The woman who held Cambridge High School scoring average records has passed away. Born in 1933, Clara Mae Catron Graham died earlier this summer on June 5.
Her adopted son, Dennis Luellen, sent word of her death to the newspaper and said his mother spoke often and fondly of her youth in Cambridge and of her basketball days for Cambridge High School in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Utilizing the new online search engine for the Nevada Journal archives, clips of her scoring achievements were confirmed. A few examples follow:
From the Saturday, Dec. 10, 1949, sports page:
Maxwell and Cambridge waged a dog-eat-dog battle in the girls’ game here last night with Maxwell finally winning 51-48 after trailing throughout the game by one or two points…Clara Catron…scored 20 points for the losing Cambridge team.
From the Jan. 4, 1950, sports page:
In a preliminary contest, the Cambridge high school girls defeated the alumni 30-29 in overtime. The score was deadlocked at 27 at the end of regular playing time. Clara Mae Catron hit 21 for the winners.
From the Feb. 11, 1950, sports page:
In a loss to Huxley, “Clara Mae Catron hit 19 for Cambridge.”
From the Friday, Nov. 24, 1950, sports page:
Headline: Catron gets 33; and then the write-up: Clara Catron, Cambridge forward, dumped in 33 points as she and her teammates outclassed the Hawkettes, 53-38. Sheryl Jennings, Slater sophomore, supplied the bulk of the visitors’ tallies with 26.
From the March 29, 1950, sports page:
Second Team choices for the South Story Conference included Clara Mae Catron of Cambridge…
An article shared by Luellen that is photographed with this story outlined some of Catron’s most impressive scoring information. It was written by Des Moines Tribune Sports Editor Jack North.
North writes: “Clara Catron, the Cambridge High senior, has scored 152 points in her first five basketball games this season for an average of 30… She tallied 4o points against Collins, 35 against Shipley, 33 against Slater, 26 against Milford Consolidated and 18 against McCallsburg.”
Her height, which was far greater than her other teammates and six inches taller than her high school coach, obviously worked to her advantage. In pictures, she could quickly be picked out as the tallest, and was often put in the center of any team photos.
Her son said she married John Luellen in 1951 just before he shipped out for Okinawa. “They were married for 12 years, lived in California and Oregon where they had my sister and adopted me,” he said.
Later, his mother left John and moved to Texas to live with her older sister. There, she met and married a furniture store owner, and they were married for about 25 years. “She got the furniture store in the divorce and ran it until she retired in 2004. In 2007, I moved her closer to me (to Pampa, Texas),” he said.
Graham’s son described her as a very competitive woman, who loved golf as much as she had loved basketball, and was also a fierce card player.
A memorial service for Graham is being held Sept. 1 at the Pampa (Texas) Country Club from 6:30-8 p.m. Anyone who knew her is invited and encouraged to share their “Clara” stories.