SI Vault
Joe Jares
December 23, 1968
Two guys had this idea—stage a basketball tournament in San Francisco. They very nearly failed, but Santa Clara came to the rescue by brutalizing highly esteemed Houston and remaining undefeated
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December 23, 1968

A Classic Win To The Broncos

Two guys had this idea—stage a basketball tournament in San Francisco. They very nearly failed, but Santa Clara came to the rescue by brutalizing highly esteemed Houston and remaining undefeated

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Santa Clara, with Ogden, his younger brother, Ralph, and 6'9�" Center Dennis Awtrey, is pretty much the same bunch that had to open the NCAA Western Regional last season against sixth-ranked New Mexico in the Lobos' own desert-pit of a field house. They won by 13 points that night, but lost the next night to UCLA. Last weekend, the first half against Houston was as close as expected. Neither team shot well, but Bud Ogden, glued to jumping jack Taylor, and Awtrey, on Houston's 6'9" Ken Spain, were playing superlative defense. The Broncos went into the locker room at the half leading 27-24. They came back out and proceeded to blow the Cougars right into the bay.

For one thing, Houston could not have thrown a beach ball into the ocean. Forward Theodis Lee was 2 for 12 from the floor and was seldom even close. Santa Clara opened up a 10-point lead and, with Awtrey and Bud Ogden dominating the backboards, stretched it to 20 near the end of the game, when a massive fistfight almost erupted. Two players got in a wrestling match over a loose ball, and before you could say, "It's just a game, fellas," both benches had emptied, with Santa Clara Coach Dick Garibaldi leading the Bronco charge. According to Bay Area rivals, Santa Clara believes in winning the fight even if it does not win the game, but in this case it very likely would have won both. Officials managed to prevent a riot, and when the snarling died down Santa Clara continued its rugged work and won going away, 75-50.Bud Ogden finished with 22 points and Awtrey had 19, plus 20 rebounds. Houston, badly missing Hayes' turnaround jumper, made only 19 out of 68 shots.

USF edged Brigham Young in the other prelim to move into the finals with Santa Clara. USF has had a long and tightly contested rivalry with Santa Clara but on Saturday night, before a smaller crowd, the Dons were hardly in the game after the first five minutes. In one stretch, when Santa Clara went from one point ahead to nine points ahead, Bud Ogden scored all eight points, stole the ball three times and blocked one shot. He ended with 20 points and little brother Ralph had 24. On their family's garage on Walnut Grove Ave. in San Jose, there is a hoop nailed up. All the Ogden boys' one-on-one games through the years obviously have paid off. Bud was the unanimous choice for the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Even at 6'6" he should make some pro team a good forward.

"The team last year had the best record in the school's history—22 and four," said Warriors General Manager Bob Feerick, an ex- Santa Clara player and coach. "They epitomize their coach, Garibaldi—all defense, all hustle and, some of them, the hands of blacksmiths. What they could do if their three guards could shoot."

Late Saturday night everybody was about as pleased as could be expected. Santa Clara had won its second straight Classic, was 5-0 for the season and had proved its right to be among the top ten teams in the country.

And if each participating player did not have a win or a trophy to warm his heart, he at least had the official tournament souvenir, a wooden cable car lamp put together by the inmates at San Quentin. Entrepreneurs Jupiter and Santo Domingo had spent a good part of Saturday afternoon unwrapping the lamps and affixing "Cable Car Classic" metal plates on the sides.

Now, as the last spectators drifted out of Civic Auditorium and the last stat sheet was cranked out of the mimeograph machine, Harry Jupiter and Art Santo Domingo were wandering around the empty court in a kind of happy daze. Heck, they just might have made a little money, and soon it would be time to sweep out the place.

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