By John Johnson
MHSAA communications director
This week's installment of MHSAA.tv's Hoops on Film series features the first championship victory for one of Michigan's most accomplished boys basketball programs.
This is the second of 10 games being brought back to MHSAA.tv this summer. 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 through the week of August 17.
The game recap below is courtesy of MHSAA Historian Ron Pesch of Muskegon.
Muskegon Heights 43, Flint Northern 41 (OT) – 1954 Class A Boys Final - After three visits to the MHSAA Semifinals, Muskegon Heights grabbed its first-ever title with a 43-41 overtime win over Flint Northern at Jenison Field House in East Lansing. Tied at 41-41 at the end of regulation, the Vikings opted to hold the ball for nearly three minutes of the extra period, after the Tigers missed two shots following the opening tip-off. But as Vikings guard Bob Failing drove in for the final shot, he was called for a charging foul. Under the rules of the time, Murt Johnson of the Heights stepped to the line, and calmly sank two free throws for the only points of OT. Future University of Michigan star M.C. Burton scored 22 points to pace the Heights.
1973 Class C Boys Final: Detroit East Catholic 50, Saginaw St. Stephen 49 - Watch