West Virginia’s athletic endeavors transfer from Mountaineer field to Mountaineer field house. There’s a great deal of uncertainty as the season starts but Fred Schaus works his coaching magic and the team wins its first four games, though not impressively. Now onto the floor for the season highlights. At the field house, it’s Duke against unbeaten West Virginia. The Blue Devils aren’t so devilish tonight. Duke’s offense is paced by its sophomores but the shots won’t drop. Luckily, WVU has no such trouble. Bob Clousson tosses to Ronnie Retton, Retton to West, and Jerry rips the Nets then their only regular-season loss last year. Here you see West rebounding Duke’s miss. Jerry passes out to Retton. It goes over to Bobby Joe Smith and the co-captain gets two of his 26 points. A good night’s work. out last Duke, tries to hang in there as center Doug Kistler scores for the North Carolinians, but they are already far behind. Again Smitty takes the ball. He dribbles into the lane and gets two more for the Mountaineers. The crowd loves every point of it. Howard Hurt tries for Duke. His accuracy is hurting tonight, but Fred Kast tips it in and here’s the Mountaineer team. Scores to beat, 101 to 63. basketball version of the Hatfields versus McCoys. West Virginia plays Kentucky in it’s own invitation tournament. In 57, the Wildcats claw back. Sid Cohen cans a field goal. Kentucky has seven straight wins but the record holds no fear for Jerry West, but his game. Kentucky’s lead Mel says the second half begins but WVU always battles back. Cloussen blocks a wildcat pass. Jerry West pounces on the ball he gives it down the floor to Smith who passes to Bolyard and Bucky scores. Fans at Lexington are saying one of the best games ever played at the col- but Kentucky wins. West gets 36. Adolph Rupp calls Jerry one of the greatest, and Schauss presents Rupp with the championship trophy. Two days after Christmas it’s back to basketball. WVU battles Northwestern, one of the big top 10 teams in the country at Chicago Stadium. Thirteen thousand fans witness a tremendous shooting display, both teams are on and they battle neck and neck. Bucky Bolyard and Bob Smith dazzle a Big Ten crowd with this bit of action which sees Smith score. Then more of the same as Bolyard pours it on. Bucky swipes the ball and the Aurora Borealis shines brightly as he racks up a field goal. Jerry West bows out before the game ends at a tie. The first overtime ends with the score still tied. The torrent pace continues. Ronnie Retton races down court, spots Willie Akers who scores. Northwestern retaliates with a long pass and a basket for the team from the Big Ten. Stadium scoring records fall in one of the year’s wildest games. West Virginia tires, Northwestern scores and it’s all over. The Wildcats win 118 to 109 in double overtime. Watch as Penn and West Virginia engage in a nip and tuck first half duel. The Panthers hold a two-point lead at intermission. Then West Virginia engineers a comeback. West takes a pass from Akers, drives, and scores. Ten All-American Don Henson, number 25, has a bad night. He gets only 13 points before fouling the game. Akers is- over the court. He passes to Bolyard. Bucky fakes beautifully, passes to Clousson and Bob lays it in. The Panthers hang on. They work the ball around, move it to Hennon. He’s having a rough time, but still displays why he’s a respected ballplayer. West Virginia’s fast-break features Smith and West. Jerry gets only 16 points but these too are executed with West typical finesse. Defensively, Willie Akers picks the Panthers to pieces. The game gets very rough as West Virginia forges ahead. Bucky Bolyard leads the Mountaineers with 22 points in the pine floor game such as this bounce pass to West. WVU wins it and the ancient athletic warfare ends temporarily with a handshake. There’s a fine crowd at Morgantown for the Holy Cross game, and millions more are watching on television. This is the first nationally televised sports event ever to originate in the state. West rebounds a Holy Cross miss, fires it to Smith and Smitty beats Bolyard for the score. The Mountaineers are behind, as they have been in their last four games, with a 10 game win streak in danger. West is swiping the ball, he teams up with Ronnie Retton to go down and score for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Watch them go. At one time the Crusaders led by 15. They’re shooting has been phenomenal, well over fifty percent and it shots like this one that helped the Crusaders build up a 12 point lead after the first 20 minutes of play. Now the Mountaineers move as Bolyard waxes hot. West is going to try a fall away shot. Here it is. He misses, but Jim Ritchie is there to put it in. Holy Cross, battling the zone, presses rattle. They miss. West drives hard for the basket. Watching shovel pass to Smith. There it goes. Smitty scores. West finishes with 36, to lead West Virginia to its fifth come from behind victory. At Madison Square Garden, West Virginia’s 11 game winning streak is at stake against NYU. For the seven and six record, the New Yorkers are definite underdogs. For a change, West Virginia takes an early lead. Bob Smith leads the way to a scoring advantage. The Violets tie the score on occasion, but never gained the lead, despite some great shooting. Smitty has his best night as a Collegium, with the 29 points and a fine performance in general. He sets up this two hand jumper by Bucky Bolyard and it’s West Virginia leading by six points at halftime. Jerry West is recovering from the flu, but manages still to score 20 points with a display of beautiful shots. A miss by NYU gives new yorkers a look at West Virginia’s attack. Akers tosses down court to West. Jerry- ends with a tie game. Trying to regain the first half lead that disappeared, West Virginia fights back. Smith to Retton. Retton over to Joe Posch and back to Ronnie who feeds Smitty for the score, but the efforts aren’t enough. NYU stops WVU’s 11-game streak, 72 to 70 in overtime. A packed house sees West Virginia’s final regular season game. It’s against always rugged