Kentucky claims it, Kansas claims it and so does Oregon State. Each wants to be the first college basketball team to win 1,000 games. Whether any of them is legitimately entitled to the honor seems lost in the murk of old and often hoary records. But there is a rightful claim to 1,000 victories, and it belongs to a high school team, Wyandotte of Kansas City, Kans. Wyandotte once beat the Rainbow AC 234-2, a game the late Robert Ripley included as amazing fact in his Believe It or Not column. Counting up, however, the punctilious Wyandottes ignored that inglorious triumph. They could afford to. It occurred in the 1922-23 season, when the Bulldogs won 31 straight and beat Rockford (Ill.) High 43-21 for the national interscholastic title.
The thousandth win came against Wichita West last Friday, 78-34 in the opening round of the Wichita North Invitational and it extended Wyandotte's latest winning streak to 25. While Kansas has been totting up wins for 71 years, Oregon State for 68 and Kentucky for 65, Wyandotte has been at its winning ways for a mere 56 years. The present coach is Walter Shublom, a 45-year-old social studies teacher who became head coach at Wyandotte 14 years ago, and since then has won nine state championships, five of them in a row, from 1957 to 1961. He has seen the team through 284 wins and only 25 losses—a .919 percentage.
Shublom each year runs a Clinic of Champions. It is attended by some 400 coaches and only leaders of state championship teams are permitted to instruct. In rare losing years Shublom has had to exclude himself from the faculty of his own school and this season he is wondering if he will not have to do that again. Going for 1,001 in the finals of the Wichita North tournament, his Bulldogs lost to host team Wichita North—63-62. Oh, well, another 56 years and who cares?