1965 Marion Giants Boys Basketball

Marion High School

1965 Marion Giants Boys BasketballThe 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.                 The 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.