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Hatchet History article and facts taken from;
From pioneer A.O. Fulkerson’s influences early in the uniforms and the new gym. The unofficial nickname as one of the greatest upsets in Washington sectional Kelly Garland (1,069) and Morry Portee (1,012)
20th century to Tyler Zeller’s on-court exploits early of the “Old Gold and Black” was being ignored for history. The Hatchet starters played the entire game. entered the 1,000-point club in 1992 and 1998
in the 21st, Washington High School has produced a another one. Fans had begun using “Undertakers” in Grider went on to play in the 1967 NCAA Final Four respectively. Brandon Smith (917) just fell short of the
basketball tradition that rivals any in this hoops-crazy reference to the 1925 team captain James “Bud” Gill’s with the University of Houston. Two seasons later, 1,000-point plateau in 2001. Bernie Butcher’s 1990 and
state. own nickname. By vote of the players and approval by Craney’s team won its first 16 games and finished 21-2 1992 teams went 16-7 and 13-8 respectively.
Fulkerson, Washington adopted the official nickname and won the sectional. Hatchet greats John Helm and
Three times, back when Indiana’s single-class high “Hatchets”. Sports columnist Edward G. Brouillette had Jerry Flake graduated in 1965. Helm scored 1,206 Coach Dave Omer fielded some very good teams (the
school tournament was the envy of the nation, the used the name since 1924. points while Flake finished up with 1,108 (837 for WHS 1995 Hatchets were 19-4, the 1997 team 16-6, the
Hatchets reached the top of the IHSAA mountain. No and 271 for Wheatland). 2002 team 14-7, and the 2003 team 18-4). The 2004
other school from southwestern Indiana can make such Although they played a tougher schedule to prepare Hatchets finished 18-5, as Luke Zeller became the first
a claim. The Hatchet tradition doesn’t end with those them for the tournament, WHS did not make it to the In the fall of 1965, Kenny Gray became the only ex- junior to score 1,000 points. Coach Omer’s 123 wins at
state championships in 1930, 1941 and 1942, though. state championships in 1926. (A footnote in history, Hatchet ever to be head coach of the Hatchets. The WHS ranks third all-time. Only Friddle (192 wins) and
Rather, they are only highlights of a rich heritage of the John Wooden played in the first game ever held at the 1965-66 Hatchets won the sectional over Loogootee Neal (133 wins) have more. In 2005 Luke Zeller lead
Old Gold and Black. new gym for Martinsville.) But in 1927, Friddle led the when Alan Hopewell forced overtime with two free the Hatchets to their 4th State title. During this season
Hatchets to their sixth state finals appearance. The throws with 13 seconds remaining in regulation and Luke also was given the title of Mr. Basketball for his
It all started 103 years ago, in the autumn of 1905. Hatchets returned to the state finals the next year, but the Hatchets went on to win 53-46. WHS finished 22-2 efforts throughout the season.
Professor O.P. West organized the first team at WHS, again fell short. In 1929, WHS made it all the way to and set a school record by scoring 114 points against
with Fulkerson, the “Father of Washington High School the final four at the state before losing to Indianapolis Petersburg. On November 23, 1966, Washington opened In 2008 Luke’s brother Tyler followed in the family
Athletics”, giving assistance. Tech. Making their ninth appearance in 14 years, the its new 7,090-gymnasium with a 75-68 win over tradition one of their greatest seasons ever. The
Hatchets finally won the state title in 1930. Ed “Jingles” Springs Valley. A crowd of 5,000 watched as IHSAA Washington Hatchets (23-2) capped off a record-setting
Zinkan’s Hall, which was located at the corner of E. season by crushing #6 Fort Wayne Harding, 84-60, at
Fourth and Van Trees streets, was rented for practices Engelhart and hall of famer “Big Dave” DeJernett led Commissioner Phil Eskew addressed the crowd followed
Friddle’s team. The Hatchets finished 31-1, the best by Jeff Chambers scoring the first basket in the new Conseco Fieldhouse to claim the Class 3A state title. The
