Pennsylvania: A Tale of Two Communities
a tale where...."the score on the scoreboard stands for all time!!"

Ashley, Pennsylvania.  Kane,  Pennsylvania. 
This town  changed names often since settlers arrrived in 1810  having been called Scrabbletown, Coalville, Skunktown, Peestone, Hightown, Newton, Hendricksburg, Nanticoke Junction, and Alberts  before they finally decided on Ashley, the name of a family of prominent coal operators . In 1890, 26 miners in Ashley died in a gas explosion.   In 1900, a resident of Ashley, Walter Tewksbury became an Olympic medallist . The Glen Alden Coal Company dominated the community of Ashley which traced its origin to Polish (31.1%), Irish (19.5%), Italian (11.5%), German (11.5%), Slovak (10.7%), and Dutch (4.6%) residents.  In July of 2002, the population stood at 2,808.  Ashley High School no longer exists.  On that site today, a housing project sits!  The kids in this small town are now enrolled in the Hanover Area School District. Kane  was named for the Civil War leader of Pennsylvania's Bucktail Regiment, Thomas L. Kane, who founded the town in the early 1860s. In 1921 Kane's Dr. McCleery started a wolf farm in a successful effort to save the world's remaining lobo wolves from extinction. On May 31, 1985 a tornado hit Kane. This was the worst natural disaster in Kane's history.Kane native Amy Rudolph is one of two women who represented the USA in the 5000 meter race in the Olympics in the summer of 1996.  On May 31, 1985 a tornado hit Kane. This was the worst natural disaster in Kane's history.  Holgate Toys, America's Finest Wooden Toys, are made in Kane and sold throughout the US. The original company started in 1929.  The Kane Area School District has a population of about 5000 students today.

 KANE VS ASHLEY, April 5, 1949, at Farrell High School, Farrell, PA
(at this time in Pennsylvania, there were only two classes, A and B.  Class C was added in 1951).  So going into this game, Ashley and Kane stood as two of the top four teams in the entire state.

Starting Lineups

Tony Karbosky, 6'0 sr
Ted Zelinski, 5'10 sr
Bill Dankos, 6'5 jr
John Getch, 6'0 soph
Mike Dereshkeyich, 6'4 sr
Starting Lineups

Jim Thompson, 5'7 sr
Bud Daly, 5'10 jr
Doug Erickson, 6'4 sr
Jim Bovard, 6'0 sr
Bill Forsythe, 6'0 sr
And now the rest of the story: 1949. One of Pennsylvania's most controversial playoff games took place on April 6th of 1949.  It was the Class B State Championship Game.  Ashley High School of District 2 came into the game undefeated at 28-0 and the "clear favorite" according to the Wilkes Barre Times Leader. All the stores in downtown Kane closed at 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game for their fans to leave town and support their team at the game. The Kane "Wolves" defeated the Ashley High School "Rockets" 45-44 in the State Championship Game, but were not crowned the State Class B Champions until May 27th since the game was  protested.  The reason:  time on the wall clock in the gym said the game was over and Ashley had won 44-43.   Officials Yans Wallace and John Simon heard the buzzer and saw no time left on the wall clock.  They checked with the official timer, Milton Katz (a Farrell High School teacher-the game was played at Farrell H.S.).  He said that there were still three seconds left on his timer's watch.  The officials had to clear the floor of excited spectators and then  sent Jimmy Thompson of Kane H.S to the foul line since he had been fouled as the buzzer sounded.  Thompson's foul shot rolled around the rim and dropped off as Don Frase, a substitute who had just entered the game  tipped it in to push Kane ahead 45-44 as time elapsed on the timer's watch.  Ashley coach Si Jablonski and Ashley principal George Breznay filed a protest with Edmund Wicht, the PIAA Executive Secretary, but  nothing was done for seven weeks until the PIAA Board of Control met.    Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania State Legislature adopted a resolution of congratulations to the Class A champion (Aliquippa). However, in Class B, they issued resolutions to both Kane and Ashley for "success so far achieved."
This photo of the scoreboard was taken after the game, but did not appear on the front page of the Kane Republican newspaper until Saturday May 28, 1949, the day after the PIAA Board of Control had finally handed down their ruling that Kane and not Ashley had won a basketball game played fifty-four days earlier on April 6, 1949.
Ashley High School principal, George Breznay disagreed with the decision, he said that "the PIAA  Board deliberately upheld an admitted violation of the rules by the timekeeper."  At the special hearing, Ashley Principal Brezany gave each member of the Board of Control a stop watch and then played a radio tape of the end of the game. He contended that the evidence showed that it took 21 seconds to play the last 15 seconds of the game.  The timekeeper, Milton Katz testified that "he had by accident allowed the wall clock to get ahead of the official watch in his hand."  And that "he had at least once, and maybe oftener stopped the wall clock to synchronize it with the official watch."  He said he had done it many times in the two years he had been timing basketball games.  Referee Yans Wallace testified that "he knew nothing about the clock synchronization moves and that the usual practice for timekeepers was to stop the game and consult officials when timing devices disagreed." The Board voted 15-1 to deny to protest and the Championship Trophy was presented to Kane.  The Kane Republican, stated that  "the score on the scoreboard stands for all time" -and more than fifty years later, the score still stands! (Credits: Kane Daily Republican and Wilkes Barre Times Leader). There are approximately 237.52 statute miles today between Ashley and Farrell,  Note that these are "As the crow flies" air miles rather than driving miles.
Following the calendar
FEBRUARY 23, Effie X. Walsh, the sports editor for the Wilkes Barre Times Leader writes in his Sports Editorial column, "Did You Know That." -"Ashley in our book looks like the PIAA State Champs in the B scholastic division.  Plymouth in the A division will have stiffer competition and will be an underdog against either Hazelton or Bethlehem. (
Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

