Basketball 1961-1962

Written by Robert Ittner

The year 1961-1962 dawned with great promise although the squad only returned 2 letterman-me and Warren Lynn and no starters. Coming up from the undefeated B team were 6’8” James (Long Tall Sally-so named after the Little Richard song) , Joe Sanchez, Dwain White, and underclass man Scotty Gilmour.  On the B team the year before Coach Spears labelled Dwain White and Ken Hancock the “Gold Dust Twins” because they had dyed their hair peroxide blonde to go with their cavalier attitudes.   In the Odessa tournament early in the year we lost in 5 OT’s to the Lubbock Westerners when Jimmy Fullerton hit a shot from the corner at the buzzer when we missed a free throw. We had beaten them earlier in their own gym. We also lost to Abilene in Abilene at the buzzer with a Virgil Pate shot after hammering them at home.

We were 1 and 1 with Lubbock Monterey who went to State and led San Angelo who won State by 10 at home only to lose by a couple the first game of district. Later we traveled to San Angelo and lost by two when one of our players missed a lay-up at a critical juncture. San Angelo was led by All State Minton White a terrific athlete who I played with at UT. We had hoped  Mike King would come out who was also was a tremendous athlete. He hurt his shoulder in football and was never the same. Several guys who would have helped us Mike Goslin, Don Patteson, and Jimmy McCelland went to Lee. I know for sure they all regretted not being able to play for Coach Todd. We finished 21-7 and 3rd in district behind San Angelo and Odessa who we split with. Sally Adams was All-District and all of the rest of us were All-District Honorable Mention. Close but no cigar-a phrase given new meaning by Monica Lewinsky.  Eva Kelley was Basketball Sweetheart. George Cason and Cliff Hardwick (the political analyst) were our managers. Doc Dodson ever positive was the trainer. Warren and I were Co-Captains. Mary Hardie, Nugent Basher, Jay Brim, Lynn Stoltenberg, Bonnie Evans and Z Helmer were cheerleaders. 

Sally went to Texas Tech on scholarship and played one year. I would have gone to Tech if they offered me a scholarship-I listened to all of their games on the radio and Coach Todd would take us to see a game or two every year. When they were recruiting Sally they brought me up and introduced us at half time along with Randy Matson who was a junior at Pampa and already man-sized. He later went to A&M and won the shot put at the Olympics as well as playing basketball for them. I thought my basketball career was over.  Jimmy Viramontes assistant basketball coach at UT had seen me play in the Caprock Tournament where I made All Tournament. He visited with Coach Todd who had sent Mike Humphrey and Charlie Dishman to UT and upon Coach Todd’s recommendation they offered me a one year “make good” scholarship with half scholarship the other three years. After my freshman year they extended the scholarship another year. I was redshirted for most of my sophomore year but when they burned the redshirt they extended the scholarship for the remaining two years. What’s in the water? I just kept going. 

17 thoughts on “Basketball 1961-1962

  1. jmcelligottohswestcom April 27, 2020 / 10:28 am

    Yep Bobito aka the Big ITT you definitly drank a lot of the water and it shows even today in your writing. Hope to see you this summer since my grandson wedding will now be in August. Will wear my rain suit this time. Starman

  2. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:45 am

    Ron Peavy, 1961

    Wonderful memories Bob. The names, places and events remind me of how great MHS was to all of us. Even though I was in California in 61-62, I kept up with the Bulldogs. Didn’t coach Todd or Doc refer to James as a “tall drink of water” at times?

    These were all GREAT guys and great times.

  3. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:46 am

    Bob Ittner

    Doc referred to Sally as a tall drink of water!

  4. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:46 am

    Wood Bill

    I was a sophomore when you guys were seniors. I was on the JV after football season. Each time time you guys played Odessa High Coach Todd had me play that Odessa point guard that dribbled a lot and shot from what would have been way beyond 3 point lines later. Warren Lynn would guard me and would just look at Coach Todd every time I would launch one. It was a lot of fun… especially since Todd and Spears were wanting me to do it. They would not have been happy with me if I did that just being me. What was that Odessa guy’s name?

