Henderson City High School, 1955 to 1963

Henderson City High Basketball With Game Scores1955-56

City High Facts
Henderson City High Basketball With Game Scores1955-56
The Game-Henderson All-Stars vs the Harlem Magicians, April 1961
1955 KHSAA State Football Champions & Game Scores
1956 Henderson City High Baseball
1956 Henderson City High Track
Barret Manual and Henderson City High Coaches 1952-1971
Coach Don Shelton-1928- 2011
1955-56 City High Basketball team, Players Profiles
1956 West All-Star Team
Pascal Benson, All-State-Football, Basketball, baseball
Tommy Glover, high school All-American
1959 KHSAA State Football Champions
1959 Football State Champions Reunion
1959-60 Henderson City High School Basketball
1959-60 Henderson City High School Basketball Queen
1959-60 Henderson City High School Homecoming Queen
1959-60 Henderson City High Cheerleaders
1960-61 Henderson City High School Basketball
1960-61 Henderson City High School Football
1960-61 Henderson City High Cheerleaders
1960-61 Henderson City High Basketball Queen
1960-61 Henderson City High Homecoming Queen
Link to Class of 1963
City High Class Presidents, 1956-1963
All Henderson High Schools Basketball Scoring records
All-State-Regional-District-Honors from 1953 to 1957
All-State, All-American High School Basketball teams 1955-56
All-Time Kentucky High School Scorers
National High School 100 point games
Barret basketball 1954-55
Barret basketball Scores-game by game 1954-55
Barret baseball 1955
1954-55 Barret Manual High School Cheerleaders
William Spoehr & the 1916 Barret Basketball champions
Closed Henderson Schools & Kentucky School Consolidations
Photos of old Henderson Schools
Barret High & City High Fight Songs
100 points records and Mr. Kentucky basketball winners
"King" Kelly Coleman and the Wayland Wasps
Kentucky State Basketball Tournament Records
Link to 1957, 6th Grade Jefferson Elementary
Lex's pick of best of Kentucky Athletes/Entertainers
All-time Barret/Henderson City High Basketball Team
Contacts with Classmates
Links to other web-sites

The 1956 Henderson City High
basketball team still ranks as
#1 in the hearts of the Henderson community.


             1955-56 Henderson
City High School Basketball Team
Fred Schuette, Dick Yates, Ronnie Sheffer, Dale Brown, Junie Hall, Petie Bryant, Bill Ruff, David Eakins, Pascal Benson, Sammy Joe Shelton, Bill Harrelson, Byron Pinson
Coaches not in team photo:
Head Coach T. L. Plain,
Assistant Coaches Don Chapman & Don Shelton


     My early memories of this medium sized town in the basketball-crazed state of Kentucky are still as fresh today as they were in the 1955-56 season. To this 10-year-old boy, seeing a team with so much talent with back to back years in the state semi-finals and finals was overwhelming.

     Growing up in this Western Kentucky town located on the Ohio River with the sports teams that they had in that incredible year of 1955-56 was close to being unbelievable.  I remember (hey, I was only 10). Watching the cheerleaders do their thing, and when they finished the basketball squad would do their thing. And that thing was to kick some butts!!! And they did it like no one I have ever seen, before or after that 1955-56 year.

     With a 29-4 season in 1954-55, and a 29-3 season in 1955-56. It's hard to imagine your local team combining back to back seasons with a combined record of 58-7. With the master-planner Coach T. L. Plain using a 3 guard combination, with super guard Dave Eakins, guard Sammy Joe Shelton, and swing small-forward/guard Pascal Benson which gave Henderson City High one of the best guard combos in Kentucky history.

