Wyoming's Varied Defense Clincher, Declares Bee

by Clair Bee

Wyoming's victory over St. John's, which I did not expect, was one of superior defense rather than attack. Coach Evertt Shelton, one of the most astute veterans in college ranks, had things all set defensively to stop the various St. John's threats.

His double-guarding on Boykoff was nothing new, but I would like to say that Komenich and Weir did as fine a job of it as possible. You seldom will see teams float on defense any better than Wyoming, or play a better double-edged man-to-man defense.

Wyoming definitely had the better of the going at the end of the first half and kept pace at the start of the second. But when both Komenich and Weir approached the danger line with three personal fouls each, Coach Shelton obviously ordered the boys to take it easy. That enabled St. John's to catch up midway in the second half to 34-all. Then Wyoming opened up again, breezed off to a 46-38 lead with only a few minutes to go.

Once again caution became the Wyoming watch word, and St. John's charged in to tie the score. You cannot play cautiously against a team like St. John's. I think one of the most important shots of the entire game was the layup by Volker - with about five minutes to go - to make it 46 for Wyoming. St. John's was crowding Wyoming to the midline - overplaying them - and Volker shot in like a cannonball to take a pass for an uncontested layup. It was so easy that it may have lulled Wyoming, permitting St. John's to catch them.

Wyoming made no mistakes in overtime, playing pure possession and waiting for their break, which came on Weir's pivot. He did it beautifully, too: even better than Komenich made.

An important item in the Wyoming victory was the great playing of Ken Sailors. Coach Lapchick did a lot this season his "pony", fast little Hy Gotkin, who went in to outspeed rivals, and did it against most clubs. But in Sailors, Hy had more than his match. The whippet was outrun last night.

Georgetown's victory over Toledo was no surprise. A team with the drive of Coach Ripley's crew, when hitting like they were last night, will always prove too much for a deliberate club like Toledo.

Kenny Sailors takes on Hy Gotkin