DES MOINES — Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena Newton Senior High School’s 1964 Cardinal basketball team will be honored. Newton had the final back-to-back — 1963 and 1964 — single-class basketball champions in tournament history. Iowa went to a multi-class structure in 1967.
The NHS 1963 team was honored last year, now it’s the 1964 team’s turn at the 2014 Iowa boys state basketball tournament in Des Moines.
Six players returned to Newton from the 1962-63 team, which went undefeated and won the state championship. They were Sonny Johnson, Fred George, Dennis Williams, Larry Lust, Dave Lister and Dave Bennett, plus NHS head coach Lewis “Buzz” Levick was back.
They helped guide the 1963-64 squad back to the state tournament. Other members of the team that year were Dave Warrick, Gary Northrup, Jim Hale, Bob Loar, Steve Jones, Jim Smith, Randy Mills, Bob Mahon, Dave Nicol, and assistant coach John Cowley.
In the 1964 state tournament, the Cardinals defeated Atlantic, 58-43, in the quarterfinals, then dispatched Wahlert Catholic of Dubuque 63-56 in the semifinals. The Cardinals were right back where they were a year before — the state championship game.
Newton claimed its second consecutive state basketball championship with a 44-39 victory over Cedar Rapids Jefferson. The 1964 state champions were 23-3.