Remembering the B to honor Ilwaco, Naselle and Washington basketball

Author Jim Stinson recalls the history of the state B level basketball - including Ilwaco and Naselle - in his new book.

KLIPSAN BEACH — “I wrote a book and then I became engrossed in the story. Usually it’s the other way around,” Jim Stinson said as he visited Klipsan Beach May 1 to glean ideas for his second book about state B basketball history. Every team and every player from Adna to Zillah and prominently including Ilwaco and Naselle will be in Stinson’s latest offering, Remembering the B.

Stinson wrote Tournament Fever in 1975, the best-selling book strictly devoted to high school sports in the State of Washington. Tournament Fever is about every class B basketball tournament ever played from 1931 until 1975, and there are photographs from diminutive gyms all around the state and feature stories about teams, coaches, and players. Stories and facts are taken from local newspapers and from Washington Interscholastic Activities Association records.

“I was 37 years old when I wrote my first book and now I have really become interested in the state B basketball tournament. Remembering the B has turned into a labor of love and is quite a project,” Stinson says.

Remembering the B will be “coffee table” size and at least 400 pages. It will have hundreds of pictures from as far back as the first tournament and will feature every mascot of the 204 boys’ and 103 girls’ teams to play at the B tournament from 1931 to 2010. All 12,986 boys and girls who competed and every game they ever played will be documented school-by-school in Remembering the B. All 2,622 games will be included and box scores and original newspaper mastheads, including the Chinook Observer, will appear in the 68 boys’ and 33 girls’ state championship stories.

Remembering the B will have 18 chapters and will be divided as rules changed the game or as the girls’ game became a part of the state B experience. The inside and back cover pages include all of the state tournament programs from 1931 to 2010 when the WIAA changed the tournament format. There will be poems, coach and player features, and stories about the draw for seeding, the announcers, and the medical staff.

All-tournament teams, the top 10 statistic leaders, and feature stories will be highlights of the most definitive book ever written about high school basketball in Washington. Stories about Dennis Oman and Ken Sugarman and the 1959 Ilwaco championship team, Naselle legend Lyle Patterson, Ed “Bull” Tenoski of Valley, and Bertha and Don Koplitz of South Bend will be featured.

Don, Dale, and Michelle Wiitala were first-team all-state selections from Naselle and they will have a special section as will the 1969 Comets team that scored 149 points against Quinault. Other Southwest Washington standouts such as Gary Goble of Toutle Lake and LaVerne and Virgil Simmons, who coached at Darrington and Kalama will also be among the dozens and dozens of players and coaches featured.

Remembering the B will be out in November, just in time for basketball season and Christmas. It will cost $39.95 and Stinson is asking for anyone with suggestions for items to be included in Remembering the B to contact him. He is also trying to figure how many copies he will have printed so if you are interested in one or more books, Stinson can be contacted at 509-474-9345 or 509-721-0258 or by emailing jimstinson42@gmail.com.

Jim Stinson’s mailing address in 1218 E. 30th, #12, Spokane, WA 99203. “I don’t want the history of the tournament to die. The B tournament in Spokane will always be a part of me and of so many people. That’s what this book is all about, those memories,” Stinson concludes.

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