Friday’s matinee, Kramer & Kramer, earned rave reviews during its Arena screening.
Point guard Scott Kramer set the early pace with 10 first-half points as baby-faced Odessa assured coach/dad Myron Kramer that his first Tigers basketball team in 24 years would reap a state trophy.
“To me, the best part was to be able to get these kids here and enjoy this tournament as a participant, rather than a ticket-buyer,” the veteran Odessa football coach said after a 62-38 loser-out win over Snohomish County Christian.
Odessa (20-10), which starts all underclassmen, will play Darrington (18-10) at noon today for fifth and eighth places at the boys State B basketball tournament.
The Tigers haven’t placed at state since 1971, when they finished third. Kramer, a guard for the Odessa teams that placed fourth in ‘59 and ‘60, last coached prep basketball in ‘73.
He did, however, coach his only child, Scott, and Scott’s friends in AAU and junior high. When the successful, 27-year Tigers football coach was given a chance to coach the high school’s basketball team as well, he took the issue to his family.
“He asked us what we thought about it, and we encouraged it,” said Scott, who teamed with junior classmate Ryan Floch for 34 points on 16-for-22 shooting from the floor to eliminate the Lions (15-14) of Mountlake Terrace.
Scott Kramer injured his shooting wrist at the District 7 tournament and has struggled to get his touch back. He had missed 14 of 15 3-point attempts in the first two state-tourney games, but hit two in the first quarter Friday to help the Tigers break away from SCC.
Myron Kramer retired from teaching this year after 32 years, although he continues to coach the football team, which has played for four State B-8 titles and won two. He also coaches Scott in a more low-key sport, golf.
“We spend all summer going to tournaments together,” said Scott, who placed 15th at last year’s State A/B tourney.
Myron and wife Marlene had Scott when Myron was closing in on his 40th birthday. Marlene, perhaps the biggest booster in Tigers history, insists on having the players over for frequent dinners and video watching.
Odessa has produced a top-notch show this year, with four juniors and one sophomore in the starting lineup. Not counting the outcome of today’s final, Odessa is the lone Class B team to defeat Valley Christian this year. The Tigers also own a win over state semifinalist Curlew.
Odessa opened state with a 50-45 loss to another semifinalist, Chief Leschi, one of tonight’s finalists. Myron Kramer wishes he had that game back, as Odessa played tentatively until the fourth quarter.
Kramer agrees that Odessa is an early state favorite for 1999.
“I think these kids will take this and run with it,” he said of the team’s state success. “There’s no doubt in my mind that with a little confidence, we would have made a run at this one.”