Sports Legends this Saturday at Gregg County Historical Museum
Jul 24, 2013 | 3381 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We have Pine Tree Basketball Coach Rex Ray and some of his players coming to the Gregg County Historical Museum from 11-2 this Saturday.

Rick Dowdle, now Pine Tree coach,

Led school to only state title

3-A, Pine Tree (Longview)

Pine Tree defeated Lamesa, 45-38, in the final & Rockport-Fulton, 56-50, in the semi-final at the state tournament. The Pirates finished the year at 30-2 and qualified for state with regional victories over Silsbee, 52-46, and Taylor, 67-60. Pine Tree’s 6-point semi-final win over 25-3 Rockport-Fulton was highlighted by the Pirates’ tough defense including 13 blocks by its two big men, Glynn Hughes and Chuck Smith. The Pirates won the final over Lamesa despite shooting only 27% from the field and losing its leading scorer and rebounder to fouls after playing only 8 minutes. The Pine Tree “clinging” defense “swarmed” over the 30-4 Lamesa team forcing 33 turnovers including 3 steals by Randy Stringer and 2 by Lindsay Sneed in the 4th quarter. Neither team led by more than 5 points during the game.

Pine Tree won the 1973 state title in its only appearance (thru 2006) in a state final (and first appearance at the state tournament). By contrast, finalist Lamesa has made 8 appearances in the state finals winning state titles in 1960, 1967 and 1975. Rex G. Ray of SFA was the 1973 Pine Tree championship coach.

The 1973 Pine Tree players were: 21 Rick Dowdle, 6’1” Jr; 31 Don Hawkins, 5’11” Jr; 41 Glynn Hughes, 6’5” Sr; 51 Lee Kesterson, 6’3” Sr; 33 Tom Panter, 6’1” Sr; 55 Chuck Smith, 6’3” Jr; 35 Lindsay Sneed, 5’11” Sr; 53 Robert Sparkman, 6’7” Sr; 13 Kevin Stagner, 5’9” Jr; 25 Randy Stringer, 5’7” Sr; 23 Richard Stringer, 5’7” Sr; 15 Gary Wakefield, 5’9” Sr; and 11 Buddy Woolley, 6’0” Sr.

Pine Tree was led on the year by 6’5” Sr Glynn Hughes at 13.0 ppg; 6’1” Jr Rick Dowdle at 10.0; and 5’7” Sr Richard Stringer at 9. Dowdle led Pine Tree in the final with 17 points and Stringer added 8. Lamesa was led in the final by Jr Kent McCurley with 14 points and by his brother, Sr Harry McCurley, with 12 points. Dowdle led the Pirates in the semi-final with a season-high 23 points and Hughes had 10 points & 16 rebounds. Rockport (25-2) was led by 6’7” Sr Steve Mayes with 20 points.

The 1973 3-A All State Tournament Team included 6’1” Jr Rick Dowdle and 6’5” Sr Glynn Hughes of Pine Tree; 6’4” Jr Kent McCurley and 6’1” Sr Harry McCurley of Lamesa; 6’2” Sr Robert Rice of Waco Jefferson-Moore; and6’6” Sr Steve Mayes of Rockport-Fulton. Three Pine Tree boys----Glenn Hughes, Richard Stringer & Rick Dowdle—were named all-state in 1973 & Dowdle was named again in 1974.

Rick Dowdle played basketball at Tyler JC and SFA; Kevin Stagner at LeTourneau and at Northwestern (LA); & Glynn Hughes at SFA. Randy Stringer played golf at Paris JC and ETSU; Richard Stringer played baseball at Paris JC and Baylor; Buddy Woolley played baseball at Baylor; and Don Hawkins played football at S. ARK State where he still holds the career rushing record. In 2007 Rick Dowdle was the basketball coach at Pine Tree; Don Hawkins was a chemical engineer; Glynn Hughes, a neurosurgeon; Glynn Hughes and Tom Panter were school administrators; & Lindsay Sneed and Kevin Stagner were in real estate. Several remained in the Longview area. All but one member of the team attended the state tournament in 1988 (as one of the 25th anniversary honor teams.

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