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1938 Basketball Team (1998)

In the long, proud history of Loyola basketball, the accomplishments of the 1938 Basketball Team rank with those of the best teams that ever took the floor for the Academy. Led by high-scoring captain Bob Brice, outside shooter Charley O'Brien and bank-shot artist Ray Kelly, the1938 cagers marched through the regular season with 14 wins and 4 losses. In the last half of the season, the Ramblers ran off eleven straight wins before losing their last regular season game. Clearly they were ready for the post-season. They moved to the North Section Championship game at home where they beat St. Patrick handily by 14 to advance to play for the Catholic League Championship against Leo. Unfortunately, they fell behind early and could not recover, losing the title by seven. All the big teams from Chicago, including Loyola, Leo and defending champs Fenwick, then advanced to the grand finale of the season, the fifteenth annual National Catholic Interscholastic Tournament held at Loyola. There the 1938 basketball team enjoyed its finest hour. The Maroon and Gold, playing inspired ball, beat four opponents to emerge victorious in their bracket. They squared off against powerful St. Xavier from Louisville, Kentucky for the National Championship. The tall, aggressive St. Xavier squad proved too much, though, as the 1938 yearbook notes, "the stubborn Loyolans refused to surrender until they had run themselves into exhaustion." O'Brien was named to the All-Tournament team. Though Brice, O'Brien and Kelly received most of the accolades, coach Frank McElligott stated that "it was the effort of the entire squad, from its first to the last, that led to its great success!" The final record was 27 wins and 7 losses, one of the greatest seasons in Loyola basketball history. The 1938 Basketball Team has most deservedly been selected for induction into the Academy's Athletic Hall of Fame. John H. Adams, August J. Durso, Ray Kelly, John B. O'Connor, Robert Brice, capt William D. Fagan, Francis S. Mangan, Joe Walsh, mgr., William Buckley John A. Griffin, Frank McElligott, coach, Theodore E. Cornell, Ira Hartnett Charles J. Mennes, Roger S. Cummings, Daniel J. Howe, Charles O'Brien

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