1958-59 Elyria High Basketball

Enshrined 1999

1958-59 Elyria Pioneers Basketball Team

Legendary head coach Dale Reichenbach had many outstanding basketball teams at Elyria High but without question, the best had to be his 1958-59 team. Counting Reichenbach and his assistant coach Bob Hersman, there are 12 representatives all enshrined in the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame. Reichenbach was a defensive guru and Elyria’s opponents were held to just 46.1 points per game that season while the Pioneers racked up an average of 70.5. Elyria handed a very talented Lorain squad (see jump ball picture left) its only three losses of the season including a 68-66 cliffhanger at the Baldwin-Wallace district championship. Bill Mrukowski set the single-game scoring record with 40 points at Berea early in the season and the team was led in scoring and rebounding by Walter Rock, who later was an All-Pro lineman in the NFL. The usual five starters (all in jump ball picture) were Rock (52), Mrukowski (44), Sam Davis (at right), Jim Jones (30) and Billy Gast (left) but Reichenbach could call on a number of his substitutes to play well. The Pioneers won every game during the regular season to win the pretigious Buckeye Conference championship for the second year in a row. In the “Sweet Sixteen” for the third straight year, Elyria was matched up with defending and undeafeated Cleveland East Tech in the regional semi-final at Baldwin Wallace. In front of a standing room only crowd, East Tech prevailed 52-42. It was the closest margin of victory for the eventual state champions and its lowest point output of the season. Reichenbach, Hersman, Rock, Mrukowski, Davis, Jones, Gast, Larry Stark (tennis), Richie Poad (football), Lee Johnson (basketball), Steve Lengel (football and basketball) and Jim Guest (tennis) are all enshrined in the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame for various talents. Some called the Class of ’59 the greatest assembly of athletes in Elyria High’s illustrious history. Few could argue. 

Elyria High School Pioneers 1958-59 Basketball Head Coach: Dale Reichenbach      Assistant Coach: Bob Hersman

# Player G FGA FG FTA FT A RB O/D TP High AVE
4-33 Bill Gast 24 141 59 48 38 51 19/30 156 13 6.5
12-11 Hilton Murray 12 6 3 7 3 3 2/6 9 3 0.7
14 Larry Stark 4 5 2 1 0 2 0/0 4 2 1.0
20-34 Tom Shepard 5 6 1 6 1 2 2/0 3 3 0.6
22-40 Richie Poad 13 25 5 18 12 8 9/2 22 7 1.7
24-39 Bill Madden 13 24 11 9 2 7 8/14 24 9 1.8
30-42 Jim Jones 24 195 85 40 26 64 27/34 196 19 8.2
38-37 Lee Johnson 11 27 6 6 1 5 12/19 13 5 1.2
40-35 Sam Davis 24 333 145 95 54 67 123/103 344 39 14.3
41-41 Brian Hays 21 39 16 22 7 15 13/24 29 9 1.8
44-45 Bill Mrukowski 23 330 136 105 71 66 61/150 343 40 14.9
50-43 Steve Lengel 24 128 49 40 28 27 70/69 126 15 5.2
52-53 Walt Rock 24 303 141 169 111 35 178/148 393 31 16.4
54-55 Jim Guest 20 32 9 10 3 7 28/32 21 6 1.1
36 Dave Metzger 4 2 1 0 0 0 1/1 2 2 0.6
35 Mel Taylor 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0 0 0.0

1958-59 Schedule and Results  (23-1, Buckeye Conference Champions 10-0*)

Date Opponent  Result  Record Leading Scorers
Nov. 21 North Olmsted 75-61 (1-0) Davis 28, Mrukowski 15, Gast 10.
Nov. 26 Lakewood 79-28 (2-0) Jones 18, Davis 10, Gast 10.
Nov. 28 Akron Hower 68-33 (3-0) Davis 20, Mrukowski 16, Gast 10.
Dec.  6 at Berea 79-52 (4-0) Mrukowski 40, Rock 13, Davis 13.
Dec. 12 at Findlay* 54-44 (5-0, 1-0) Davis 15, Mrukowski 15, Rock 12.
Dec. 19 at Fremont Ross* 84-28 (6-0, 2-0) Davis 13, Mrukowski 12, Lengel 12, Rock 11.
Dec. 20 Norwalk 77-30 (7-0) Mrukowski 19, Gast 13, Davis 12, Lengel 10.
Dec. 23 Lorain* 84-64 (8-0,3-0) Davis 26, Mrukowski 20, Rock 16.
Dec. 30 Sandusky* 63-50 (9-0,4-0) Mrukowski 24, Rock 18, Jones 10.
Jan.   3 at Mansfield 69-54 (10-0) Davis 29, Rock 18.
Jan.   9 at Marion Harding* 51-39 (11-0,5-0) Davis 18, Gast 11.
Jan. 16 Findlay 80-53 (12-0,6-0) Rock 31, Lengel 15, Davis 14.
Jan. 23 Fremont Ross* 101-42 (13-0, 7-0) Rock 28, Mrukowski 25, Jones 14, Davis 11.
Jan. 24 at Akron East 67-35 (14-0) Jones 18, Rock 13, Mrukowski 13, Lengel 10.
Jan. 30 at Lorain* 68-63 (15-0, 8-0) Jones 19, Mrukowski 18, Rock 17, Davis 14.
Jan. 31 Ashland 71-58 (16-0) Rock 20, Davis 17, Jones 12.
Feb.  6 at Sandusky* 62-51 (17-0, 9-0) Rock 28, Mrukowski 18, Jones 12.
Feb. 13 Marion Harding* 76-56 (18-0,10-0) Rock 23, Davis 18, Jones 15, Mrukowski 12.
Elyria Sectional Tournament
Feb. 20 Olmsted Falls 62-29 (19-0) Rock 29.
Feb. 23 Avon Lake 73-33 (20-0) Rock 19, Jones 14, Davis 12, Mrukowski 12.
Feb. 27 North Olmsted 70-34 (21-0) Davis 19, Rock 19, Mrukowski 12.
Berea District at Baldwin-Wallace
Mar 4 Berea 70-52 (22-0) Rock 27, Davis 18.
Mar 7 Lorain 68-66 (23-0) Mrukowski 30, Rock 14.
Berea Regional at Baldwin-Wallace
Mar 11 East Tech 42-52 (23-1) Davis 13, Mrukowski 11.

Total Points Scored and Average:1693-1107 (70.5-46.1) Buckeye Conference Standings: Elyria 10-0, Lorain 8-2, Marion 4-6, Sandusky 4-6, Findlay 3-7, Fremont 1-9.