May scored 50, but Belmont coach paid for it in local paper

Former Belmont High School boys basketball standout Don May lit up Patterson by scoring 50 points when he was a senior in 1964. Then-Belmont coach John Ross was roasted by then Journal-Herald sports editor Ritter Collett in the now-defunct Dayton morning newspaper the next day.

That’s the way equally celebrated Bison senior teammate Bill Hosket Jr. remembers it.

“(Collett) lit up our coach for keeping us in and beating up on Patterson so hard,” recalled Hosket last week. “(Ross) got balled out by the local paper for running up the score. Ritter jumped on Coach Ross. When we were sophomores we lost to Roosevelt 110-52. I don’t remember anyone taking pity on us.”

May’s 50-point effort was among many such schoolboy feats that have been relayed to the Dayton Daily News following a story on area boys and girls who have scored 50 or more points. That has happened three times this season by Fairmont’s Jack Hendricks (52), Triad’s Hadley LeVan (51) and finally Samari Curtis (50) of Xenia on Jan. 5 at Tippecanoe.

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Ironically, it was Hosket who many readers thought might have joined the 50-point club rather than May. Hosket was Belmont’s leading scorer that state championship season, but it was May who set the then-Dayton City League single-game record of 50 points.

Early in the postseason that year Hosket went for 37 points in a blowout of Kiser at the Dayton Fairgrounds Coliseum, a go-to venue for City League and tournament games. After Hosket left the game May ambled over to him and said, “That’s just 13 shy of the record,” recalled Hosket. “We couldn’t quit laughing.”

May’s breakout performance should have been 52 points, but starting center Harry Culbertson — May and Hosket were forwards — was called for goal-tending one of May’s shots.

That nullified field goal would come into play the next season when “some guy went for 51 (Roosevelt’s Joe Taylor) when we were freshmen in college and set a new City (League) record,” Hosket said. “Donnie was still mad at Harry for touching that ball.”

According to Cox Media Group Ohio records, Dwight Anderson of Roth owns the all-time, single-game City League record of 53 points against Wilbur Wright in 1977.

Other Dayton City League players to join Anderson and May in the 50-point club are Dunbar’s Mike Haley Jr. (games of 52 and 50 points in 1988), Robert Patterson of Colonel White in 1974 (52 points), Joe Taylor of Roosevelt in 1965 (51 points) and Bruce “Sky” King of Patterson in 1972 (50 points).

May and Hosket were high school All-Americans. May starred at the University of Dayton, leading the Flyers to an NCAA Tournament runner-up in 1967 against UCLA and an NIT championship the following season.

Hosket was just as successful at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes in scoring all three seasons (freshmen were ineligible in that era). The one-time Bison greats were reunited as rookie reserves on the New York Knicks NBA title team in 1970.

More from Hosket:

• Belmont lost only to Chaminade in the 1963-64 regular season. “We’re not quite over it yet and they like to remind us of it,” said Hosket, laughing.

• The Dayton City League had 10 teams when May and Hosket were at Belmont. It was 11 until Chaminade bolted a few years earlier.

“Winning the city of Dayton (championship) was a big deal,” Hosket said. “Getting out of the district for us was more difficult than getting out of the regional or state tournament. Dayton was a different city then with NCR, Frigidaire and all the General Motors plants. It was a great place to grow up and a great time to grow up in it.”

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