Syracuse Herald Journal- Nats Bidding For Luisetti

While the Syracuse Nationals are in Sheboygan, Wis., for a National League game tonight with the Redskins, officials disclosed that Coach Benny Borgmann has been authorized to offer $18,000 to secure a pair of West Coast basketball stars, one of whom is Hank Liusetti. Borgmann, in Los Angeles attending the baseball convention, has been given the go-ahead signal to obtain new talent. Wires have been sent to Ed Sadowski, who recently resigned as player manager of the Toronto team in the Basketball Association of America, asking his terms to join Syracuse.


Syracuse Herald American- Warriors Rout Nats

Series Resumes Here Tonight

Big Neil Johnston established an all-time National Basketball Association rebound record as he led the Philadelphia Warriors to a 79-73 victory over the Syracuse Nationals here last night. Despite the loss Syracuse managed to retain a slim grip on first place as they returned home to meet the Warriors at the Onondaga County War Memorial tonight. Philadelphia can take over the lead by defeating the Cervimen tonight. The Warriors’ triumph was much more decisive than the final six-point difference would indicate. With just four minutes to play the Warriors, who led throughout, had a 15-point bulge at 75-60. It was at this stage that Johnston, who topped game scorers with 27 points, cracked George Mikan’s rebound record of 36, and he was given rest by Coach Ed Gottleib. As Johnston reached the bench the Nats began to click and ran off 11 straight points to bring big Neil back into the game. He wound up with a three point play and 39 rebounds as he rallied his mates back to victory. The warriors collected 80 off the boards. The Nats again showed a poor shooting average, hitting on only four of 20 shots in the first period after going nearly six minutes without a point. By then Philadelphia led 10-2. Twice Syracuse closed to within four points, once at 32-28, and later at 75-71, but Philadelphia was in control whenever Johnston was in action. Top scorer for the Nats was Bill Kenville with 14 points, 12 of them in the first half. Earl Lloyd wound up with 13, but inability of the Nat tall men to score regularly was costly. Syracuse will probably be limited to eight men again tonight, since George King and Wally Osterkorn are still nursing injuries. A decision as to whether or not an operation is advisable for Osterkorn will be rendered Monday.

PHILADELPHIA: Arizin (8-2-18), Graboski (4-2-10), Davies (0-0-0), Johnston (10-7-27), Zawoluk (1-0-2), Brennan (0-0-0), Finn (3-0-6), George (4-2-10), Costello (3-0-6), Murray (0-0-0) TOTALS (33-13-79). SYRACUSE: Rocha (2-0-4), Farley (4-3-11), Kenville (6-2-14), Kerr (3-1-7), Lloyd (5-3-13), Seymour (4-1-9), Schayes (1-4-6), Simmons (3-3-9) TOTALS (28-17-73).

From Highlighting Sports By Jack Slattery

A visit to the Nats’ dressing room following their squeaker past the Rochester Royals Thursday night gave me the feeling that I should be walking softly as in a hospital ward. It almost seemed that the conversation should be held in a whisper. Wally Osterkorn, who sits on the Nats’ bench in street clothes, slumped dejectedly in a far corner. Later, as he left the dressing room, he was asked if the injured leg showed any improvement. He wasn’t very optimistic. He thinks that the necessity of an operation is probable than cure the rest. Handsome George King, who surprised coach Al Cervi by dressing for the game, is far from well and it isn’t known how long it will be before he can run again. “On Monday I couldn’t even stand up straight,” said George as he demonstrated a posture not unlike a T-formation quarterback hunched over a center. Thursday, he ran up and down the court one time and had to retire to the bench. Dolph Schayes, who played effectively despite painful knee and heel injuries, could well do with lots more rest than he is getting. The big fellow would be much more effective later in the season if he could but coast a few days now.

‘What Can We Do?’ Nats Ask

But in spite of the hurts and roughhouse game the Royals played the conversation was on another subject: the lack of attendance at the games. The players, whether the fans sense it or not, are actually aware of the empty seats. And it’s not because they are concerned about salaries or if the club will remain in operation. It’s because they are playing excellent basketball under adverse conditions only to return home, after seven victories in eight game, and find a handful of fans to watch them. They are actually puzzled. “What do we have to do?” inquired Cervi. “The game is better now than it ever was. The fellows are playing their hearts out and nobody shows up. Is there anything we can do? Is there anything anyone can do.” Frankly, it puzzles me, too. Early in the season I attributed the lack of crowds to interest in football. And I believe it rightly so. But it is basketball season now. And Cervi’s 100 percent right when he says the team is giving everything it has in a faster, better brand of basketball than ever before. It mystifies me no end. Thursday night’s small crowd plunged the Nats into the red ink for the first time this season. That means the profits from the successfully staged Trotter game at the ball park this summer and the ice show, which just left Syracuse recently, both Nats’ promotions have been eaten away. Unless the fans turn out soon the Nats will be faced with financial doom.

Costello Has Helped Warriors

Tonight the bandaged band of Cervimen tangle with the club that all but wore them out last year. The Philadelphia Warriors, under rotund Eddie Gottlieb, furnished all sorts of bad medicine for Cervi’s team last year. Neil Johnston was the No. 1 thorn in the side of the Nats. The big guy simply murdered Syracuse every time he played against them. In 1950 in New York one night he hit on 12 shots in 18 attempts, scored 50 points and established a single game league scoring mark. And one night last year in the war memorial the big fellow set a single game record for most baskets scored with 17. The team misery supplied by the Warriors was a system of jamming up the middle with its big men, Johnston, Walt Davies, Bob Zawoluk and Joe Graboski. This year, in addition to those giants Gottlieb has ex-Marine Paul Arizin. They blocked out Cervi’s driving little men and then controlled the boards on shots that didn’t find the mark. In addition to those rugged performers, this year they have Larry “Ronnie” Costello, former Minoa and University of Niagara star. Costello provides them with outside set shooting ability and fine back court performance. He’s done so well that the Warriors felt safe in peddling Gene Shue, one of the nation’s top flight college performers last year, to the New York Knicks. The addition of former St. Bonaventure University set shooting star Ken Murray also lends additional back court strength to the Warriors. To offset the power under the boards the Nats have spindly was horse Red Rocha. Red’s a bear under the basket and for years has worthily worn the mantle as the best defensive player against the game’s big men. He’s unspectacular, but he’s worth his height in gold. Johnny Kerr, the rookie giant from Illinois, also showed he can throw his weight around with the beefy Warriors in earlier games (league and exhibition victories for the Nats) against Philadelphia.

Cervi Thankful For Rookie Farley

It’s pretty far-fetched to claim that something good can come out of all the aches and ills affecting the Nats. But if you want to stretch the point to extremes and find a good feature in the gloomy picture you can come up with Dandy Dick Farley. The crew cut rookie from Indiana, forced to play more than he might have because of the limited Syracuse manpower, has come along so fast that he has supplied Cervi one of his infrequent reasons for a smile. “Believe me, that kid’s a life saver. I wondered for awhile if I had made the right choice in whom to keep and whom to cut. But Dick’s cure making me look good now. What a pair of hands that boy has. In New York he showed me a lot. And here tonight (the Nats-Royals game) he came up with two timely baskets and a great pass interception. He certainly has helped us when we needed him.”

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