     Even though the three City High guards were smaller than most other guards around Kentucky's other high schools (at that time there were approximately 650 high schools in Kentucky), they were three of the best in the state, if not the entire country. Benson being a smaller forward at 6' was an extremely powerful & rare individual with a combination of brute strength & lightning quick speed. Pinson was the main rebounder & scorer with unbelievable finesse and with a powerful Fred Schuette banging the boards that gave this City High team a very fast & potent team, inside & outside. This City High team was so well balanced that if the opposing team would double or triple a key scorer, such as Pinson or Dave Eakins, then you would have Pascal Benson, Fred Schuette or Sammy Joe Shelton take up the slack. The 6' 2" Fred Schuette, not being a great leaper but was graced with good basketball savvy. and was a very unselfish player that could bang the boards with the best of them. Then you had Dave Eakins that could kill an opponent from the outside with a deadly 20-30 foot jump shot or drive to the basket and score over the taller middle men. If he didn't shoot then he would drill a bullet pass into Pinson or Schuette, or even one of the other guards, Pascal Benson or Sammy Joe Shelton that could shoot a jumper or go in for a lay-up. Eakins was considered one of the best passing guards in the nation during his freshman, sophomore, junior & senior seasons. There were no weaknesses whatsoever on this well-balanced team, with the possible exception being the lack of height as a team. In the 1954-55 season, reserve sophomore guard 5'6" Bill Ruff scored 38 points against the Uniontown St. Agnes Knights in less than 3 quarters of playing time in the District tournament. This shows the strength and balance of this powerful Henderson City squad. You also had junior guards Petie Bryant and Junie Hall that could bomb the basket from 20 feet, or drive right past you.  

    Though Henderson City was a very small team, even by the mid-fifties standards. The average height was barely over 6'. At 6' 3", 6' 2". 6' 0", 5' 11" and 5' 9" which averages out to 6' .05". All of the teams the Flash faced throughout the year were considerably taller. Now folks, this 1955-56 City High team was an extremely small squad, but this team had something most teams didn't have, they had heart, and an incredibly talented group of young men.      

     When one of the starters got in foul problems, the bench was so deep that any of the reserves were ready to fill in. This was truly a talented team that mastered teamwork to the ultimate, using the best abilities that they had, and they had it down to perfection. 

     The 1954-55 Barret Manual Training High School  team was lead by two  first team all-staters, 6’4" center Don Gish and 6’ 3" forward Byron Pinson, and finished third in the state tournament that 1954-55 season. The other 3 starters were 5’ 9" G. David Eakins, 6’ 2" F. Billy Brown, and 6’ F/G. Pascal Benson. Pinson, Eakins, & Benson would be named as all-state members the following year.

     Coming off a 29-4 seson with a 3rd place finish on the state tournament, no one expected the 1955-56 team to achieve the success they reached in that incredible season.

     The fourth ranked Henderson City Flash opening round of the state tournament (sweet 16) that was played at Memorial Coliseum on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington was against the #5 ranked Louisville Valley High, whom they thrashed 80-62. In the second round they had a tougher opponent in #6 ranked Mayfield High, edging them by 2 points 59-57. This was a game that the Henderson City squad should have lost. The leading scorer for Mayfield was Rex Story, with a season average of 27.1 points per game, a 96% shooting from the foul line, missed both free throws and gave Henderson City the victory. Henderson beat a good 9th ranked Bell County squad 78-63 just 4 hours prior to the championship game in the semi-finals. This tough but worn-out City High team finished as second best in the state losing to an excellent  team and a well rested #7 ranked Carr Creek High School with 24 hours rest between games. That breaks down to Henderson City playing 3 games in a 24 hour period. With the top 3 ranked schools knocked out of the tournament, #4 ranked Henderson City High School was a slight favorite to beat the Indians from Carr Creek with Appalachian legendary  coach *Morton Combs at the helms. However, it was not meant to be.