and games. It was here that Washington played its very Hawks (22-4) had no answer for the McDonald’s All-
first game, against Vincennes, on Dec. 16, 1905. The single-season mark in school history. gym. The Hatchets won their own regional in 1967 over
Vincennes 56-54. In a game referred to as “The Great American and Mr. Basketball frontrunner Tyler Zeller,
Hatchets prevailed that night, 18-12, and won five of Washington made it back to the state finals in 1931, who scored a state finals record (in any class) 43 points
nine games that inaugural season. Train Robbery” by Alice fans, Larry Frye hit a 20-foot
but lost in the quarterfinal game. Over the next eight shot with 33 seconds left for the win. Vincennes had a while grabbing 16 rebounds. His 6-11 counterpart Seth
For a variety of reasons, basketball was discontinued seasons, the Hatchets won five sectionals but never chance to tie but missed a shot and jump ball was called Coy was dominate in his own right with 20 points and
after 3 seasons. When the team was reformed — under made it back to the state. with two seconds remaining. Washington’s 6-1 Scott 16 rebounds. Tyler also set a 3A state finals record for
the direction of H.A. Sass — in the fall of 1913, the Alford controlled the tip over 6-6 Jerry Memering to field goals made with 14 and tied 3A records for free
Under second-year Hall-of-Fame coach Marion Crawley, throws made (15), free throws attempted (18) and
gymnasium in the basement of the newly constructed the Hatchets made it to the championship game of seal the win.
Washington High School became the team’s new home. blocked shots (4). It was Washington’s 21st consecutive
the semi-state before losing to Mitchell 20-19 in 1940. After a sectional crown in 1968, WHS did not win win. Only Muncie Central (8) and Marion (7) have more
In response to the public’s growing interest, Leon H. WHS also lost 16-year-old Leo (Crystal) Klier to
Moorman became Washington’s first “full-time” coach another during the next seven seasons. During this state titles than the Hatchets. The Hatchets are 5-0 all-
graduation that year. He went on to become a two-time time, Hatchets fans witnessed history as Ron Arnold time in state championship games, also winning the title
the next season. By 1915, the team was commonly All-American at Notre Dame and played in the NBA. He
referred to as “The Old Gold and Black” broke Helm’s scoring mark, amassing 1,209 points in 1930, 1941, 1942 and 2005.
was selected to the 1965 Silver Anniversary Team and before graduating in 1975. The sectional drought
In 1917, Washington made its first of 14 trips to the state inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in ended with Don Rogers’ 20-5 team in 1976. Hatchet Tyler averaged an incredible 36.0 points per game
finals. It was also the first year that WHS hosted the 1977. He was named to Notre Dame’s All-Century Team sophomore John Brown (a member of the 2003 Silver during the 6-game postseason and finished his senior
sectional. Robert Downey, who was inducted into the in 2004. Anniversary Team) sank two free throws with seconds year with 828 points, the 24th highest single season
Hall of Fame in 1975 as a coach at Washington Catholic, remaining in overtime as Washington beat Loogootee mark in Indiana High School history. His school record
Led by Hall-of-Fame inductee and Indiana All-Star 33.1 scoring average led the state in 2008. The Seven-
led the team in scoring that season. Washington made Leroy “Hook” Mangin, WHS won its second state title 46-44 for the title. Loogootee had won the previous
the state finals again in 1918, 1919 and 1920. WHS lost six sectionals. The Hatchets won the sectional again in Foot senior closed out a brilliant career at Washington
1941. The team had an incredible four Hall-of-Fame with 1,624 points, second only to Luke Zeller’s 1,727
first-round games all four years. players with Mangin, Jim Riffey, Art Grove and Charles 1977 and finished the season 20-5. Assistant coach Stan
Neal took over the reigns in 1978 and the team evolved points.
