1965 Marion Giants Boys Basketball
Marion High School
The 1965 Marion Giant Basketball
team began a new era for Marion basketball teams. With Jack Colescott being named varsity coach
and Dick Persinger his assistant, hopes of change were high. Using Harold Curdy, one of Marion’s all-time
great players and Steve Ward as a foundation, Colescott built a team into
winners, through defense and playing hard for the entire game. The team was told that when players that
wanted to win would step up and strive to be the best, Marion basketball would
turn around. After the 1st seven
games, the record was 4-3 having lost to top-ranked state powers Kokomo, Anderson,
& Ft. Wayne Central. It was not the
beginning start everyone wanted; however, Coach Colescott believed in the
players, and the players believed in his coaching ability.
team had a very tough NCC schedule plus other strong teams like Elkhart, Muncie
South, & North Central. It would
take a real team effort and a strong defense to win games on the road. In
January the team had to travel to Lafayette, a team Marion had not beaten on
their floor in 20 years. At half time
Marion trailed by 16 pts; however, the team tightened its defense and got a
77-71 victory in OT. Another early season game was against Elkhart who was
undefeated and highly ranked. Marion had
never defeated Elkhart and at the end of the 3rd quarter, the team
trailed by 17 pts. One of the greatest
comebacks in Marion history occurred by scoring 30 pts in 4th
quarter and OT to win by 2 pts.
The Giants went on to win 18
straight games, finishing 2nd in the NCC. The team finished the
season with a 22-4 record after winning the Sectional and Regional, losing to
South Bend Washington 70-66 in the Semi-State.
This was one of the finest seasons in Marion history being ranked 9th
in state. Harold Curdy was named to the Indiana All-Star team. Dick Rohrer, Steve
Ward, and Curdy were All NCC players.
Four other seniors Clyde Thornell, Rick Harris, Cliff Good, Dwayne Hann,
along with underclassmen Ken Stewart, John Gibson, Jerry Cannon, Jeff Mitchell,
and Doug Brown made this a real team effort in 1965.
The winning tradition and Giant
Pride were restored. Coaches Colescott and Persinger, players Harold Curdy and
Steve Ward are individual inductees into the Grant County Sports Hall of Fame.
In the next 34 years Marion teams
had winning seasons of which 22 were seasons with 20 plus victories. In that span the Giants won 6 State Championships
in Single Class basketball.