     The consolation game for third place went to the #3 ranked Wayland High School Wasps who literally demolished 7th ranked Bell County 122-89 breaking 6 state tournament records. Wayland lost in the semi-finals to Carr Creek by 1 point, 67-68 on a last second shot by Freddie Maggard, with Kelly Coleman being held to a tournament low of 28 points. Kentucky’s first Mr. Basketball (Mr. do everything) , "King" Kelly Coleman led Wayland, (he was the king and still is the "KING" today of all of Kentucky high school basketball), past Bell County 122-89 with Kelly banging home 68 points, and 28 rebounds. His 49 Points average per game for the tournament still stands today as a KHSAA state tournament record. Those tournament records are still in tact today, and will probably never be broken. The king, Kelly Coleman immortalized himself forever in Kentucky high school folklore in that wild & frantic 1955-1956 season and the 1955-56 state tournament. Even today, 54 years later Kelly Coleman is still revered in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. It was this consolation game, in which Wayland man-handled Bell Co. the KHSAA dropped the consolation game for future state tournaments after Wayland's embarassing lop-sided win.

     Henderson City's three season losses were by a combined total of 8 points. The three losses were to top-ranked Berea, led by first team all-American/all-state perfomer Don Mills 78-75. Earlington 71-70 led by future Mr. Basketball of 1958, sophomore great 6' 8", 4 time all-state peformer Harry Todd and the state championship game to Carr Creek 72-68.

     All of these team members also starred in other major sports (football, baseball & track) for the Barret & City High Flash teams, and many starred in college in one sport or another, and then went onto lustrous careers outside of sports. Several of the players played dual sports in college and played in the military.  

     No one is making excuses for not winning the state championship, and not to take any glory away from Carr Creek. However I feel it must be duly noted in all fairness to this fine Henderson City team, that they had to play back to back games 4 hours apart. Carr Creek had a fully rested team (24 hours rest) and enough energy to outlast a very tired Henderson City team by a score of 72-68. I also feel if the games had been reversed, with City High having a full 24 hour rest, and Carr Creek playing after a 4 hour rest, the game would have had an entirely different outcome.

     One must keep in mind that history does not remember or record this, all the books will say is who won and who lost, with the final score. There are no excuses whatsoever, and Henderson is not making an excuse for losing! It seems to this writer that history has a habit to remember what it wants to recall, and is not necessarily filled with all the facts, as I have seen many times in my life. If you read a lot of history, you know what I am saying is factual. In ancient times, the victorious armies wrote history. So consequently you get their side of what actually happened in reality, and there are always 3 sides to every story, yours, mine, & the truth, or to be put in another way, the winners version, the losers version, and somewhere in between those two lies the truth.   

   All the players that I have talked to all agreed on one thing. Each City High ball player felt they could have beaten Carr Creek on any given night, except that one fateful night. Fate along with fatigue denied the Henderson City School Flash the glory of the state championship crown. But in the eyes of this 11-year-old, they were the true champions of the Bluegrass state.

    T. L. Plain said that he has never coached a group of students/athletes in his entire career that were as exceptional and excelled in everything as this team from the  1955-56 Henderson City High team did.  

    This unbelievable team proved they were champions, on & off the basketball court. To the loyal fans in Henderson, the 1955-56 team were the state  champions in their hearts and minds.

NOTE: The new Henderson City High School was completed in the summer of 1955 & opened for the fall of the 1955-56 school year. The Old Barret High School was the Barret Junior High School building for 4 years, while being demolished at the same time. The new Barret Junior High School was completed in the spring of 1961 and opened for classes for the 1961-1962 school year. The junior high school students attended Henderson City High in the school years 1959-1960 & 1960-1961. 

