Old Baller wrote:I'm new to this blog and played Class B basketball back in the mid 60's. I'll throw out some names from that era, some of which have been mentioned already. These aren't necessarily the best ever but were outstanding players at the time, at least as I recall them.
Phil Jackson- Williston, UND, & the NBA. His story is well known.
Paul Presthus - Rugby, U. of Minn. I'm not sure if he played pro ball.
Glenn Hansen - GF Central, LSU (I think), & the NBA for a few years
Scott Monson - GF Red River. I can't recall where he played college ball of if he played pro but he and Hansen had some great battles. I think Central and Red River played for the title in '69 or '70 when they were seniors. Great game.
Bob Green - Mandan, Dickinson State. Dominant player on a very good Mandan High team that won two consecutive the state titles in mid 60's.
Scott Howe - Mandan, NDSU. Teamed up with Green for a solid 1, 2 scoring punch.
Jerry Pyle - Central Cass, U. of Minn. Electrifying player who at 6'7"could run the floor, lead the break, and score at will for an exceptional Central Cass team. Dominated the '68 state tournament and scored 38 points in the final. Gets my vote for class B player of the decade. I believe that Central Cass team lost only once that year, a squeaker to a Class A school from either Grand Forks or Fargo which finished second at the Class A state tournament. His brother Bob wasn't too shabby either.
Vance Bowersox - Wolford, Minot State. Not a big guy but a great scorer. Tiny Wolford came into the '68 state tournament final undefeated but had the misfortune of facing Central Cass that night. Bowersox matched Jerry Pyle with 38 points in that game as I recall. A member of my All Name team, too!
Butch Linch - Mott, UND, NFL. One of the best 3-sport athletes ever in ND high school and UND history. Led Mott to several state basketball titles in the early 60's. Played in the NFL for several teams.
Don Blevins - Fort Yates, Dickinson State. Two sport star (BB & cross country/track). One of the best ball handlers I ever saw. Would "put on a show" Marcus Haynes style by dribbling out the clock and keeping defenders at bay. Fun to watch. Died way too young in a car accident I believe,
John Backhaus - Linton, Jamestown College. Ok..I did play against John a little in HS and came to know him fairly well in college. Led Linton to state several years in the mid 60's and still holds one of the highest single-game scoring totals in state tournament history with 43 (?) points.
I know that Kenmare had some fine players back then too but I can't recall any names. Kenmare was the top high school basketball program in the '60's, playing in 5 consecutive title games, winning 3 times. What a quality run!
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