Basketball Throwback-75 years ago

Seventy-five years ago this month the Quillayute Union High School basketball team was on the verge of greatness. Losing only one conference game to Neah Bay and trouncing what was thought to be the strongest team on the peninsula — the Sequim team — in an exhibition game the team of nine did something never done before by a peninsula team … they were B League Conference Champs.

They had met Neah Bay at home and beat them 37-28. This forced a playoff game in Port Angeles where Forks won 32-21. By winning that game they won the championship of the district and were entitled to enter the West-Central District B league tournament at Snoqualmie in mid-February. They beat Black Diamond and Fall City and then Redmond. They were the first team to bring back a District Championship and the right to play at the State Tournament in Cheney.

While the team lost in overtime in the second game, team member Gordy Allen was rated an all state second team berth and Fred Germeaux was given an honorable mention.

Team members were: Ronald Dodge, Bill Lange, Fred Germeaux, Ray Sjoblom, Carter Warren, Lloyd Wahlgren, Gordon Allen, Henry Thorsen, Sonny Schlaefer and Chuck Palmer. The coach was Bill Towbridge.

Years later Gordy Allen was presented this plaque (pictured), by good friend Ron Brown, commemorating this accomplishment. Brown was a Forks High grad and coached at Centralia for over 50 years, and just recently stepping down.

Gordy Allen did not get a chance to fulfill further basketball greatness because World War II was calling. It was 1942 and Allen, like many other young men, quit school and joined the war effort in the military. After the war was over Allen got his GED and was a huge Forks Spartan basketball fan all his life, attending almost every game. Allen died in 2013.