to a better team, but we made a good fight of it until the last few minutes. Losing Kraus for nearly 20 minutes of the game, with three personals, was a blow."