GIBSONTON — The Watergate scandal played out on television, newly signed Tampa Bay Ray Johnny Damon was born and the average cost of gas settled at 40 cents per gallon.
The year was 1973, and it's also the last time the East Bay boy's basketball team finished a season above .500.
Until this season.
East Bay has accomplished something that hasn't occurred at the school in nearly four decades. The Indians, regardless of what happens the rest of the year, have secured a winning season.
"It's exciting to be a part of history," senior Velson Sinord said. "We were tired of losing. You don't get any recognition when you lose."
East Bay, which opened in 1959, enters tonight's regular-season finale against Freedom with a 13-8 (as of press time) record. The Indians will recognize the accomplishment tonight at home against the Patriots. Second-year coach Billy Teeden said he started to see glimpses of the current team's potential last season.
"We were pretty competitive, and there were a lot of close games," he said. "In the off-season, these guys were in the gym and the weight room."
The history of mediocrity hasn't been lost on the players.
"(A winning season) was something we came together and talked about as a team," Sinord said. "Around school people have been talking about East Bay basketball and want to come out now."
Sinord is one of eight seniors on the roster, and the Indians have gotten a boost from leading-scorer Dario Duque (12.7 points per game), a junior transfer from Kansas. "Dario is a long, very athletic kid who has a high basketball IQ," Teeden said. "But the key to our team is how balanced we are."
Justin Green (10.6) and Sinord (10.6) also are averaging double digits in points while Mike Oggero (5.7) leads the team in rebounds, and Dillion Hunter paces the Indians with 2.7 assists per game.
Despite their success, it is a tough road for the Indians to reach the playoffs. Durant and Newsome are the class of 5A-8, and Plant City and Riverview are no slouches.
"It's a tough district," Teeden said. "I don't think anybody wants to see anybody come tournament time."