Waco High School won its region and went to the state basketball tournament in 1932. The regional games were played in Eastern’s gym and the state tournament was played in Lexington.

Back in those days there were A and B brackets. The local district was the 49th District and Waco was in the 13th Region. In regional play, Waco upset Hazel Green 23-12. Waco’s scoring was from Payne (10), Cain (1), Chamberlain (2), N. Hill (1), R. Hill (7) and Click (2). In the other regional bracket, Mt. Vernon upset Corbin 20-19. Mt. Vernon won the class A bracket and Waco won the class B bracket and the two teams met in the regional finals.

In the finals, the score was Waco 29 and Mt. Vernon 19. The Waco scoring was from Payne (10), Click (4), Chamberlain (0), R. Hill (8), N. Hill (7) and Cain (0). Al Smith coached the 1932 Waco team. According to contemporary account from the Richmond Daily Register, Waco High School only had an outdoor basketball court. By March, the court was muddy and rough. Madison High made their floor available so the Waco squad could practice for its trip to the state.

Regional trophies were presented to the team by two names familiar to long-time residents of the county — W.F. O’Donnell and Charles (Turkey) Hughes.

In the first game of the state tournament, Waco faced Lowes High School from Graves County. Waco won handily 48-22. Scoring for Waco were P. Payne (20), Click (8), Chamberlain (2), R. Hill (10), N. Hill (8), Cain (0) and H. Payne (0).

In the next game, Newport defeated Waco 21-16, eliminating our Waco boys. In further state tournament games, Hazard beat Newport in the semi-finals and Hazard went on to win the state championship for 1932 by a score of 15-13 over Louisville Male. Our 1932 Waco High team advanced to within two games of the state championship. We are still proud of you, Waco.

Many thanks to Mrs. LeDell Curry for copies of old Register stories. Doyle Fritz tried to find me a photograph of the 1932 Waco team, but we were unable to find the picture in time to run with this article. If anyone has an old team photo of the boys who played an indoor game out of doors — and played it well enough to get to state tournament — let me know and we will try to run it later.

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