Record: 42-14, won American Conference
Midwest Division of 17-team league, although franchise in Bakersfield,
Calif., folded in midseason.
Playoffs: Won first-round best-of-three series with final-game
road win at Birmingham, but lost two straight at home to Saunders
and new rival La Crosse to lose best-of-five conference final.
leaders: Anthony Bowie 20.7, Barry Mitchell 20.1, Tony
Harris 16.9, Steve Scheffler 14.9.
leaders: Mitchell 8.6, Bowie 7.6, Scheffler 7.5.
leaders: Wynder 7.1, Mitchell 4.9.
in review: For 13 games, Dan Panaggio was
threatening to become the only unbeaten head coach in basketball
an MVP season from Mitchell, Thunder Dan and his crew kept the
hammer down. In addition to the 13-0 start, the Thunder had three
six-game win streaks that year en route to the best record in
franchise history. They needed it, too. Despite a record that
was five games better than any of the three other division champs,
the Thunder nipped Saunders and the ’Birds by just 21/2
quarter points for the Midwest Division title. ... Saunders,
now the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach, had the last laugh,
winning the American Conference final en route to a league title.
... Panaggio shared the first of three Coach of the Year awards
with his La Crosse rival and, on Feb. 15, Dan won the first father-vs.-son
coaching matchup in pro sports history after an “unretired” Mauro
became head coach at Rockford in midseason.