1964 RHS Basketball Team Named to RHSSHOF

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Members of the 1964 Rector Blackcat basketball team, slated for induction into the RHSSHOF, included from left: Front-Bobby McKeel, Alan Pruett, Mike Gibson and Mark Crow. Middle-Coach Jesse Bucy, Lynn Wimberly, Alan Williams, Bill Cossey, Lee Roy Brewer, Steve Bookout, Garvin Gatewood, Mike Linam and Coach Jim Fowler. Back-Johnny Frets, Ronnie Hardin, Tommy Pruett, Roger Fred, Marvin Gatewood, Teddy Glaub, Ricky Gatewood, Jimmy Wagster, Phil Clayton and Dennis Cate.
courtesy photo

The 1964 Rector High School Blackcat basketball team has been named to the RHS Sports Hall of Fame as members of the class of 2017. The team will be inducted along with Scotty Johnson, Rector High School class of 1977; Charlie Bateman, Rector High School class of 1978 and the late David Neal Shelton, Rector High School class of 1982. The induction ceremony will be held immediately following the noon luncheon, set for Saturday, Sept. 2, in the Rector High School gym.

The 1964 Rector Blackcat basketball team, slated for induction into the RHSSHOF, is remembered as one of the best Rector teams of all time. The squad finished their campaign as the state semi-finalist, compiling a record of 27-9 in the process.

Although this was decades before the three-point basket, during the regular season the Cats topped the 100 point mark at least two times. In a contest against Piggott, the Blackcats won by a score of 103-56. Rector also topped Manila 105-89 at a time when the Lions were ranked number two in the state in the combined class of A/B, and had just recently been seeded number one in the Class A State Tourney. That season they were seeded number one in the NEA tournament, and posted a 72-47 win over the Brinkley Tigers—the eventual state champions in Class A.

In a March 1964 edition the Clay County Democrat headline reported “Locals Rated 3rd in State; Now In Quarter-Finals.” In a separate story the Rector newspaper reported. “For the second straight week, the Rector Senior A Blackcats were rated as number three in the top ten best A-B basketball teams in the state in the final United Press International poll of the 1963-64 season.”

After beating Perryville 52-50 in the opening round of the state tournament, Rector lost its starting center, Lee Roy Brewer due to an injury during a workout. The Cats then faced Mountain Home in the quarterfinals. Coach Bucy was quoted in the Democrat as saying: “Mountain Home has one of the toughest teams in the state--They won their district tournament.” Coach Bucy started junior Garvin Gatewood in Brewer’s place--and Gatewood responded with 15 points.

The Commercial Appeal, March 6, 1964, reported the following: “Rector nursed a precarious lead most of the game and defeated Mountain Home, 64-59, Thursday to sweep into the semifinals of the Arkansas state Class A high school basketball tournament at Barton Coliseum.”

The account went on to explain that defense was key to the win.

“Rector’s Bill Cossey led the scoring with 24 points but the defense of the runnersup from District 3-A was equally vital in the victory. Mike Gibson keyed the rugged man-to-man defense.”

The season for Rector ended with a loss to Waldo in the state semi-finals by a score of 53-70.

The 1964 basketball team was made up nine players who started at one time or another according to Coach Bucy: 6’4” Lee Roy Brewer, 6’3” Steve Bookout, 6’2” Allen Williams, 6’0” Bill Cossey (the team’s leading shooter and rebounder), 5’11” Allan Pruett, 5’8” Mike Gibson, 5’8” Mark Crow, 6’2” Garvin Gatewood and 5’11” Bobby McKeel. In addition, the “B” team consisted of Johnny Frets, Ronnie Hardin, Tommy Pruett, Roger Fred, Marvin Gatewood, Teddy Glaub, Ricky Gatewood, Jimmy Wagster, Phil Clayton, and Dennis Cate. Team managers were Lynn Wimberley and Mike Linam. Head coach was Jess Bucy and assistant coach was Jim Fowler.

The high quality of the members of the 1964 team can be seen by the honors earned in their high school and college careers.

Dennis Cate-All-State

Bill Cossey-All-NEA, All-District, All-State (two years), Arkansas High School All-Star, Honorable Mention All-American, All-AIC (two years), All-District 17 NAIA (two years), Lyon College Athletics Hall of Fame, Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Bob McKeel-All-District, All-AIC in basketball and baseball, All-District 17 NAIA in basketball and baseball, Honorable Mention All-American NAIA in baseball, Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 1969 Major League Baseball Draft, Harding University Hall of Fame, Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame

Allan Pruett-All-District (two years), All-State (two years), All-American, Arkansas High School All-Star, All-Midsouth, All-Southland Conference (two years), MVP in Southland Conference, Southland Conference 1970s All-Decade Team, Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame

Alan Williams-All-District, All-Parish and All-District and All-State (Louisiana), Louisiana College Hall of Fame.

Those wanting more information about the annual Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame luncheon may contact Owen B. Moseley at 870 935-4039.

Golf Tourney

The annual Dr. Owen H. Clopton Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament, hosted by the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame, is just around the corner. The event is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, at Kennett Country Club.

Participants in the four-person scramble may begin registration at 9 a.m. on the day of the tournament. The entry fee is $200 per team, and the field is limited to 18 teams. Those who want more information may contact Michele Haley at 870-240-5064 or Michael Lindsey at 870-240-3257.

"We expect a large turnout this year and have tremendous continued support from our faithful sponsors, along with some new sponsors, as well," Lindsey said. "Golfers will be excited to hear we have four $1,000 hole-in-one opportunities sponsored this year along with other great prizes."

The Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame honors past standout athletes and has become a large contributor to local youth and sports programs, providing scholarships and other supportive needs.

The tournament is the primary fundraiser for the organization.

In addition to the fundraising aspect of the tournament, the event has proven to be a very fun day for all those participating.

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