TALLULA FLYERS GREATEST BASKETBALL SEASON, 1938-39:
Coach O. G. (Orrie) Bryant assembled 5 seniors, 2 juniors and one freshman at
the beginning of the season to see how the small school would fare against its larger neighbors. Tallula had no conference
affiliation and played mostly area teams as well as taking part in two near-by mid-season tournaments.
The Flyers started with two lopsided wins before being edged by Petersburg on Nov. 29, 1938, by a score of 25-21. Senior John Janssen and junior
Kenneth Belton became the main scorers for the team but they had plenty of help from junior John
Lamper, freshman J. R. Gilbert, and seniors Lloyd Loeffler, Mark Maurer, Gerald Jones and
They racked up some pretty impressive offensive numbers for that era of high school basketball,
scoring in the 50s twice and in the 40s six times.
In the Petersburg holiday tournament they easily beat Franklin (41-17), Waverly (37-16), and
Riverton (23-18), before falling to the host team in the championship game (24-22). Tallula went on a five game winning
streak, lost a quarterfinal game in the Ashland tournament and then won nine straight.
They won their first ever District tournament (at Greenview) on Feb. 25, 1939, beating Bath-Lynchburg 30-21 in the title game. The following week, playing in the Athens Regional, Belton and Janssen
combined for 18 points as THS edged Havana 28-23. The same two boys racked up 28 points as they avenged
their early season losses to Petersburg by whipping the Blue Jays 37-25. The next night (March 3) they came from behind
and beat Athens for the championship 25-17. Scoring was evenly divided with Jones and Lamper
garnering five points each.
On March 8 the Flyers entered uncharted territory: the Sectional Tournament at Canton. The
boys failed to hold a halftime lead and lost to a talented Lincoln squad 29-24. Belton led with 9 points
while Lamper had 8.
A big rally at the school welcomed the team home after a very successful season of 22 wins and
5 losses. The seniors were among 18 who graduated from the high school in May 1939 (the 50th annual graduation; 7 girls,
Signs that the Tallula district was shrinking in student population in 1939 was the graduation
of only 11 from the 8th grade (6 girls, 5 boys).
But overall it was a great season, one that would never be repeated.
The following information was also submitted by Phil Shadid:
1959-60 13-13 District Champs
Coach's name unavailable
Coach Lynn Toute
**Last game played: Feb. 27, 1963, Ashland District Tournament:
Tallula 58, Ashland 61. Scoring for Tallula: Mike Bottom 24 points (a 6-2 senior,
he was leading scorer for the team during the entire season), John Tedde 12, Floyd Grogan 8, Richard Miller 8, Gay Hinds 6.
**Last game won: Feb. 22, 1963, regular season finale:
Tallula 78, Edinburg 65. Scoring for Tallula: Bottom 18, Grogan 18, Tedde 17, Hinds
10, Buddy King 8, Miller 7.
**May 1963 there were 58 students in the high school, 125 in the grade school. Eleven seniors
(3 boys) graduated from high school in 1963.
**A student from Tallula grade school submitted the winning entry in 1963 to name the new consolidated
school district. He was awarded a $25.00 Savings Bond for the name "PORTA" ...Petersburg-Oakford-Rock