Bradley’s First State Basketball Champions, 1962

As mentioned in the previous post, Bradley has had six senior girls basketball teams win the state championship.  The very first of those was the senior girls of 1962, pictured below in the old gymnasium.  Incidentally, 1961–1962 was the last basketball season for the old gymnasium.

1962 Bradley Yearbook 048-1 B

From left to right:  Earlene Williamson, Patsy Collier, Linda Lamar, Ginger Hamner, Loretta Thompson, Eddie Adkins, Patsy Morgan, Mary Alice Milloway, Marlene Umphries, Pat Givens, and Coach Leo Johnson.  Diane Higdon does not appear in this photo.

In those days, the Lafayette County Tournament was still an annual event, and Bradley defeated Lewisville, 54–35, in the finals of that tournament.  In what was then called the Regional Tournament, held at Genoa Central, Bradley defeated Lewisville, 28–25, and Bright Star, 60–46.  They won the District 7–West Tournament by first defeating Kirby, then defeating Saratoga, 43–27, and Mineral Springs, 59–45.

The Senior Girls won the State Tournament, held in Parkin, by defeating the host Parkin team, 47–38, in the finals.  Diane Higdon Fletcher remembers that the semifinal game was difficult and close, although she is not certain who the opponent was.

Shown below are the State Tournament All-Tournament team, on the court at Parkin after the final game. The four Bradley players selected, Ginger Hamner, Marlene Umphries, Diane Higdon and Linda Lamar are in uniform just to the right of the center of the picture.  The players in uniform on the left side of the picture, one of whom is quite tall, are from Parkin.

1962 Bradley Yearbook 130-1 A

Shown below are some of the members of the team after they arrived home, with the state championship trophy.  The car has obviously been labeled with the word “champs.”

1962 Bradley Yearbook 129-1

According to the 1962 Bradley High School Yearbook, players selected for recognition were:

All-Regional:  Marlene Umphries, Eddie Adkins.

All-District:  Ginger Hamner, Diane Higdon.

All-State:  Marlene Umphries, Ginger Hamner, Diane Higdon, Linda Lamar.

Finally, below is a photo of forward Ginger Hamner working the edge of the free-throw lane in a game in the old gym.  In this age of digital photography, that old gym would have been an amateur photographer’s dream for taking basketball action shots!

1962 Bradley Yearbook 131-1 A

UPDATE 2/25/09:  The above photo was taken by James Drake for the 1962 school yearbook.  He writes:  “This photo was first published in the 1962 Bear Yearbook.  The photo was made with a Rolicord camera with flash while standing on the stage during the 1962 championship season.  Notice the basketball.  That was pure luck and that was why it was chosen for the yearbook.”  Maybe it was luck, James, but that’s an excellent photo!

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