TWO OF THE best teams in the history of high school basketball in the Kanawha Valley were the Charleston High Mountain Lion teams in the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons. Under the direction of Lou Romano, those teams won back-to-back AAA state titles, defeating Parkersburg 76-56 in 1973 and Logan 81-74 in 1974.
Last weekend, one of the starters on the 1974 team, Curtis Cabell, passed away in Urbana, Ohio. The starting lineup in 1974 was Lowell Harris and Ameche Watson at guards, Cabell and Sam Brooks at forward and Mike Jones at center. John Britton was the sixth man.
All went on to play college basketball. Cabell and Mike Jones both signed with Gale Catlett and Cincinnati, Brooks signed with Louisville, Harris with Kings College in Tennessee, Watson with West Virginia Tech and Britton with Akron.
Cabell was a junior high phenom at Dunbar. His mother taught at Charleston High and he went to Charleston Catholic to play as a sophomore. He then transferred to Charleston High but had to sit out his junior season of 1972-73. He then took the place of graduated Dennis Harris the next year as the Mountain Lions won another state title
"Curt was an incredible leaper and athlete," recalled Watson this week. "He was also a very skilled player and had a great mid-range jumper. He was also one of the nicest guys you would ever meet.
"I do recall one funny incident from his time at Cincinnati. Coach Catlett put him in a game against Louisville and when Curt went to the scoring table he was so excited that he pulled too hard on his warm-up pants. The warm-up up pants and his shorts both came down, leaving Curt's backside exposed. After that, folks at Cincinnati started calling him Reverend Moon after Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a national figure in the news at that time."
Those Charleston teams will not be forgotten by many area fans. Here's hoping Curtis Cabell will be remembered today.