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Mike Hall’s most remembered game: Muncie South 78 Columbus 70 Indy semi state 1965 Butler (Hinkle) Fieldhouse

The game I most remember Muncie South 78, Columbus 70 March 13, 1965 second afternoon game of the Indianapolis Semi-State at Butler (now Hinkle) Fieldhouse. Mike Hall, 1965 Columbus graduate

This game sticks out for the disappointment it brought with it, and the anticipation going in to the game. We had 9 seniors on this team, and we had the unusual experience of having the two Columbus teams before us go undefeated in the regular season with a number one state ranking for both groups. Those teams were loaded with guys who were going on to play Division 1 basketball, and dominated the playing time during those years. 3 players from those teams made the Indiana All-stars, and 5 eventually made their way into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame (as did our coach, Bill Stearman). Those of us in the class of ’65 had to bide our time, play an extra year of JV ball and try to prepare ourselves as well as possible to compete our senior year.

To put it mildly, we were hungry. Most worked very hard in the off season and approached the season with a lot of hope. The wins didn’t come as easily as they had in the previous two years, and it was obvious we didn’t have all-state talent. However, with good coaching and hard work we managed to win most of our early games. At one point our record was 16-1, and we ended 17-3 for the regular season. We swept through the sectional (with the highest per game scoring average in the state) and managed to win our regional.

One of our season losses was to Indianapolis Washington (eventual state champs for ’65). They were also in our semi-state, but played the first game while we played the Muncie South Rebels in the second game. I’m sure all of our team members were anxious to get another chance at Washington. Maybe our focus on Muncie was impacted by that to a certain extent. We did know South had a couple good big players and quick guards, but they were even better than we thought.

We never really got a good flow in the game. At the half we led by 5 although didn’t shoot well. We still lead by 2 going into the fourth. Normally we ended up winning in those situations. In fact, that was the only game in my high school career we lost while leading going into the fourth quarter. It just seemed like we couldn’t score when we really needed it, and couldn’t stop them at important times either.

I really felt responsible for the loss. For whatever reason during the sectional and regional the basket was as big as the moon to me, and I scored at a much higher rate than normal (averaged a little over 11 per game in the season, 21+ through sectional and regional). I thought by not scoring at the same rate in the semi-state I hurt our team’s chances. In reality we had a very balanced team and a lot of guys could score, so it probably got down to them being a little better than us.

Indianapolis Washington beat Muncie South to win the semi-state, and the next week defeated Fort Wayne North for the state championship.

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