Here are 10 questions to test your knowledge of area basketball and sports anecdotes from the past. Give yourself 10 points for each correct answer. Seventy is a passing grade and I doubt that I hand out any A’s. You can find the answers at the end of the column. No peeking.
1. On the same January night in 1992 that Lima Senior’s Greg Simpson set a city scoring record with 57 points against Toledo Start, another local player set his school’s high water mark for points in a game with 49. Who was it and what high school did he play for?
2. A legendary area coach, who earned induction into the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, had a weekend to remember during his high school playing days. He totaled 100 points all by himself in back-to-back games. Who was it and what high school did he play for?
3. A WLIO sports anchor left Lima and ascended to the most coveted sports chair and highest rated sports show in the country. Who was it and where did he land?
4. What was the first high school in Allen County to play in the basketball state tournament and what was the year?
5. What legendary NBA coach was offered his first professional head coaching position by an owner who made the phone call from a local establishment in Lima?
6. What Mercer County father and son combo both scored the exact same number of career points, 1,051, while playing for the same high school?
7. What former local basketball coach made a name for himself by holding the great Jerry Lucas to the lowest point total in his high school career at Middletown High School. (He had some help) Name him and the high school he coached.
8. What legendary local athlete became the first African-American to scholarship, start and score points for an Ohio State University basketball team.
9. What Lima Senior High basketball player, from the 1960s, had a jump shot so perfect and picturesque that his name was always preceded by the word “Sweet?”
10. Two former players were named to the The Lima News All-City basketball team and also won the city golf championship. Can you name them?
1. Jon Woolley, Elida. He scored 49 points in a game against Sylvania Southview. Looking back now, he thought his feat would be the headline in The Lima News the following morning. “I thought I was pretty great until I opened the newspaper the next day and saw that Greg Simpson scored 57 points,” he remembers. Woolley’s mark still stands, nearly 30 years after his impressive achievement.
2. Al Welch, Grover Hill High School. Grover Hill, which later merged into Wayne Trace High School, scored over 100 points in both games that weekend and Welch managed to score nearly half of its points for a 100-point weekend all of his own. Welch had a Hall of Fame career as coach at Wayne Trace and my teams always had a difficult time trying to hold his team’s offensive attack down. They got it naturally.
3. Scott Clark, a Lima Senior High graduate, left WLIO in the late ‘70s and eventually sat in the nation’s number one sports chair while sports anchor for ABC-7 in New York City, the highest rated sportscast in the country at that time. Scott is now retired.
4. Delphos St. John’s, 1924. In just the second year of the OHSAA basketball state tournament, the Blue Jays, under the direction of coach Bert Mull, advanced to state. They won their first game, 19-17, against Ravenna High School but lost in the semifinal to Bellpoint High School, 36-24. The Blue Jays’ Leon Ulm and Cletus Sheibley were named to the All-Tournament Team.
5. Phil Jackson, who coached the Bulls and Lakers to multiple NBA titles. Jackson was vacationing in the Bahamas in 1982 when he received a phone call from the owner of the Albany Patroons, a team that had just lost to the Lima Mixers in the CBA, the forerunner of the today’s G League. The owner made the call from the American Legion Hall here in Lima where his team had gone for a post-game meal. Jackson went on to win three consecutive CBA titles with Albany and eventually rose to be the head coach of the Chicago Bull and LA Lakers. He has 11 NBA championship rings.
6. Vern Hoying and his son Bob both scored exactly 1,051 points in their careers at St. Henry High School. Vern graduated in 1967 and Bob graduated in 1992. Bob’s teams won two basketball state championships. Both played for Hall of Fame coach Fran Guilbault.
7. Brian Karrick, Elida High School. Jerry Lucas was a high school phenom and the second most decorated high school player in Ohio basketball history behind only LeBron James. He led Middletown High School to two state championships, led Ohio State to their only national championship and has been inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame. Karrick, playing for Lima Senior, locked him down to a career low 16.
8. Cleo Vaughn, a graduate of Lima Central High School. He was also signed as a catcher by the New York Yankees and spent several years in their minor league system.
9. “Sweet” Bobby Butler. His jump shot was poetry in motion. You had to witness it to understand.
10. Bruce Burden, playing for Shawnee, was All-City in basketball in 1966 and won the city golf championship in 1989 and 2003. Steve Mulcahy, playing for Lima Central Catholic, was All-City in basketball in 1986 and won the city golf championship in 1990.
Hope you did well. Remember, your test score is going on your permanent record.
Reach Bob Seggerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.