By John Johnson
MHSAA communications director
Straight out of the dusty tin canisters where they’ve sat for a long time, some of the classic basketball championship games of years past will be featured for 10 weeks this summer on MHSAA.tv’s Hoops On Film Series.
From the late 1940’s to the mid 1970’s the Michigan High School Athletic Association shot portions of the action at its basketball finals on 16mm film. The films were loaned out, primarily to the participating schools, to help them relive the moments of playing in a championship game.
While many of the old films have wandered astray over time, about 60 games still exist in the MHSAA archives. Anyone in possession of such a film is encouraged to contact John Johnson at the MHSAA Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss having the film converted to a digital format.
Some of the films only have portions of the second half and the postgame awards; some have most of the action. None of the films have sound. They range in length from 10 minutes to about an hour. A new film will be posted online each Monday beginning June 22, through the week of August 17.
Click below for the first installment of the Hoops On Film series and to check out the game recap courtesy of MHSAA Historian Ron Pesch of Muskegon.
Detroit East Catholic 50, Saginaw St. Stephen 49 – 1973 Class C Boys Final - With four ticks remaining on the clock, Larry Merchant's 18-foot jumper from left of the key gave underdog Detroit East Catholic a 50-49 win over top-ranked Saginaw St. Stephen in Class C. Merchant, who scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half, gave the Chargers a 48-47 lead with just over a minute to play, but a pair of free throws by Elijah Coates pushed St. Stephen out front 49-48 with 45 seconds left.