The Miami Trace Panthers are recognizing a host of former basketball teams during this, the final season of the Panther Pit.
On Saturday, the honoring went forward, in spite of the game between the Miami Trace Panthers and Dayton Stivers Tigers being played in the Miami Trace Middle School due to an electrical issue at the high school.
Saturday, during halftime of the varsity game, the 1966-67 and 1968-69 teams were recognized.
Four members of the 1966-67 team and three members of the 1968-69 team were on hand.
The following was provided by the Miami Trace Athletic Department:
The 1966-67 team was led by co-captains Carl Gatewood and David Bihl.
Four other seniors joined Gatewood and Bihl as contributors — Jim Creamer, Mike Henry, Jack Bakenhaster and Ron Reiber.
Underclassmen on the team included Bob (Goose) Thornberry, Phil Bihl, Ed Summers, Jay Cotterill, Danny Hoppes and Bobby Jones.
The 1966-67 team was the first in school history to go undefeated in South Central Ohio League play. The team finished with an overall record of 17-4 and, in addition to being SCOL champs, they also earned a Sectional title with victories over Chillicothe and Lancaster.
During the course of the season, the Panthers earned a pair of victories over Washington boys scores of 63-45 and 84-59.
In capturing the Sectional title, the Panthers avenged a loss earlier in the season to Chillicothe. In the District semifinal game, the Panthers took on Portsmouth and saw their season end with a 57-53 loss to the Trojans.
The team was coached by head coach Delmar Mowery and assisted by John Bernard.
The 1966-67 Panthers represented themselves well in the tournament and through their efforts the first Gold Basketball was placed in the trophy case, a standard for future teams to try and accomplish.
Jay Cottrill, David Bihl, Mike Henry and Dan Hoppes were in attendance Saturday night, as was assistant coach John Bernard and on behalf of their father, Delmar Mowery, were Steve Mowery and Karen Mowery Evans.
The 1966-67 gold ball was not lonely for long as the 1968-69 Panthers cagers also accomplished this feat.
The 1968-69 Panthers were 16-5 overall and finished undefeated in the South Central Ohio League.
In addition, they also earned a Sectional championship with wins over Sheridan and Lancaster.
This team was led by a group of six seniors: Eddie Thompson, Eddie Bonzo, Jack Waddle, who was Honorable Mention, All-SCOL and Third Team, All-District; Don Bennett, who was Second Team, All-SCOL and Honorable Mention, All-District; Larry Ankrom, who was Second Team, All-SCOL and Second Team, All-District and Chuck Weaver, who was First Team, All-SCOL, First Team, All-District, Honorable Mention, All-Ohio and Honorable Mention Prep All-Ohio.
This group of seniors were joined by underclassmen Steve Bihl, David Dunn, Steve Huffman, Dale Reno, Tom Gifford and Marty Jones.
The Panthers were once again coached by head coach Delmar Mowery.
The Panthers defeated in-town rival Washington by scores of 90-52 and 61-54 during the 1968-69 season. The Panthers lost their District semifinal game to Marietta, 62-51. With the conclusion of their season, a second gold ball was placed in the trophy case alongside the one earned two years before.
Steve Huffman, Dale Reno and Tom Gifford were on hand Saturday night representing the 1968-69 Panthers team.
Sports editor Chris Hoppes contributed to this report.
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