Vic Kohring (right) battles for a rebound against Dick Geraghty of Monroe on March 5, 1976
Anchorage Times, Saturday, March 6, 1976
Dimond Nips Monroe Rams
By Mike Granberry, Times Sports Editor
The Dimond Lynx, which began the 1975-76 season in a blaze, but suffered a mid-season tailspin, are back on top again.
The Lynx meet Ketchikan at 8:30 p.m. tonight in the finals of the state high school basketball playoffs at West High.
"I can't explain why Vic played. He
was praying about it. He's religious and
and he really wanted to pray about it.
He also really wanted to play."
- Dimond Coach Clay Dluehosh
Scoring their 20th
victory of the season last night against Monroe High School of Fairbanks, 70-68, the Lynx emerged as favorite over Ketchikan which nipped West Valley 60-59 in last night's other encounter.
the tallest team in this year's tournament, and Ketchikan Coach Robert Vincent appears concerned. His team is much shorter.
The Lynx also understand momentum, which for them has appeared a workable
concept in their drive toward the state title.
Stopping Seward 58-55 in Thursday's quarter-finals, Dimond entered last night's game with an ailing player, Vic Kohring.
Having suffered back problems recently, Kohring raised doubts over whether he would play again in the state tournament.
Not only did he play, he scored perhaps Dimond's 10 most important points,
all coming in the second half. Four of Kohring's five field goals occurred in the final period, when Dimond most needed them.
Monroe, playing only five players, stuck to its balanced scoring formula
in placing all five in double figures. Dick Geraghty, who ought to make anybody's all-tournament team, scored 16, followed by Bart Noll with 15, Rick Freese with 14, Dan Driscoll with 13 and Rick Ott with 10.
Leading Dimond were Steve Halverson with 14 and Mike Clark with 12, not to mention Kohring's contribution.
"I can't explain why Vic played," Dimond Coach Clay Dluehosh said after
the game. "He was praying about it. He's religious, and he really wanted to pray about it. He also really wanted to play. He seemed to be in pain, but said playing wouldn't bother him. He did great. He really intimidated everybody out there."
Almost from the end of the third period, which ended with Dimond leading, 48-45, the Lynx maintained the advantage. Behind Kohring, however, Dimond widened its lead to five points with one minute, one second
remaining. Mark Hanley then followed with two free throws and Dimond pulled ahead, 68-61.
By that time, Monroe was suffering offensively, and had little hope of recovery.
The Rams also appeared to be fading, since Dimond's running game and height combined for an evening of exhaustion.
"We wanted to run," Dluehosh said. "I don't think they liked to play as
fast as they played tonight. We got going, and stuck with it."
"In the first half - I don't know what it was, the jitters or something - we just couldn't put it together. Russell Moore (a Dimond guard)
came in, and gave us a lift. He seemed to ignite our offense. Tom Maraz also gave us a boost at times when we needed it."
"Really, I think everybody was pulling together tonight," he added. "It was a
positive contribution on the part of everybody. This is the way this team is."
"They seem to show a lot of care for the other guy. There's not a lot of inward competition like there is on some teams.
I think everybody, me included, has learned a lot about life this season. We've all had a good season. We've all had a lot of fun."
Also aiding Dimond were a dozen free throws. Dimond missed only one
free throw, which is slightly better than its 70 percent average.
"You know, we started off with 10 straight wins, then we hit a slump," Dluehosh said. Now, I think we're back on the track. But through
it all, our free throw shooting has been superb."
Dimond's back-on-the-track effort began this week, after a 54-52 triple-overtime loss to West in the Region IV finals last week.
The Lynx defeated Seward, an old nemesis, 58-55, in Thursday's quarter-finals. (Seward downed Wrangell 70-64 in yesterday's consolation play. The Seahawks meet West at 3:30 p.m. today in a battle for fifth place.)
All that remains for Dimond is Ketchikan, which Dluehosh believes will be "difficult."