1970-71 Central Boys Basketball

70-71 Boys BB TeamThe 1970-71 Salina Central boys basketball team played its best when it mattered most, putting together a strong late-season run to capture the class 4A state championship.

It was the program’s fourth state title, but the first as Salina Central. The 1970-71 season marked the first year with two Salina High Schools, with Salina South opening its doors that same year.

The Mustangs, who finished fourth in class 5A a year earlier, went 22-2 and won their final 10 games. One of their two losses came to eventual 5A state champion Wichita Southeast.

Central won the Central Kansas league title and the McPherson invitational that year. When the Mustangs defeated Mcpherson in the 4A sub-state final, it was reported more than 1,000 fans had to be turned away from the Central gym that night. The bullpups lost five games
that season, including four to Central.

During the 4A state tournament at Kansas State’s Ahearn Fieldhouse, Central opened with a 73-68 victory over Campus, then needed overtime to defeat CKL rival Junction City 48-44 in the semifinals. Harrison King’s 15-foot jumper with five seconds remaining in regulation
forced overtime against the defending state champion Blue Jays.

Central downed previously unbeaten Coffeyville in the finals, 73-58, in a game the Mustangs dominated. Coffeyville was playing in its second straight state final, after finishing runner-up to Junction City the previous year.

Nino Samuel was named state tourney MVP and Greg Hill was named to the state all-tourney team. Samuel had 26 points and 24 rebounds in the opener vs. Campus, then had 20 points in the title game.

Central starters were Sam Haggard, Greg Hill, Harrison King, Tom Roderick and Nino Samuel. Reserves included Bob Crowe, Jon George, Max Johnson, Dave McClanathan and Tom Wilbur. Alternantes to state were Dave Mann and Stan Fields.

The team was coached by Carroll Cyr, who went 81-48 in six seasons at Central.
Assistant coaches were Don Heath, Sam Siegrist and Gary Sherrer.