Southwest recognizes ’74-75 Lady Bears, February 12
SUMMIT – Under the direction of head coach Linda Harper, the 1974-75 Southwest Lady Bears basketball team put together possibly the best season in school history, finishing the year with a 23-5 overall record and finishing fourth in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) junior college national championship tournament.
In recognition of their historic season, a “Meet and Greet” for the team will be held from 3:00-5:00 on February 12th in the Memorabilia Room of the Horace C. Holmes Student Union. Team members in attendance will then be introduced to fans attending the Southwest/Co-Lin basketball games that night.
Against in-state competition, the Lady Bears (or “Bearettes” as they were also known), compiled 21-3 record with each loss, including in the state championship game, coming against Itawamba.
The Lady Bears were one of 16 teams invited to the AIAW tournament in Vincennes, IN, where they were seeded third.
In their first game of the tournament, the Lady Bears were 75-51 winners over Luzerne (PA). The score was tied 48-48 with 13:55 left in the game before the Lady Bears closed it out with a 27-3 run. Martha Gilley hit 12 of 22 field goals and led the team with 24 points.
In their next game, the Lady Bears moved to 23-3 with a 55-41 win over Delta (MI) and moved into the semi-finals. Jane Cooper led the team with 18 points.
Unfortunately, that would prove to be the last win for the Lady Bears as they fell to Temple (TX), 58-36, in the semi-final round and to host Vincennes, 59-53, in the consolation bracket to end the season.
Gilley, a freshman guard from Ferriday, LA, was named 1st Team All-State while sophomore guard Georgette Cooper (Amite, LA) was selected 2nd Team All-State.