Even 30 years later, South Hagerstown's win wasn't easy

March 07, 2004|by BUZZ SAWYER

The following story was published in The Morning Herald on March 18, 1974.

COLLEGE PARK - Move over Neil Armstrong. Nick Scallion and his crew on the South Hagerstown "Green Machine" have taken that final giant step onto the forbidden planet of basketball's ultimate success.

The zenith of high school sports attainment was reached by Scallion's Rebels when they conquered Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 86-70, in the Class A state championship finals to finish as undefeated state champions of Maryland.

The no longer impossible dream had a historic moment for the great leader of a great team. With 6:27 left in the contest and his Rebs ahead 73-58, senior Mike Brashears stood 15 feet away from the dream achievement of every scholastic player, a career 1,000 points. The carmine thatched 17-year old deposited the free throw cleanly through the webbing, and later dropped two more charities down the tube to finish his three years in Rebel Green with 1,002 points to become South's first ever 1,000 point player.


Brashears and N.C. State's Tommy Burleson look at things one foot-three inches apart, but one thing the 6-foot-1 Brashears and the 7-foot-4 Burleson were eye to eye on was their disappointment with their second team selections on the All-State and All-Atlantic Coast Conference teams respectively.

Burleson did his thing with 38 tallies in State's classic 103-100 overtime triumph over Maryland in the ACC championship tournament. Brashears followed suit with 31 points against Edgewood in the State semi-finals and 30 points in the title tilt with BCC.

Burleson carried home the ACC tourney's most valuable player award, and if Brashears, the state tournament's highest scorer with 61 points, doesn't receive the same recognition, then Ted Williams was absolutely right about sports writers.

Brashears left the game with 26 seconds remaining to a tumultuous reception from Scallion, his teammates, and the large gathering of Rebel fans.

The unbeaten accomplishment of the Rebels was last achieved by Easton High School from Maryland's Eastern Shore in 1968 when they finished 23-0 to take the Class B title. However, the Rebs' 25-0 goes in the record books as the longest string by an unbeaten state champion.

Norm Kelly's scoring support of Brashears was nothing short of superb as the 6-foot-7 center looped eight of 15 shots through the iron and accepted charity five of six times it was offered. His 21 points brought his single season total to 525 points, the highest in the 18-year history of South Hagerstown basketball.

Kelly's greatest hour while wearing the "Green" came seven and a half hours before St. Patrick's Day, but the smile the towering Rebel pivot displayed when greeting his parents and sister after the game obviously could not wait until Sunday.

While Brashears and Kelly pretty much took care of the scoring for the Maryland's kingpins, Chuck Hipp's rebounding was unbelievable. The 6-foot-4 junior snatched 12 off the rim on Friday and outdid that feat in the championship contest with 16 firm grips of misfires. Even more unbelievable was the fact that Chuck was the last of four to depart via personals as BCC outdid South 30-28 in catching the eye of the overworked officials.

Hipp caught his fourth whistle with 3:44 left in the third period but managed to finesse his way around final detection until 19 seconds remained. He then joined Banks, Kelly, and Stan Jones who previously departed the same way. Of course, BCC's Dennis Barry, Quintin Gunter and Robin Lawrence were already watching the final moments from the bench with similar departures.

Stan Musial is in the Hall of Fame, and the way Stanley Musial Jones played in the State tournament, he may soon join his namesake. The supremely confident Jones, riding an emotional crest several galaxies high, set a tournament record 10 assists on Friday, and the title test saw him score all of his 12 points at times sorely needed by the Rebs to repulse Baron rallies. Then there was sophomore Frank Moten, who two weeks ago was on the junior varsity, coming in to fire in four clutch points and play at an unfamiliar guard position when the Reb regulars got in foul trouble.

BCC trailed South 45-32 with 1:51 left in the first half, but the Barons, with Gunter doing the most damage, roared back with eight straight points, to head for the dressing rooms behind only 45-40. The Barons then opened the third frame with four more unanswered points and South had a thin single point edge at 45-44.

The Herald-Mail Articles