OCHS Teams of the Century

Bill Fisher Raider Boys Basketball Player of the Century!

Gazette Staff Writer

Picking the best of anything over a period as long as a century is tough. During this series of All-Century OCHS teams there have been plenty of challenges. In sports like boys soccer, girls basketball and girls track there have been a large number of excellent athletes during a relatively short period of time.

But boys basketball is a different story.

Over more than 70 years, Ocean City High School has been a contender in basketball. And a lot of very good players have laced up their sneakers for the Raiders. So, picking the best – even with five teams - was difficult.

The facts show that the best of a great group was Bill Fisher, the OCHS Player of the Century. Fisher set school scoring records, as well as records for steals and assists. He could be explosive – he is one of just two OCHS players with two 40-point games – and he could be consistent, scoring in double figures for a record 52 straight games. Fisher played during an era that was dominated by Reggie Miller’s Pleasantville teams and he played without a three-point rule that would have added greatly to his point total.

Joining Fisher on the first team are Ken Leary, the first OCHS player to score 1,000 points; powerful center J.D. Asselta, who had a great career despite missing his junior year with an injury; smooth forward Tom Adams, the leader of the century’s best team; and Derrick Yeoman, the highest single-season scorer in the school’s history.

The second team includes forward Homer Baker, who held the career scoring record for 15 years; guard Mike Rowell, who broke it two years ago; center Bob McAllister and guard Ed Paone, who, along with Fisher, are the only OCHS players to average 20 points a game for two different seasons; and forward Joe Kennedy, who led his team in scoring three straight years.

On the third team are center Frank Wickes, whose rebound records still stand 46 years later; forward Mike Fadden, the first Raider to average 20 points a game; forward Brad Bryant, a versatile scorer and defender; guard John Cranston, who ran the offense for three years, culminating in a state title; and guard Chris Rackley, possibly the most explosive offensive player ever.

The fourth team features the only father and son selected to these teams, so far. Center Dick Fox averaged 15 points a game in the 1930s, when 15 points really meant something. His son, Randy, was a three-year starter in the 60s. Teammate Barry Banks joins the younger Fox – they were an exciting tandem for three seasons. Rounding out the team are forward Charlie Baker, a scoring and rebounding force the only two years he was here in the 60s, and Brandon Granger, who started on three straight division champions while providing scoring and rebounding punch.

The fifth team includes the steady and powerful Wayne Hudson at center. There are a pair of versatile forwards in Glenn Darby, who averaged a double-double for two seasons, and LaQue Lee, the only OCHS player to score 50 points in a game and a two-year starter. The two guards - who could both do it all – are Ed Keenan and Bill “Pop” Rackley.

Coaching the all-century team is Dixie Howell, whose teams won more than 80 percent of their games, winning two state titles, three South Jersey crowns and nine CAL championships, including eight straight.

Picking the best single team of the century is just as difficult as choosing the all star team. But the edge goes to the 1956-57 team. This team was not one of the school’s two state champions. It entered the state final with a 23-0 record only to lose, 43-40, to Verona. These Raiders averaged beating their first 23 opponents by more than 36 points per game. Seniors Tom Adams and Wayne Hudson and junior Mike Fadden all averaged in double figures. Seniors Mike Varano, Jim Conover, Charles Bowman, Tim DeBaufre and Wayne Winner, and junior Larry Harrison, were the other key members of the team.

All-Century OCHS Boys Basketball
First Team
F Tom Adams (1957)
F Derrick Yeoman (1991)
C J.D. Asselta (1992)
G Bill Fisher (1976)
G Ken Leary (1961)
Second Team
F Homer Baker (1984)
F Joe Kennedy (1955)
C Bob McAllister (1989)
G Ed Paone (1979)
G Mike Rowell (1999)
Third Team
F Brad Bryant (1973)
F Mike Fadden (1958)
C Frank Wickes (1955)
G John Cranston (1964)
G Chris Rackley (1982)
Fourth Team
F Charlie Baker (1963)
F Brandon Granger (1994)
C Dick Fox (1937)
G Barry Banks (1965)
G Randy Fox (1965)
Fifth Team
F Glenn Darby (1970)
F LaQue Lee (1995)
C Wayne Hudson (1957)
G Ed Keenan (1949)
G Bill “Pop” Rackley (1973)
Coach Dixie Howell (1952-68)

The 1956-57 team - Best of the Century
F Tom Adams
F Mike Fadden
C Wayne Hudson
G Larry Harrison
G Mike Varano
S Charles Bowman
S Jim Conover
S Tom DeBaufre
S Wayne Winner
Coach Dixie Howell

Championship Teams

State titles: 1964, 1955
South Jersey titles: 1999, 1972, 1964, 1957, 1955, 1951
CAL-American title: 1994, 1993, 1992
CAL-National titles: 1973, 1966, 1962, 1961, 1960, 1959, 1958, 1957, 1956, 1955, 1951, 1949

All-Time Coaches Records

John Bruno (12 years).....168-134 [.556]
Tom Gahr (3)..................33-35 [.485]
Leo Chase (2).................16-25 [.390]
Jack Boyd (16)................227-154 [.596]
Dixie Howell (16).............277-69 [.801]
Ed Cardner (2).................28-14 [.667]
Fenton Carey (4)..............41-17 [.707]
John Carey (2)*................5-6 [.455]
Wilbur Clark (4)...............34-16 [.680]
Elmer Jones (1).................6-7 [.461]
John Carey (2)*...............14-2 [.875]
Roy Bloomingdale (3).......32-14 [.696]
Von Henroid (5)...............56-29 [.659]
(*two separate tenures)