Mid-50s produced some great hoops stars
Our second visit to the All-Area basketball notebook covers the years 1955-56. Tom Sharrock, better known as The Hubber, selected the teams by tabulating votes cast by coaches and fans of the 65 schools and 600 players that were part of the Constitution-Press circulation area.
Players from Comanche County dominated the 1955 team as three of the five boys and two of the six girls hailed from schools surrounding Lawton.
Selected to the boys team were Fletcher senior Richard Watts, Elgin junior Bud Sahmaunt, Mt. Park senior Don Howard Thames, Grandfield senior John Robert Helton and Cache senior Bob Adams.
Girls chosen by the voters were forwards Shirley Amyx of Loveland, Helen Jones of Manitou and Edna Devine of Geronimo and guards Ann Hartsell of Loveland, Eva McCuiston of Geronimo and Christine Davis of Randlett.
Sharrock noted that two members of the 1954 squad failed to repeat. Wrote Sharrock:
"Mike Dudenhoeffer of Grandfield ñ a marked man from the first day of the season ñ slipped to the second team, and Lavada Bales, Randlett forward whose duties this year consisted mostly of setting up plays instead of scoring, had to settle for second team all-conference honors."
Joining Dudenhoeffer on the second unit were Jack Morrison of Faxon, Don Williams of Cyril, and Gary Gardner and Coy Bridges of Walters. The next five in the voting were Delbert Suanny of Cyril, Danny Howard of Fletcher, Sam Galindo of Cyril, Robert Randall of Cooperton and Albert Topetchy of Grandfield.
Runners-up for the girls were Pat Holden of Frederick, Lola Bowles of Randlett, Evelyn Lorah of Chattanooga, Trudy Zweiacker of Union Valley, Joyce Hughes of Davidson and Genevieve Ford of Cache.
Players were presented with engraved gold basketballs and shoulder patches by the Constitution-Press.
Adams edged Sahmaunt for the most outstanding player award for the boys. Jones, the first girl to become a two-time All-Area selection, earned most outstanding forward for the girls and McCuiston was most outstanding guard.
Sharrock said Adams was named on nearly every ballot and received heavy support from Grandfield. Wrote Sharrock:
"A better than average baseball pitcher, Adams is destined for Panhandle A&M, where he has had a scholarship for the past two years.
"The catlike Sahmaunt, who stands 5-9, was the only junior on the elite five. Sahmaunt made the Elgin varsity for the first time this year and spearheaded the Owls through an all but undefeated surge the latter part of the season."
Watts was the leading scorer for a stout Fletcher team. At 6-3, Thames was the tallest first teamer and was the leading scorer for Coach Scott Ousley's crew. Helton was singled out because of his defensive abilities.
Jones stood just 5-2 but was a four-year starter. Sharrock said it was a bad night for the Maroons when she failed to score at least 20 points. Amyx also started for four years and scored 35 points in her final game. Devine followed in the footsteps of sister Edna in leading Geronimo.