Record: 32-24, first in American
Conference Central Division of 16-team league.
Playoffs: Beat La Crosse 3-2 in best-of-five opener for first
playoff series win; topped Omaha 4-1 in best-of-seven conference
final; lost to Wichita Falls 4-3 in best-of-seven CBA Finals.
leaders: David Henderson 26.1, Milt Wagner 23.5, Melvin
Newbern 20.5, Tony Harris 18.8.
leaders: Ron Draper 12.0, T. Tony Brown 9.8, Barry
leaders: A.J. Wynder 9.5, Stephen Bardo 4.9.
in review: The Thunder were muddling along,
just a few games above .500, when some unknown kid out of Norfolk
signed on in late January. Barry Mitchell didn’t look like
much of a player and only averaged 8.0 points in 14 regular-season
games. But his hustle was contagious and his spunk sparked a
season-ending six-game winning streak in which the Thunder averaged
134.8 points. ... Tony Harris and Milt Wagner averaged 25.1 and
21.1 points, respectively, over a 17-game postseason run that
might have ended with the Thunder’s first CBA title if
a) assist magician A.J. Wynder had not been called up to the
NBA twice during the playoffs; and b) Mitchell hadn’t been
sidelined for Game 7 in Wichita Falls after running head-on into
a basket standard while hustling the Thunder back to life in
a 100-98 Game 6 win three nights earlier. ... Midway through
the playoffs, Mauro Panaggio announced his “retirement” to
turn the team reins over to son Dan.