Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, April 13, 1997, pg. 3
We are all proud of our Albion High School varsity basketball team as it recently attained the very respectable honor of runner-up in Class B. It was good to see the community have every right to be proud of their accomplishment. This year’s squad has proved once again that Albion can be a major contender in the quest for the Class B title.
During the 1930s, Albion’s basketball team built up a strong reputation, culminating in the Class B State Championship on March 18, 1939. In those days the scores were lower than they were today, as the strategy was not to have the centers zip back and forth making baskets one after another
Albion entered the 1939 Class B tournament that year on Thursday, March 16 by beating Davision 27 to 26 (I told you the scores were low) in a game held at Lansing Eastern High School. The next day Albion traveled to Flint Longfellow Junior High School for the semi-finals where they were matched with Highland Park St. Benedict and easily won 35 to 22.
The big Class B championship game was held on Saturday, March 18 at the I.M.A. Auditorium in Flint (recently demolished) at 8:30 p.m. in the evening. Albion was pitted against the 1938 state champions--Grand Rapids Christian. It was a close game all the way, so close that with just 30 seconds left at the end, Victor Buinowski made two foul shots which gave Albion a 1 point victory over Grand Rapids: 33 to 32. With that Albion accomplished a 16-1 record that year, including our only state championship in basketball.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the happy 1939 Class B state champions, taken after the game. Front row: left to right: Victor Buinowski, Mike Dubina, Victor Nesterenko, Louis Moon, and Russell Elushik. Back row: Joseph Veremay, Alex Egnatuk (who had taken the place of Lawrence Kabel who was ill the evening of the big game), Elton Amsden, Bud Lonergan, Glenn Arnold, and Coach Floyd Dorland.
Only five of the above are still living today. Most recent to pass away was Louis Moon, who died in October 1996. Russell Elushik was killed in action during World War II in Guam in July 1944 with the 21st Marine Division. Glenn Arnold died in 1967. Coach Dorland died in February 1987, Mike Dubina in May 1992, and Joseph Veremay in April, 1994. Special thanks to Elton Amsden, now of Farmington Hills, for supplying information for this week’s article.
1939 Class B State Champions
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All text copyright, 2019 © all rights reserved Frank Passic