From Volume 1, 1970-1974:
The 1971 season in class AA looked like it would be the strongest in the states long history. The reason was due to the fact that underclassmen dominated the 1970 state tournament in class AA. Of the twenty starters off the four state semi-finalist teams in 1970, only two were seniors. Of those four teams, only Hughes Springs returned to Austin. Kountze, the defending state champion lost a heart-breaker against Friendswood(25-0) in regionals 64-62 in overtime. Morton(28-4) was upset in District by Dimmitt 61-60 at the buzzer. Taft failed to make the playoffs.
In West Texas, District 3-AA was in rare form. Dimmitt and Morton were now in the same district. That meant that one of the top five teams in the state would not make the playoffs each year. In their first encounter of the season, Morton beat the Bobcats 60-58 and with it won the first half of District. In the rematch, Dimmitt defeated the Indians 76-53 to take the 2nd round of District. The District playoff game in 3-AA was set at South Plains College Coliseum in Levelland. Dimmitt’s record was 29-2 and Morton’s came in at 28-3. The Bobcats losses had come at the hands of a very talent Phillips team 64-58 in the Plainview tournament and of course Morton in District action. The Indians losses were to Ralls by one point, Levelland by 2 points and Dimmitt in District. Morton, as previously mentioned, returned their entire squad from their state semi-finalist team of the year before. Coach Cleveland of Dimmitt felt like he had his finest team in the ten years he had been with the Bobcats. Ralls awaited the winner in Bi-District. Ralls had defeated Morton in the Caprock Tournament and lost to Dimmitt in the finals 74-66.
Dimmitt was lucky and good at the same time, as junior, Danny Ebeling hit a shot with 3 seconds remaining to give the Bobcats a 61-60 win. The Bobcats had worked for the last shot and had been instructed to try and get the ball in the hands of Kent Bradford, but he was being triple teamed by Morton on the inside. Controversy arose when with 38 seconds remaining in the game, Morton’s George Pritchett hit a 12-footer to put the Indians up 62-59, but the referee had called traveling before he hit the basket. The Morton fans were obviously very upset. Max Newman had 19 points and 9 rebounds for Dimmitt, followed by Bradford with 18. Bradford was smothered the entire game and had limited opportunities. Ebeling finished with 11 points. Morton was led by Terry Harvey with 24 points with Pritchett and Elton Patton both hitting 10 points apiece. The 30-2 mark was the best record Coach Cleveland’s teams had enjoyed at Dimmitt, and Morton finished out of the playoffs at 28-4.