MARCH 5, "Winner over powerful Plymouth in an exhibition game arranged for charity, the Ashley team is one of the top favorites in the state tournament."  Note: Plymouth was the District 2, Class A Champion two years in a row and had a 6'9" center (Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

MARCH 30, For the Eastern Finals held at Ashland High School: Ashley High School took the 70 piece high school band, a few bus loads of fans, and about 50 automobiles carrying fans and posters.
The team was scheduled to leave at 1:30 and to check into the Fountain Spring Country Club at Ashland for a meal and a rest prior to their game with Kutztown. (
Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

MARCH 31, William Byham, a former Kane student and a student at Bloomsburg Teacher's College saw the Ashley-Kutztown game and called Coach Edwards to report that Ashley is a very good team "composed pretty largely by big and rugged coal miners." (Kane Daily Republican)

MARCH 31, the Class B State Championship game between Kand and Ashley will be played in the 3,500 seat Farrell High School gym close to the Ohio border, 125 miles from Kane and much longer to Ashley High School  The game was scheduled for a site in the West since the game the previous year was held in the East at Lancaster. At this time, the State Championships switched from East to West every year with the site depending upon size and availablility.  (Kane Daily Republican)

APRIL 4,Ashley on the strength of its 28 game string of victories in an undefeated 1948-49 campaign, is ruled the favorite.  Kane, coached by Stuart Edwards, a former resident of Edwardsville has a record of 17-3 with two losses to Warren (31-29 and 37-36) and one to Bradford (57-56). (Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

APRIL 5, an article by Rudy Cernkovic for United Press International, Reasons why Ashley will win:  "They have rangy basketball players gifted with percision shooting, fast breaking ball handling, and cage savvy which has produced 28 victories for a perfect season." (United Press International)

APRIL 5, At Kane High School, approximately 200 fans gathered to listen to the game on the radio. "The audience was in many stages of excitement as at a game and then a stunned silence  as the  announcer reported "its all over" with Kane apparently defeated.  As the crowd surged out the door the electrifying shout came over the radio -something happened!"  The crowd came back in only to hear the foul shot roll  around and out, and again the crowd left the auditorium defeated.  There was too much noise at the game site to hear that in fact Kane had won on a put back. (Kane Daily Republican)

APRIL 6, "the foul shot circled the rim of the basket and then went off on a tangent, while other players were thinking the game was over, Don Frase, a substitute guard for Kane, jumped forward and tapped the ball in.  The referee, Yans Wallace ruled the shot good."
Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

APRIL 6, 1949,  Eddie White, the manager of the Wilkes Barre pro-Barons, an authority on basketball rules and a close follower of high school basketball stated that Ashley will be awarded the Class B State Championship on their protest. He claimed that the playing time is based upon the automatic clock and he says that if the PIAA forwards the Ashley protest to Oswald Howard of Andover,  Massachusetts, an official interpreter of scholastic rules that Howard would award Ashley with the Championship. (Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

APRIL 6, "While the trophy was not awarded to the Kane team, the team was permitted to be photographed with the trophy, if that means anything. (Kane Daily Republican)

May 28,  C. Stuart Edwards, the Kane High School basketball coach is named  "Kane's Man of the Year."  The article said, "Edwards and his team have brought more recognition to Kane this year than any one  factor in the life of the community."

(Kane Daily Republican)

The Official Box score

Thompson 5 0 10 Karbosky 3 0 6
Daly 3 3 9 Zelinski 3 0 6
Erickson 2 0 4 Dankof 9 5 23
Bovard 5 2 12 Getch 1 1 3
Forsyth 4 0 8 D'shkevich 1 1 3
Frase 1 0 2 Kerestes 1 1 3
Totals 20 5 45 Totals 18 8 44

Kane 45 Ashley 44

and ....."the score on the scoreboard stands for all time!!"
and Ashley lost it's only chance for basketball immortality!.

Credits: Kane website at--






James W Thompson
304 W Allegany Ave
Emporium PA

Ashley Borough Secretary's Office
8 N Main St
Ashley, PA 18706-2202
Phone: 717-824-1364