Game by Game Scores:
Regular Season:
Henderson City: 80        Clay:                              53
Henderson City: 70        Providence:                  53
Henderson City: 94        Sturgis:                          35
Henderson City: 61        Clay County:                46
Henderson City: 85        Hopkinsville:                50
Henderson City: 79        Greenville:                    48
Henderson City: 91        Holy Name:                  71
Henderson City: 60        Madisonville:               51
Henderson City: 87        Clarkson:                      62
Henderson City: 72        Owensboro Sr:            69
Henderson City: 81        Morganfield:                67
Henderson City: 68        Henderson County:    56
Henderson City: 74        Murray:                         56
Henderson City: 85        Holy Name:                   84
Henderson City: 75      Berea:                            78
Henderson City: 69        L'ville Atherton:           59
Henderson City: 75        L'ville Flaget:                62
Henderson City: 71        Owensboro Senior:     43
Henderson City: 70      Earlington:                  71
Henderson City: 108      Daviess County:         85
Henderson City: 70        Bowling Green:           60
Henderson City: 76        Warren County:          69
End of Regular Season: Record: 20-2
District Tournament:
Henderson City: 94        Uniontown:                  37
Henderson City: 73        Henderson County:    55
Henderson City: 78        Holy Name:                   64
Record: 23-2
Regional Tournament:
Henderson City: 69        Daviess County:          67
Henderson City: 88        Holy Name:                   71
Henderson City: 74        Owensboro Senior:      61
Record: 26-2

State Tournament:
Henderson City: 80        L'ville Valley High:       62
Henderson City: 59        Mayfield:                       57
Henderson City: 78        Bell County:                  63
Henderson City: 68        Carr Creek:                72
Final Season Record: 29-3
Biggest Victory:
Henderson City: 94        Sturgis:                          35
Biggest Loss:
Henderson City: 68        Carr Creek:                72
Longest Win Streak:       14
Longest Losing Streak:    1
Litkenhaus Ranking at end of Regular season play: #4
Litkenhaus Ranking after State tournament: #1

     Henderson City Scoring averages:

       Regular Season & Tournaments

1,701 points-Regular Season total

77.31 Avg.per game-Regular Season
761 points-Tournament play

76.10 avg per game tournament

Regular-Season-Opponents avg per game: : 60.13

Average margin over opponents regular season: 17.3

Opponents: 1937 points-Regular-Season-Tournament

Opponents: per game avg: 60.33, Regular-Season & Tournaments

Tournament Avg: Opponents: 61.4

13th Region Tournament
Opening Round:
Bell County 59 McKee 46
Loyall 76 Lone Jack 58
Corbin 65 Clay County 54
Black Star 78 Barbourville 71
Bell County 53 Loyall 50
Corbin 68 Black Star 58
Bell County 68 Corbin 59




*Morton Combs -- who made the winning shot to help Hazard win the 1932 Kentucky boys' high school basketball tournament, then guided Carr Creek to the 1956 title over Henderson City High School, died on January 8th, 2009,  at the age of 96.

This web-site is dedicated to the Barret Manual &
Henderson City High Sports teams from 1954-1963.
Especially the Henderson City High 1955-56 sports teams
that had so many great gifted student/athletes.  

Property of
, TM, , 2008, 2009, 2010  

The contents of this web site are intended to be used

only for the educational  value and entertainment enjoyment.

An alumni of Henderson City High School stated to me:

"Once a Flashman, always a Flashman".  

Truer words have never been spoken.

Many thanks to the people listed below for their contributions.
Jim Adams (HHS '59),
Elaine Benson (HNHS: '59),
Pascal Benson (HHS '56) 
Don Gish (BMTHS '55),
Glenda Alexander Guess (HHS '57),
Shirley Hagan (HHS '56),
Billy Haynes (HHS '59),
Sonda Keach Nolan (HHS '56),
Dr. Fred Schuette (HHS '56),
Sammy Joe Shelton (HHS '56),
Bud Bayard Walters (HHS '59),
Coach T. L. Plain


all artwork/photos are the property of SAR2 CREATIONS of Nevada,

, TM, , 2007, 2008, 2009. 2010,

Please contact webmaster for any use of artwork or photographs.

All photographs used are public-domain,

there are no violations of copyright laws

or Hippa Laws of Privacy.

Shelby A. (Lex) Riggs II

Please note that all photographs were sent in by former students of Henderson City High School. They have all been edited, corrected & cleaned up as well as they possibly could. If you are displeased with a photo, simply scan the photo that you want replaced and I will be more than happy to replace it.
Thanks for your support,
Lex Riggs, webmaster