Published in Converse Yearbook, 1955
by BILL BROOK (Publicity Director, Murray (Ky.) State College
|1955 HIGH SCHOOL All-AMERICANS - as selected by Chuck Taylor, coaches and sports writers at North-South Classic: (L-R): Ruklick, Ryan,, Chuck Taylor, Byrd ("Mr. Basketball"), Howell and Johnson, holding their award certificates.|
GET THERE firstest with the mostest" used to be the motto of General J.E.B. Stuart during hte Civil War, bu tmore cently it is being use dto prsonify the Southern team that walloped the North squad 79-68 in the seventh annual North-South game last June 18.
In winning, the South broke a 3-3 tie that had existed and took its third straight game; avenging three straight losses to the Yankees. South won the initial game in 1949.
Played at Murray (Ky.) State College, the game broke only one record ... attendance. For the first time, the game was played in the college's new 6000 seat fieldhouse. A crowd of about 4200 shirt-sleeved fans were on hand to cheer the All-Stars.
From the word go, the South went and the best the North could do was to follow. Before the Yanks could find either the time or the range, the Rebels had built up a 6-0 lead on two buckets by Leo Byrd and a tip-in by Bob Ferry.
During the initial quarter, the South hustled to a 22-10 lead, mostly on the sharp-shooting of Byrad and his runningmate, Dick Johnson.
During the second frame of play, the South held its own and led at halftime 40-30. In the third stanza, the Yanks couldn't find the right combination to equal the scoring of Byrd and Johnson, nor could they stop the brilliant board work of Bailey Howell and Ferry. The quarter ended with the North trailing, 50-64.
|Chuck Taylor congratulates Mr. Basketball Leo Byrd|
Two Joe's, Ryan and Ruklick were the Yankee leaders. Ryan, a deadly shot from nearly anywhere on the floor, was something unbelieveable for a high school prepper with his cutting and driving. Ruklick was equally as deadly on hook shots and did his yeoman' chores on rebounding.
However, it was Byrd, Ferry, Johnson and Howell that put the South back into command. Howell scored from the corner, Ferry hit a jump shot, and Johnson laid one in from the keyhole to move the Southerners into a 70-64 "game" advantage.
Orby Arnold added a free throw to virtually ice the game and then Byrd took command. The little West Virgian began to demonstrate the fine and complex art of dribbling. When he wasn't dribbling, he was scoring. He added six points to his total to take game scoring honors with 28 points. Ferry finished the coup with a push shot, and the game belong to the record.
Southern co-coaches were J.R. Van Meter of Woodrow Wilson High in Beckley, W. Va., and Russell Kaminsky of Joplin High, Missouri State champions.
The Yankee co-coaches were Frank Shannon of Tecumseh High, New Carlisle, Ohio, and Bill Walters of Wauwatosa, Wis. High.
Selected by almost 50 radio and newspapermen as "Mr. Basketball" was Leo Byrd of Huntington, W.Va. The little guard is extremely worthy not only for his ability but because he had beaten infantile paralysis at the age of 12.
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