It Was Different Once

The state hasn't always been divided to favor the smaller schools as it is now.

When this prep maple court classic originated back in 1920, the little schools were put on an equal basis with the larger ones of their district. Occasionally some of the "B" schools sneaked into the state tournament, but the odds were all against them.

From time to time the tourney was expanded to include more teams, but the "B" schools received no material attention until 1935, when, after they had asked for a state play-off of their own, the districts were revised and four "B" schools entered in the state tournament.

The set-up used in 1935 was not satisfactory, however, for the "Bs" weren't bracketed together as they are now, and three of them were defeated in the first round. The fourth, Oakridge, reached the semi-finals before bowing out.

In 1936 the present arrangement was made, a state "B" champion was crowned, a "B" all-state team was chosen, and the smaller schools satisfied.

Bellfountain was the first champion in the history of the "B" schools, winning that title by downing Myrtle Creek, 31 to 22, in the final game.

Again in 1937 the sensational Bells added the "B" title to their all-state championship honors, trouncing Chiloquin this time, 39 to 21.

Amity, which went on to oppose Baker in the all-state championship game, and turned in a highly-creditable performance before bowing, 27 to 18, won the "B" title in 1938. Score of the "B" championship game was Amity 26, Chiloquin 21.

The four "B" districts this year include 193 schools, each with an enrollment of 150 students or less. They are automatically placed in the top two brackets of the schedule and stage "their own tournament" on Wednesday and Thursday for the state "B" school title. The winner then enters the semi-finals of the tournament.

District 13 includes 57 schools from 13 Eastern Oregon counties. District 14 lists 52 schools from ten Southern Oregon counties. From district 15 comes the best of 43 schools in nine northwestern Oregon counties. Fourth and final "B" area, district 16, includes 42 schools from four Willamette Valley counties.

Return to Basketball Index
"A Place Called Oregon"