Jerry Clark, who grew up in the Union Grove area, passed away May 2 at the age of 72.
One of his fondest memories of his youth was being part of a Union Grove Junior High basketball team that once scored over 100 points. His son, Carson Clark, the former TV newsman, found a story in the Advertiser-Gleam about that game several years ago, had it framed and gave it to his father as a Christmas gift. The elder Clark often talked about that game and the framed copy of that newspaper story was one of the mementos of his life displayed at his funeral.
The 100 points is all the more impressive when you consider this was a junior high team rather than a varsity team and the 3-pointer had not yet come to exist.
Here’s a reprint of that story that was a cherished memory in the Clark household. It ran in the paper November 14, 1962:
Union Grove Jr. High
scores 100 points
One of the highest scores ever run up by a junior high school basketball team in Marshall County – maybe the highest – was made by Union Grove Monday night. They beat Claysville at Claysville 100-32.
To hit the century mark, they had to sink 31 points in the last quarter, and they did.
Just before the end the chances looked slim. With only 5 seconds to go Coach Nolton Wright’s boys still lacked 3 points of having 100. But Jerry Clark hit with a field goal, was fouled at the same time, and made the free shot too.
Four Union Grove players scored 20 or more: Clark 29, Richard Kelley 26, Sonny Henson 20 and Sidney Presley 20. High scorers for Claysville were Kerry Wagner 12, Grover DeArmond 6, Lawrence Bartlett 6.
Union Grove started its 100 point drive right on the pace with 25 in the first quarter, but fell behind with 23 in the second and 21 in the third, requiring 31 in the fourth to round out the century mark.
The winner of the B-game wasn’t settled. At the end, the scoreboard showed Claysville ahead but Union Grove’s scorebook showed Union Grove ahead.
Claysville has another home game tonight, Wednesday. The visiting team is Grassy.
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None of the schools mentioned in this story play basketball anymore and with good reason. None are middle schools anymore. They're all elementary schools nowadays that feed into other junior highs.
But back in the day, they all had competitive basketball teams.
And the B-team that was mentioned likely refers to the 8th grade team. In those days, the rural junior highs went through 9th grade.
The 9th grade team was the A team and the 8th grade team was the B team.