1970 Snohomish High School Boys
Snohomish High School’s 1969-70 state basketball championship in the first year of the Class AAA tournament still resonates among Snohomish County’s most stunning sports achievements.
Coming off their final regular season in the Northwest AA League and entering regionals as the Class AAA Northwest District’s No. 2 seed, the Panthers upended perennial state power Renton and defending state champion Ingraham to reach the Final Four at the University of Washington’s Hec Edmundson Pavilion, joining Pasco (24-0),West Seattle (21-0) and Aberdeen (22-1) in a foursome that boasted a glittering 90-3 combined record.
Snohomish then capped a 25-2 season in heart-pounding fashion by upsetting No. 2-ranked West Seattle 63-61 in the semifinals and top-ranked Pasco 53-51 in overtime for the title that sparked a hometown mardi gras of celebration.
Among Snohomish County schools in the state’s highest classification, it was the first boys state hoops crown in 30 years. It also marked a highlight in the careers of head coach Jack de Kubber and assistant coach Keith Gilbertson Sr., both previous Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame inductees.
Starters for the 1969-70 Panthers included senior co-captains Doug Love and Jerry Ingalls and the junior trio of Ben Krause, Evan Thomas and Craig Clayton. Senior sixth-man Gordon Taylor also started five games early in the season. Reserves included Randy Recor, Tom Poier, Tom Bannwarth, Bob Wahlstrom, Steve Kirstein and Mark Williams.
The 6-foot-8 Love was the team’s top scorer and rebounder for the season, and until future NBA player Jon Brockman came along in the 21st Century, Love may well have been considered the school’s most productive big man ever. Krause and Thomas blossomed during the state tournament and still rate with Love among Snohomish’s all-time best players, with Ingalls not to be ruled out of the same conversation.
Regular Season Record: 19-1
Mark Williams, Tom Poier, Evan Thomas, Ben Krause, Gordon Taylor, Bob Wahlstrom, co-captain Doug Love, Steve Kirsten, Tom Bannwarth, Craig Clayton, co-captain Jerry Ingalls, Randy Recor.
Head coach Jack deKubber, student manager Dan Griert, student trainer Rod Reed, student manager Rick Gandee, and assistant coach Keith Gilbertson Sr.