George Washington. GW misses. Another try is blocked by Willie Akers and the Mountaineers gallop. Claussen passes out. Bolyard gives it to Lee Patrone WVU misfires and the Colonials gain control, only to lose it to West who scores for West Virginia. Later, more fireworks for the fans. Bucky Bolyard, always exciting to watch, breaks down court, spots West, passes to Jerry and Cabin Creek’s pride gets two more. It’s a slim halftime lead for WVU. West led the first half scoring and he continues his fine work in the second half. Now this is a good GW club. They lead during much of the game. Lee Patrone gets 19, but Jerry’s 35 is higher for the evening. It’s West Virginia’s 47th straight Southern Conference win and 33rd straight at the field house. Winding up the regular season with a record of 22 wins and four defeats. Now coach Fred Schauss can take time to worry about the tournaments that are still ahead. WVU will battle William and Mary- prince tournament semifinals. This is nothing like the Mountaineers Rob Davidson in the first game. The tall Indians keep West Virginia hustling. Jerry West picks up two points- constantly. Again smooth forward by Bucky Bolyard and Jim Ritchie sets the scoring stage for Jerry. West of West Virginia gets two more of his 38 points for the night. The Indians have some fine players too, one of them Big Jeff Cohen. Here you see Cohen hitting on a real beauty. Then a rare occurrence settles West Virginia fans deep in whelm. Jerry West comes down the floor takes the ball for a score. But on the play a foul is called. It’s West’s fifth personal. He leaves with 5 minutes still to play. The crowd applauds his performance. Later, gloom disappears as sophomore Lee Patrone steps into the breach to score. It’s Patrone’s jump shot which eventually clinches the game, upholstering victory for West Virginia. It’s intermission time, the Southern Conference Finals and WVU has a mere six point lead but the second half is distinctly- West Virginia’s Lee Patrone, the semi-final hero, drives all the way to score. The slow-moving Citadel Bulldogs have a growl or two left. Ray Graves gets a driving bucket. West Virginia seeking a fifth straight conference championship and the kings of come back have the weapons to do the job. West takes a long jumper. As Jerry gets his 27 points, Patrone dizzily racks up an even 20 for himself. Bob Claussen loops a pass to hustling Lee, and Patrone scores again on this long play down the floor. Another trophy for WVU’s Southern Conference champions. Another tournament, another final. West Virginia vs Boston U. The NCAA eastern regional crown is at stake at Charlotte, North Carolina and Jerry West gets things underway with a score. The surprising Carriers knocked off Navy after the mid-east had shocked North Carolina. A Mountaineer fast-break shows Boston whats in store. Here it goes and Jerry West scores again. It’s another thriller for WVU fans. BU tries a fast break against West Virginia, but Bolyard’s sneak attack gets the ball. Bucky races back down the floor toward the basket. He passes off to Bob Smith and Smitty hits for two points for West Virginia. WVU got to the finals with a miraculous comeback win over a rugged St. Joe’s team from Philadelphia, and Boston looks as tough. All-American honors are being heaped on Jerry West and here is a very good reason why. Watch Jerry. Late in the game, the underrated boys from Boston continue to make a battle of it, but they began missing. Willie Akers rebounds, feeds Smith who passes to Bolyard. Bucky holds the ball. Then back over to Smitty again for two points. Another win, another championship, and onto Louisville. An absolute sell-out as WVU meets Louisville. The Mountaineers are seeking their 22nd win in their last 23 games and Jerry West gives them a two-point push toward that goal. Louisville’s Cardinals are on their home floor and they’re a slight favorite, but the gold and blue look tremendous in building a first-half lead. Here is a goal from the corner by West. A big halftime margin for West Virginia. Louisville beat Kentucky and Michigan State, but the Cardinals are out of their class tonight. Akers rebounds to set the fuse for another explosive goal by everyone’s All-American Jerry West. It’s the end of the line for Louisville’s rags to riches club. The Cardinals are swamped. West gets 38 points and plays a deadly floor game. He feeds a two pointer to Jim Ritchie. The Louisville fans are stunned, West Virginia’s are jubilant. The round is on as Ronnie Retton, Bob Smith, and West combine talents. Finally a feed to Jerry and he powers down the lane for another score. WVU’s smashing triumph puts it in the championship game. The national championship is at stake as West Virginia gets the opening tip against California. These teams have beaten everyone in their paths. Bob Smith misses, but the dazzling Jerry West follows up to score. Tension is the keynote as Smitty takes control. He dribbles skillfully, works the ball to Jerry, and the incomparable West does it again. But West Virginia blows a ten-point lead to the deliberate Californians and with Fitzpatrick and Dalton in the lead, the Bears go in and Dalton scores on a jumper at the half. California leads by six. West Virginia’s attack is hampered as West picks up three quick personal fouls. The co-captain Smith nabs two points with a sparkling shot. California’s lead mounts to 13 points, then higher as Dalton hits again. The valiant Mountaineers climb back into contention with scores such as this by Patrone. Cali are just one point (ahead). Following an enemy score, Retton grabs the ball, feeds Akers and Willie scores. The crowd is in a frenzy and so is the state of West Virginia. Seconds to go, Cal misses a foul shot. West grabs the ball, but the game is over. The national crown is lost by one point. And Jerry West is the tourney’s outstanding player. He ties the record with 160 tournament points in five games as West Virginia concludes-

Tagged : # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Dennis Veasley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *