We finished the 1934 season with Seven Springs girls dominating the league. However, for the 1934-35 season there would be a few creases in their bubble. Remember they had not lost a single game for four years. As expected, in this campaign they got off to another impressive start with a lopsided 33 to 8 victory. In part the report read:
“In their one-sided win over the Eureka sextette the Seven Springs lassies showed the same class that had made their school famous for girls’ teams for the past six years.” Scoring: Kea 10, N. Grady 16, C. Jones 2, F. Jones 3, M. Grady 3.
Two weeks later they knock off Grantham, but not as decisively as in years past, winning this one 22-17 in what was reported as a “hotly contested court battle.” Scoring was balanced with Springs’ Carrie Jones getting 6, Grady 9 and Kea 7. Mozingo scored 7 for Grantham.
On Jan. 11, they take a 30-14 victory over Rosewood. Kea scores 18 of the 30. C. Jones gets 6; substitute Grady the other 6. Highs for Rosewood was Newell and Smith with 7 each.
The following week they show the golden stuff that they are really made of by running roughshod over Fremont: “The Seven Springs girls swamped the Fremont sextette under a 50 to 5 avalanche of points.” A flaw in the print made the box score impossible to read.
But then, but then — along comes Nahunta
Well, certainly the bubble is not about to burst, but is indeed slightly indented by a big upset victory. The headline read: “Nahunta teams upset dope and take contests off Seven Springs.” (Teams, plural meaning Nahunta boys and girls were upset winners).
The Nahunta girls, playing the spoiler role, squeaked out a 26-24 victory over the Seven Springs girls “despite the fact the latter sextette was doped to win.”
Obviously Kea was off her game, scoring only 2 points. Holmes hooped 17 and N. Grady the other 5. Nichols scored 12 for Nahunta, Egerton 9 and Maples 5. (Dope or doped was a term occasionally used by reporters of that era, meaning predicted, projected or expected to win.)
The results of games of Jan. 31 left a three-way tie in the girls division. The Brogden girls lost their first game of the season to Seven Springs, 20 to 15. Again Kea is off her game scoring a paltry 3 points. Jones and N. Grady scored 9 and 8 respectively.
That left the Brogden, Nahunta and Seven Springs girls tied for first.
Brogden was scheduled to play Seven Springs again Friday night, with the winner to play the Nahunta girls at a later date for the first half championship.
Well come Friday night Brogden and Seven Springs really scorched the nets with Seven Springs the victors, 13-6. That projected Springs into the next round against Nahunta for first half championship. The win over Brogden seemed to have rejuvenated Kea back to her expected leadership role. She scored 11 of the team’s 13 points.
That win set up a rematch with Nahunta, the team that whipped them by two points a few weeks earlier in the campaign. The loss must have been grating on the minds of Seven Springs girls ever since.
Listen: “A wildly cheering, hooting, stamping crowd of between 400 and 500 fans saw the Seven Springs girls’ basketball team of the Wayne County high school league triumph over the Nahunta girls 30 to 13 to capture the first half championship of the league in the Wayne Memorial Community gym Saturday night.” They were crowned first half champs.
With the season’s second half they got off to a good start. “The Seven Springs girls triumphed over Eureka 32 to 21 in a game that had no dull moments. Captain Kea and Grady, Seven Springs leading lights, proved they had no fear of superstitions by scoring 13 points each. Gibbs with 4 and C. Jones with 2 rounded out the total. Sauls played a splendid game for Eureka by scoring 16 of her team’s 21.
“Chairs, new bleachers, ladder rungs and every other possible perch was taxed to seating capacity and every nook and corner in the gym was crowded with standing spectators.
“The first half of the battle — and it was a battle — was nip and tuck, and the period ended 7-6 in favor of Nahunta. The Seven Springs girls appeared to find the range in the second half, however, and launched an offensive which carried them steadily ahead.
“Captain Kea and her teammates drove the ball down the court time after time with clock-like precision to snag the basket for another victory counter. Superior passing and coordinated team work gave Seven Springs the win.” Scoring: Kea, 18, N. Grady 10 and Jones 2.
Non-scoring players for Seven Springs were Holmes, Herring and Ivey, who were most certainly the guards. Substitutes were M. Grady and Jones.
As was usually the case, guards received very little praise from reporters. Again, I remind readers that their quality of play contributed as much to the victory as that of the forwards. A comparison might well be the game of football. A good defense is as crucial in winning as the offense. Even then it’s the offense that gets most of the press.
But the glory is short-lived
On Feb. 12, Rosewood girls “conquer” the fast Springs Sextette 32-31. Another heartbreaker: “The Rosewood girls ... after getting off to a slow start with a weak team early in the season, reached a new height in the Memorial Community Building Monday night when they triumphed over the first half champions by a one point margin.”
The loss could not have been credited to Kea as she scored 19 points. It was Jones with 10. G. Suggs (Gertrude) scored 19 for the losers.
Eleven days later they lose another, this one to Grantham 22-20, a team that Seven Springs had manhandled for five years. It was the first time Seven Springs had lost consecutive games since 1930. Kea was held to 7 points. Jones scored 9. For Grantham it was Stevens with 9 and Mozingo with 11.
So in this year, 1935, they lose four games. Three in conference and one at district level. Does this mean they had lost their competitive edge? Hardly! All four losses were by a total of eight points. They would not lose another contest — period, for another four years.
They said enough is enough
Now they are down in the standings with their nemesis, Brogden leading the league with a 5-0 record. They are expected to handle a “weaker” than usual Seven Springs team. But nothing doing as Seven Springs wins handily on Feb. 26, by a 39-26 count. Who scored what? I don’t know, but here’s how the reporter explained it:
“Excitement over the outcome of the girls’ game may have been responsible for the fact that the score books, containing the lineups, were carried off. They are usually left in the director’s office after each game. As a result of the disappearance of the books, the lineups and individual scores of the players were not available.”
Nevertheless, that leaves Brogden still at the top of the heap with a 5-1 record for the season’s second half. Despite the win, Seven Springs is in fourth at 3-2.
I have friends in Fremont
Yes sir, I even know Mayor Flowers and several other members of the Rotary Club; have enjoyed meeting with them a time or two. Thus I hesitated to report on the Seven Springs game of March 11, 1935. But folks, remember this. I did not write the report, I’m merely repeating it:
“The Seven Springs girls swamped the Fremont girls 47 to 9. C. Jones, 13 points, N. Grady 16 and Captain Kea with 14 broke through the Fremont girls’ defense time after time to swell the lead early in the game.”
M. Grady added 4 points. Guards Holmes, Herring and Ivey obviously played a stellar game holding Fremont to a 9-point total. Barnes scored 5 of those and Flowers the other 4.
I’m taking a break
I cannot tell you how the field of teams was selected, but four days after the one-sided victory over Fremont the girls face off against their neighbors, Moss Hill High, in the Fifth Annual Tournament of Champions. Surprise, surprise they lose to Moss Hill in the first round by three points, 27-24.
Thus, since Moss Hill is a near neighbor to all of us, and only 5 miles from Seven Springs, I intend to give a brief report on their near-championship run. Look for it next week. Moss Hill represented Lenoir County.
I will also share the conclusion of the 1935 season Wayne County league championship. Guess who wins?
Sherwood Williford writes a weekly column for the News-Argus. Contact him at 919-440-8811, Sherwoodowl@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 175, Princeton, NC 27569.