I’m watching the Midwest basketball teams with special interest this season — and not just because I’m an MHS alumnus.
So far this season, the Midwest teams are a combined 1-33 — 1-15 for the girls and 0-18 for the boys. Right now, the only thing keeping the Midwest teams from being officially 0-fer is the girls’ forfeit victory against Guernsey back in December, a victory that was retroactively added within the last couple weeks for reasons beyond me.
That one forfeit victory could keep the Midwest teams from joining a short list — when both the boys and girls basketball teams from the same school go winless in the same year.
The only verified instance I can find of both the boys and girls basketball teams from the same school going winless in the same season happened 21 years ago, in 1999.
That year, Hulett’s boys and girls basketball teams both went 0-15.
(If that game total seems low to you, it is. Back in the day, Crook County schools played fewer than the maximum allowed by the WHSAA due to budget restrictions.)
Hulett’s struggles in 1999 were a combination of two factors — a classification change and a dip in momentum for both programs.
The Hulett boys notched a state title game appearance in 1995, and the Red Devils also had state qualifications at 1A in 1996 and 1997, but the move to 2A was tough to handle. In 1998, the 2A Red Devils only had two victories, both against 1A Midwest. (And, yes, I played for Midwest that season.) The following year, the Red Devils had that winless 0-15 campaign, and after moving back to 1A in 2000, Hulett finished 1-15.
The Hulett girls, meanwhile, had only been to the state tournament once before they moved to 2A in 1998. They also struggled moving up a class, finishing 1-16 in 1998 before their 0-15 season in 1999.
The troubles didn’t last.
In 2002, the Red Devil girls took home their first state basketball trophy with a 1A consolation championship, and they finished third at state in 2003. And in 2005, the Red Devil boys played in the 1A state championship game.
So, Midwest, take heart.
Is Hulett alone?
Maybe. But I don’t have all the data I need to know for sure.
five four other instances of teams finishing with winless seasons where I don’t know the record of the opposite gender at the same school, but I know the opposite gender didn’t qualify for state. Those are Greybull in 1980 (boys 0-18, girls unknown), Greybull in 1984 (boys winless, girls unknown), Green River in 1980 (girls 0-20, boys unknown) and Medicine Bow in 1980 (boys 0-17, girls unknown).
By the way, this is also an opportunity to let you know that I could use your help in tracking down records to plug into wyoming-basketball.com’s annual season records lists. If you know any information that’s missing from these lists, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postscript: You want to know the other one, too, don’t you? Where both the boys and girls teams went unbeaten in the same season? That list is double the length of the winless list: Mountain View, 1977, and Snake River, 2012. And it’s not being added to in 2020.
Post updated 7:44 a.m. Feb. 21 to remove a pairing of teams from the list of possible double 0-fers.