We started out 0-3. We probably started out 0-3
because one the coaching was probably lousy but also the first three
games we played I think we played very tough teams. They were good
teams and I know that Aberdeen went to the State meet. I don’t think
Hoquiam did because Aberdeen beat them, but they were just excellent
Another reason why we didn’t do so well was because
we just weren’t ready to play. If you look at them; Welling played
football, Kravitz was a football player, Sayers played football, Busby
played football, Miller was a football player, Sokolowsky was our
quarterback and Gallagher played too and so what we had were kids that
weren’t quite in the shape and were making that transition from the
field to the floor. It took them about three or four games before they’d
get their feet under them. Not only that, I think that was maybe the
first time that we beat West or something in football. When you come off
of something like that, the kids quite often thought of basketball as a
second sport and that’s where we were. I thought of basketball as a
first sport and so there was not quite the interest that you get later
on when the kids seem to be getting into it.
The league included Shelton at that time. Shelton
was kind of like Bainbridge is now. They’d come and they’d go according
to what they think is best for them; not what is best for the league.
Besides Shelton, we had West, Central, Port Angeles, South and North. We
finished 13-5 in the regular season. Besides the first three games we
also lost to Central twice. That was discouraging. We usually didn’t
lose to them, but Central was just starting to get really good. They
built up to where in a couple of years they won state. There was a four
way tie for the league title, so we had to play NK again to move on to
play the winner of South and Central. We had beaten NK twice during the
regular season, but weren’t able to do it this time. We wanted another
shot at Central.
We had two close games with West that year, 59-56
and 58-56, almost identical scores. We won them both. I’d get
emotionally involved with those games and then also it was an extremely
rabid crowd; I mean you didn’t want to give them a test for distemper or
anything because they were all crazy and so you’d get all involved and I
remember in one of these games; one of the kids forgot his shoes and I
had to go back over to East High School to get the shoes; well when I
came back; it was about 6:30 and they wouldn’t let me in the gym because
they were not only in the gym at West; they were up looking through the
skylights up there and I didn’t even know how to get up there to the
skylights but you could see the kids poking their heads through the
windows up there so it was a pretty wild affair.
The starters were Steve Steinman, Morrie Miller,
Dave Sayers, Allan Martin and I think Bruce Welling. Phil Busby was in
there but this team was not as set as some of them were because the
starters at the start weren’t the starters at the end. Busby was
probably the toughest and Martin was a shooter. There were other kids
that worked in there and could have played extremely…extremely well
so…it was enjoyable. Larry Gallagher had worked his way in there, he
was a player, small, good presser. We pressed all the time. Keith
Gundlefinger got hurt pretty badly yet he came back and played extremely
well. He was a great shooter and ended being our leading scorer.
The tallest kid we had on the team was Brad Albro.
He was not a starter but he was a good player. Albro developed into a
reasonable help and he was a good player at times. If you take Albro out
of the equation, we didn’t have tremendous amount of height. And if
they put down what their height was, they usually lied. By the time it
got down through one of my secretaries who would type some of these
things up, sometimes the kids grew. Then we had some unusual kids. We
had Al Kravitz who was more of a football player than a basketball
player but he loved to play. We had two Martins on the team, two
brothers. Beside Alan we also had Jim Martin. Jim and Mel Sokolowsky
really didn’t get a chance to play all that much, but contributed when
they did. It was just an interesting group of kids. I didn’t expect an
awful lot but they played extremely well.
When we played Hoquiam and Aberdeen, we stayed over
night. I booked this hotel that we used to stay in when Bremerton used
to play way back when. Nobody told me that it had turned into a house
of ill repute. The kids found out real quick and I had a devil of a
time; they were laughing and yelling all over the floor but we didn’t
get arrested and we got out of there. Aberdeen had a kid named Vlastolik
I think at the time; he was a great player and Hoquiam was not a really
great team but they played in a really old gymnasium and that has
nothing to do with the score but the reason we lost. The kids hadn’t
been on a trip like that before. This was an overnighter; which was
very different for them and so I found out they weren’t good travelers.
I think they missed their moms, maybe there were too many moms running
around down there. So we never did anymore overnight trips.
But I always said that when we went to play
Aberdeen this time, that if you put all the balls in the middle of the
floor; they would all roll down to Aberdeen’s side because they were
big; they were monstrous guys and they probably outweighed our kids 30
pounds to a man and they were men and our kids were boys. So we were
playing the boys against the men and we lost.
Everyone played on this team. There wasn’t that
much difference between any one of them. They were just lots of kids
who could play the game and so that’s why we pressed and ran all over
the floor because we could get a lot of kids in there. They were a good
team; a lot of fun.