  5. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:47 am

    Wood Bill

    Malaise sounds right… not sure about Dubby. I think I remember her…. went to Tech .?.

  6. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:48 am

    Bob Ittner

    1. Dubby Malaise. He dropped 52 on us in Gregory Gym after we beat them in Lubbock my senior year.


    3. Beyond the arc: Dub Malaise, Mounting injuries, Billy …
    Jan 25, 2018 · Dub Malaise was a 5’11 guard from Odessa, TX and played for Tech from 1964-66. The achievements for Dub were plentiful during his playing career. One …

    * Author: Mitch Bradshaw

  7. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:49 am

    Ron Peavy, 1961

    During the 60-61 season, we played Odessa in the Odessa Christmas Tournament. I played quite a bit that night because Ross Lynn was either in foul trouble or his bad knee kept him on the bench. I had the dubious honor of guarding (or was it watching) Dub score 36 points–that may have been in the 1st half.

    Royce must have played with Dub at TT……

    Good stuff!

  8. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:49 am

    Ron Peavy, 1961

    Wasn’t Dub’s dad the coach of Odessa High–at least while Dub was playing?

  9. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:50 am

    Bob Ittner

    Yes, I think his father retired after Dub graduated.

  10. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:50 am

    Dennis “Wemus” Grubb

    DUB MALAISE….graduated from Odessa High, went to Tech and was an outstanding player for the Tech basketball team. I believe his dad was a coach as well.

  11. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:51 am

    James Adams

    Yes, his dad was his high school coach. Dub also had a cousin who played but I think it was at Permian.

  12. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:51 am

    Don Patteson

    Jimmy, you may remember this. Our junior year at LHS, the Lee gym was not yet ready for our home games for some period of time, so we played in the MHS gym for several games. One of those I remember well – our first to face Odessa High (and Dub Malaise) as a new team, under a new coach. We played a box and one defense, with one man guarding Dub man-to-man and that poor soul was me! I had seen Dub play (he was the West Texas Pete Maravich) and I was pretty nervous about defending him. It was a foregone conclusion that he would get his points – my job was to hold him down as much as possible. By the time I fouled out (also a foregone conclusion) midway through the third quarter, he only had 13 points. He finished the game with 37 points (or thereabouts). Holding him to 13 points through two and half quarters was one of the highlights of high school basketball for me. Everyone was happy that 1962 was his senior year.

  13. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:53 am

    Don Patteson

    Me too. I have such fond memories of him, both as a coach and as a math teacher. He was an excellent teacher in both areas. I later coached 11 – 12 year old boys basketball. I loved Coach Todd’s fast break drill and I used a simplified version of it coaching those youngsters. Most of the other coaches in the league taught old school basketball, but we played an up tempo game and blew them all out of the water. Fun times that I can attribute to many of the things Coach Todd taught us.

    But he could be sneaky. Bob’s story of Coach Todd telling Bob about how well Boots Reeder was doing reminded me of a conversation I had with him. I was thinking about continuing with football because of Coach Callahan’s influence on me at San Jacinto, but Coach Todd told me if I wanted to play basketball at MHS I would have to give up football. That was an easy decision – basketball was my love. However, I realized he snookered me when Knox Nunnally and Carl Schriener showed up after football season was over. Coach Todd led me to a great decision for me.

    I remember early on at Lee, we were all excited about the new school, new facilities, new everything. Several of us worked out regularly at the YMCA that summer in preparation for the new basketball coach. It didn’t take long for some of us to really miss Coach Todd and his gentle toughness.

  14. What's in the Water October 13, 2020 / 11:53 am

    Ron Peavy, 1961

    Well stated James and Don. There is no doubt Coach Todd has been one of the greatest influences in my life–as a human being, a basketball coach and a math teacher… the phrase, “gentle toughness”.

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