The girls state basketball tournament was still in its infancy when Elyria High – coached by Margaret Wear – qualified for the fourth annual final four by defeating Ashland, 50-46, at the Sandusky Regional. They truly were ‘Pioneers’ by becoming the first Lorain County girls team to compete at the state finals in any sport. The Pioneers won 23 games, lost only twice in earning the Buckeye Conference championship as well as Sectional, District and Regional titles. The team helped set a record for consecutive regular season wins when they defeated Admiral King, 51-43. They also set the mark for most points in a single game when they rolled over Vermilion, 88-17. They lost to eventual state champion Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the state semi-finals. Gloria Barbee was named the MVP for the team – averaging 13.6 points a game and five rebounds. She had 61 steals, 35 assists and led the team in scoring with 288 points. Mary Lakotas was the team’s best defensive player. Lakota led the team in steals with 115 and contributed 61 assists. Barbee and Lakotas were the team captains. Tina Brown led the rebounding (10.1 rebounds per game) and averaged 6.1 points. Rochelle Corn pulled down five rebounds and scored 9.3 points a contest. Sharon Kaplan led the way at the foul line – sinking 69 per cent of her free throws. Other squad members included Betty Halliburton, the Jaycee Sportsmanship winner, Lisa Harris, Joanne Hinkofer, Linda Dehart, Cindy Janasy and Jackie Hill. Cassie Pileski was the team manager.