1953-54 Return to Year-by-Year HOME Update: January 11, 2011
STATE CHAMPIONS CLASS AA: Wichita North CLASS A: Sacred Heart-Salina CLASS B: Partridge CLASS BB: Burdett
Coach Bueltel's second year as head coach took Hayden to their highest finish in the Class A State tournament. Loren Bartley was a great rebounder and scorer for this team and he scored more free throws in one season (173) than anyone in Hayden history. The team played three more games than the maximum allowed present day teams. The playoff system involved district play before the Regional tournament. The top two teams from the districts would advance. Not until 1972 did a Hayden team finish higher than this squad. This team was known for a high scoring offense - 89 points against Immaculata was a record at the time.
Bueltel would comment in 1971 that he regretted a decision he made in the semi-final against Pratt. He called a time-out with 10 seconds left and stressed getting the ball into Loren Bartley for the last shot. He figured he would either score a field goal , get fouled or get the three point play. As it turned out his other players might have been more open for a shot than Bartley. Loren's shot failed with 5 seconds left. Hayden rebounded the next day to win the third place game against Russell.
Joe McDonnell, starting guard in 1954, recently noted some stories about this basketball season with friends and members of his family. "To Salina and Beyond: A Remembrance" is Joe's contribution to a family history his nephew is compiling.
Joe relates details of the action between Hayden and rivals of that era. He describes Holton players as "big, rawboned & rugged players." (Some things never change.) Joe says he got locked up with one of the Holton boys and after a technical was assessed to the Holton player, he calmly sank a free throw with the Holton crowd protesting loudly.
He describes how Hayden fell apart when Ken Bueltel abandoned his team to get married to Gisele Charest. "Couldn't (Coach) have waited until after the season to get married ?", he remembers asking his team mates. After the honeymoon the Hayden boys reeled off thirteen straight victories.
He notes that Haskell of Lawrence was one of the most athletic and well conditioned teams of the era. They were famous for a full court zone press that wore down opponents in the old Jayhawk League. He describes how Coach Bueltel prepared his team to defeat this defense and beat them twice on the way to the Jayhawk crown. Haskell would defeat Hayden in the finals of the district tourney, but both teams were allowed to proceed to the Regional tournament. Hayden defeated Haskell in the regional that qualified the Bueltel crew for the state tourney held at Salina High School.
Joe confirms that Coach Bueltel had alternate plans proposed for that fateful final shot against Pratt. One scenario had the hot shooting guard (none other than Joe McDonnell !) fire the shot from outside. Joe assures readers that the Bartley option made the most sense at the time and the ball rolled 3/4 around the rim before falling off to a Pratt player. He also confirms that Loren was fouled but the officials did not see it that way. There was some irony involved when Hayden finally won a state championship in 1982. Hayden was the victor over the Pratt Greenbacks and the starting guard for the Wildcats was the son of reserve Bob Turgeon of that '54 team.
1954 Photos - Topeka Daily Capital
^ Total of 68 fouls called in Holton game of January 26th
|1953-1954||COACH||Ken Bueltel||Jayhawk League Champion|
|1st Class A Regional|
|3rd Class A State|
|WON 23 LOST 5|
|12/1/53||Immaculata - LV||W||78||45||Hayden East|
|12/7/53||Highland Park||W||72||56||Highland Park|
|12/22/53||Highland Park||L||63||69||Hayden East|
|12/30/53||Atchison||L||46||52||Highland Park||HPHS Xmas Inv|
|1/1/54||Seaman||W||61||41||Highland Park||HPHS Xmas Inv|
|1/2/54||Highland Park||L||44||53||Highland Park||HPHS Xmas Inv|
|1/5/54||St. Agnes - K.C.||W||57||52||St. Agnes - Kansas City|
|1/14/54||St. Agnes - K.C.||W||63||45||Hayden East|
|1/15/54||Washburn Rural||W||51||48||Washburn Rural||Jayhawk|
|1/19/54||Haskell - LA||W||60||52||Hayden East||Jayhawk|
|1/22/54||Osage City||W||69||54||Osage City||Jayhawk|
|1/26/54||Holton ^||W||73||59||Hayden East||Jayhawk|
|2/12/54||Washburn Rural||W||70||51||Hayden East||Jayhawk|
|2/16/54||Immaculata - LV||W||89||42||Immaculata-Leavenworth|
|2/19/54||Haskell - LA||W||57||50||Haskell - Lawrence||Jayhawk|
|2/26/54||Osage City||W||60||55||Hayden East||Jayhawk|
|3/4/54||Bonner Springs||W||84||59||Bonner Springs||A District|
|3/5/54||Haskell - LA||L||52||60||Bonner Springs||A District|
|3/11/54||Maur Hill - Atch||W||58||57||Topeka High||A Regional|
|3/13/54||Haskell - LA||W||50||46||Topeka High||A Regional|
|1/15/54 WRHS @ WRHS||-1|
1/15/54 1 point too many listed in box score.