The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 21, 2014

Reunion to honor two Greenfield state basketball teams

The Greenfield community will salute its 1973-74 and 1988-89 boys basketball teams tonight as the current Wildcats seek a 9-0 finish in the Spring River Valley Conference.

The boys junior varsity game with Diamond at 5 will start tonight’s tripleheader.

“Senior Night” will be held before the girls varsity contest. Players, coaches, cheerleaders and other personnel from 1973-74 and 1988-89 will be introduced between varsity games.

Head coaches Bob Jackson (1973-74) and Lowell Keltner (1988-89) live in Greenfield. Jackson was assisted by Tony Phillips and Jim Dykens. Keltner was assisted by Dave McQuerter.

The 1973-74 edition, which was runner-up in Class 1 to Glasgow, finished 28-4 overall and 12-0 in the Midwest Conference for a second straight season. Keltner’s ballclub. which lost to champion Scott County Central in the semifinals before beating Fairfax for third in Class 1, finished 25-7 overall and shared the Mid-Lakes Conference title.

Jackson hopes to see all but two players from 1973-74. Even Jeff Lewis.

Jackson said that Lewis, who’s with the Federal Highway Administration, California Division, plans to make the reunion while visiting a sister in Branson.

Lewis, 6-foot-6, followed his brother, Wayne, to Missouri-Rolla and each played basketball for the Miners.

Glasgow defeated Greenfield 78-73 in Hearnes Center in Columbia at the University of Missouri.

“We beat them in field goals,” a chuckling Jackson said of the 33-0 Yellowjackets. “But they were 26 of 33 from the foul line.”

All-state guard Glenn Walters scored 29 points for Greenfield.

“Glenn was a tough, hard-nosed player,” Jackson said. “He also was our quarterback in football.”

Keltner’s team didn’t travel that many miles for the finals. Those Wildcats, who had an all-stater in Kevin Freese, played at Hammons Center in Springfield.

Jackson, currently a lobbyist, and Keltner both sell real estate.

Jackson, who was 142-73 in eight seasons at Greenfield, naturally mentions 1972-73 when recalling 1973-74.

All but seniors Ron Jefferies and Paul Weis returned for 1973-74 from a 27-1 group that was knocked off by Bill Lee’s Billings Wildcats in a district semifinal at Miller.

Jackson left coaching after the 1976-77 campaign to enter politics.

Anyway, how does anyone from Cushing (Okla.) High School — a 1961 graduate — and Oklahoma State wind up in Greenfield?

“I was single and the pay for a teacher was better in Missouri,” Jackson said. “So I came to Missouri. I was at Waynesvllle for four years (as an assistant) before I came to Greenfield (to replace Carthage-bound Dwight Arner).”

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