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1918-1919 School Year
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1918-1919 Varsity Team Photo: Players names were not listed in the 1919 yearbook

“South High has not had a basketball team for two years, but this year the necessary material for a good team was at hand,” according to the 1919 South Yearbook.  The team, coached by Mr. Griebenow, developed into an enthusiastic and strong team.  The team played all Minneapolis schools twice.

The first game, against East, was an easy victory for the Tigers.  Captain Ralph Nodell led the team on the court.  Frank Cleve and Earle Plummer seemed to make baskets at will as the Tigers won 24-9.  South also won the second game against East.  Again, they scored 24 points.  The tally for East was not reported.

South also defeated Central twice.  In the first game, the Tigers won 24-16.  The second game was very exciting and interesting because of the clever footwork and team work displayed by Cleve, according to the yearbook.  Nodell made seven out of eleven free throws.  The Tigers won game two 31-16.

South also defeated West twice.  The first game was a rout, with the Tigers winning 32-4.  The score of the second game was not reported.

The first game against North was no contest.  The Polars pushed the Tigers around with will.  North won 22-9.  The conference championship came down to the second North-South game.  Both teams were tied with only one loss.  According to the 1919 yearbook, “The gymnasium was filled with spectators from both schools.  The crowd was all settled and anxious for the game to start at three o’clock.” 

The yearbook also gave an account of the game. “North made the first point, but the game had just begun.  Before the end of the first quarter Cleve, because of recent injuries, was replaced by Nelson, who was a feature in the game.  He broke up a great deal of North’s strong teamwork and made several baskets.  At the end of the first half, North was in the lead by a score of 7-5.  The second half started with a great deal of anxiety on the part of the spectators and overflowing enthusiasm on the part of the players….The South boys came back with a spirit never witnessed by onlookers before, and soon the score was in favor of the Orange and Black.  Both teams were playing steadily with great teamwork on both sides,  The audience was in a howl, and the last quarter, which was the most interesting part of the whole game, came to an end with South victorious by a score of 16-12.  Captain Nodell surprised the crowd with free throws.”  South won the Conference Championship.

On March 7, the Tigers would face St. Paul Humboldt.  This game featured the two champions of Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Unfortunately, the Tigers could not muster the effort they put into the North game and lost, 21-12.