Washington’s streak of four straight state finals Harmon. After the 1941 state finals, Mangin paced
appearances ended in 1921 despite Roy Burris’ best the Indiana All-Stars with 14 points as they defeated into a powerhouse. The sixth ranked Hatchets finished Also, Tyler’s 47-point game (he did it twice this season)
efforts. The senior became the first player to score Kentucky and was named the game’s “Star of Stars”. 27-2 and won the Washington sectional and regional is the second highest single game output ever at
over 500 points in a season and finished his career Mangin, Riffey and Harmon all were selected to the championships. This is the only team in Hatchet history Washington. Additionally, Tyler ranks second in career
with 1,124 points and a 58- point game against Paxton. Silver Anniversary Team. to produce three single season 400-point scorers with field goals made with 628, third in career rebounds with
The 15-14 loss to Sullivan in the sectional finals is still Brown (575), Steve Bouchie (467) and Steve Miller 696, fourth in career free throws made with 367, and
With Riffey, Grove and Harmon returning, the Hatchets (404). Brown finished up his career with 1,049 points. fifth in career free throw percentage at .783.
considered the biggest upset in WHS history. won their third state title in 1942 with a dazzling 30-1
Fulkerson, who had coached WHS in 1920 and 1921, record. Indiana All-Stars Riffey and Harmon went on to The 1978-79 Hatchets lost four starters from the The team set a school record for field goal percentage,
decided to concentrate on his duties as a teacher and play in the NBA and major league baseball respectively. previous year but still finished 18-9 and made it to making 58.0% of its shots, shattering the old mark
principal. He gave up his coaching position and the team the Evansville Semi-state finals on the strength of the of 53.1%. Also, for the first time in school history,
After the state championship season of 1942, WHS 1979 Mr. Basketball Steve Bouchie. He ranks second in the Hatchets were ranked first among all teams in all
struggled without him in 1921-22. He returned the won ten sectionals and two regionals over the next 20
next season as the assistant coach for Harry Hunter. career scoring with 1,311 points and first in rebounding classes in the final Sagarin power ratings poll. Coach
seasons (1943-1962). Only twice during that span did with 823. He wore number 1 for the Indiana All-Stars Gene Miiller’s 61 wins at Washington is the best 3-year
Although the team did not win a sectional in 1923 and the Hatchets come close to returning to the state finals.
1924 under Hunter, he led them back to the state finals and was named Parade Magazine High School All- start ever by a Hatchet coach. His .836 winning
In 1944 Ray Scott’s Hatchets lost to Evansville Bosse American. He played on the 1981 NCAA Champion percentage at WHS is the highest mark ever. Coach’s
in 1925. WHS made it to the final four of the 16-team 40-34 in the semi-state finals. In 1953, Ivan Hollen’s
event and finished at 25-3. Indiana Hoosiers. He is a member of the 2004 Silver 529 wins overall ranks 22nd all-time in Indiana.
team lost to Evansville Central 56-45 in the first round Anniversary Team.
Excitement over the 1925 team and envious of rival of the semi-state. During this span, WHS produced two Seth Coy set the single game record with 26 rebounds
Vincennes’ 1923 state championship resulted in the Silver Anniversary Team Members with Sam Gee (class The Hatchets re-emerged as a power to be reckoned against Owen Valley. Seth’s field goal percentage of
construction of a new 5,200-seat gymnasium at a cost of 1954) and Hall-of-Fame inductee Sam Alford (class of with in 1982-83. Led by Indiana All-Star Craig Neal, .665 this season is the 4th highest single-season mark
of $60,000 (today, it is used as the Washington Junior 1960). Washington finished 25-2 and made it to the Terre ever at Washington. In addition, his career field goal
High School Gym). It was ready for the 1925-1926 Haute Semi-state finals. Neal set school scoring records percentage of .627 ranks second only behind Tyler. Cody
In the 1963 sectional finals, Steve Craney’s Hatchets for single season points (745), career points (1,440), Osmon’s 37 3-pointers this year was the 7th highest
season under new coach and hall of famer Burl Friddle. stunned unbeaten and 11th ranked Loogootee 58-51.
Friddle was hired by Fulkerson to win a state title. In single season scoring average (27.6 ppg) and career single season mark ever at WHS. Both Cody and Kyle
Gary Grider led WHS over Jack Butcher’s Lions after scoring average (20.0 ppg). He went on to play and Price each hit five 3-pointers in a game this season, the
October of 1925, Friddle met with his players to vote Washington was down 31-22 at halftime. It still ranks
on a new name for the team to coincide with a new coach in the NBA. 9th best output ever at WHS.
Look at those skills. Washington Hatchet’s Tyler Zeller attacking the basket!