History
Vignettes about Events & People

 

In 1956-57, the Cowley men's basketball team qualified for the national tournament.

Basketball National Tournament

One has to go back to the 1956-57 season to find the last time the Cowley men’s basketball team qualified for the national tournament in Hutchinson.

 

Dan Kahler’s Tigers entered the 1956-57 season with a No. 6 national ranking. ACJC finished the season with a 28-8 record, a Jayhawk Conference Western Division title, the Region VI Championship, and an eighth-place finish at nationals.

 

It was the Tigers’ fourth trip to nationals in Kahler’s first five seasons. Coffeyville proved to be the Tigers’ nemesis that season. But when it counted most, ACJC prevailed. Coffeyville knocked off the Tigers during the regular season 62-59 and 61-55. Then, both teams met for a best two-out-of three in the state playoffs. Coffeyville won the first game 56-50, Cowley won the second meeting 70-64, then Coffeyville won the third game 65-53.

 

The Tigers, however, still qualified for nationals, losing to Boise, Idaho, 68-63 in the first round before topping Murray College of Oklahoma 66-52 and Hibbing, Minn., 80-57. Hutchinson won the seventh-place game, beating the Tigers 55-53.

 

On the women’s side, the drought hasn’t been nearly as long as the Tigers, under coach Linda Hargrove, last qualified for the national tournament at the end of the 1988-89 season. Cowley finished with a 25-8 record, the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division championship (13-1 record), and the Region VI Title.

 

It was Hargrove’s last season before she took the head coaching job at Wichita State University. The 1989 national tournament was held in Tyler, Texas.

 

Chamaice Wise was named the team’s Outstanding Sophomore, while Michelle Carter was named Outstanding Freshman. Shannon Russell was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. At nationals,

 

Cowley defeated Lackawana, then played the top-ranked team in the nation, Connors State, and lost by six. Connors was the eventual runner-up. The closest Cowley’s women have come to qualifying for nationals since 1989 was in 1998, when Darin Spence’s Lady Tigers lost 70-50 to Coffeyville in the Region VI Championship game. Cowley ended that season with a 32-2 record.


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