This Saturday during the class 3A State Basketball Championships in Gilbert, members of the 1964 Globe Tiger Basketball team will be recognized for their win over the Winslow Bulldogs 50 years ago to take home the trophy in the State Championship that year. It is the 50th anniversary of their win and we recently sat down with team members George McBride and Dave Franquero to talk about that magical year.
“Our strategy was two passes and a layup,” says George McBride. “And we averaged 80 points a game that season.”
At the time Globe had won just three other State championships over 45 years, beginning with 1921 when Coach Vickery and the Globe Tigers became the first Arizona State Championship Basketball team in history. Coach Kenny Troutt took State again in 1957 and then under the strong coaching of John Pavlich, the Tigers won both the 1960 and 1964 State Championships.
Pavlich, who coached both football and basketball at Globe was legendary as a coach.
“We once left a player on the sidewalk because he was thirty second late to the bus,” says McBride. “Coach Pavlich was just that way. He was tough and you learned to play by his rules….but we respected him for that.”
Most of the players, that made up the team that year, had had walked off the football field on a Saturday and onto the basketball court and their first game of the season four days later. “Most of our guys played all three sports including football, basketball and baseball or track,” explained McBride.
“We had a lot of athletic guys..and were were training – or playing- if we weren’t in school.
That’s also the way it was then.
“Most of us had played together since 8th grade,” says Dave Franquero, “and some of us went back to 5th grade and youth league.”
The team that won that year knew each other well as friends and players on the court. learning how to work together as a team over the years. It would be the depth of the team talent which would be a deciding key in the Championship game where four of the starters got into foul trouble early on.
Despite the loss of these starters, Coach Pavlich was able to draw from an excellent bench of capable players and keep up the pressure on the Winslow Bulldogs.
First off the bench was always Terry Kitcheyan and in the Championship game he saw a lot of time on the court as he worked to cover Issac Bonds the lead scorer of the Winslow Bulldogs. Dave Franquero, a guard for the Tigers, developed shin splints during the final season and gave up his position to Ken Dzera who proved to be excellent in that position.
Pavlich told his players that the game is won or lost in the fourth quarter so he made sure his guys were in top shape and had enough juice to keep up the pressure in a full court press to the very last second of the game. The Tigers had a running game from the start to the finish which consisted mainly of two passes and a layup. It worked.
Their last game was against arch rival Winslow who they had beat earlier in the season by a ten point margin. The Championship that year was held in the Agua Fria gym and over 2000 people attended. Others had to be turned away at the door.
The Winslow team, lead by Issac Bonds who would go on to make All American was a tough competitor. Bonds was all over the court and lethal when he had the ball in his hands.
Coach Pavlich told his team, “We can’t stop him (Bonds). He is going to make his points. But we can stop everyone else on the court.
The Globe Tigers won 84-77.
“Versatility is what won it for us,” Pavlich was quoted as saying. That and the ‘best eight players in the state.’
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