Forty years ago, high school basketball reigned supreme in the Mid-Columbia, and there was no hotter ticket in town than the semiannual contests between Pasco and Richland — then Columbia — high schools.
Fans would camp out in front of the host school’s gymnasium all afternoon to ensure they could get a seat for that night’s game. And nothing beat the atmosphere of game night, especially at the smaller Pasco gym.
Of course (Richland) was our biggest rival. I was sitting in class, and seeing the people gather in, just to get in line to be at that game at night, to me that was special. That was big.
Don Vaughn, Pasco High School point guard, class of ‘77
“You knew it was serious when the Bombers came to town or we went to Richland, that’s probably one of the best games in the state back in the day,” said John Mitchell Jr., a 1977 Pasco grad. “I remember, after getting out of school, that I would get off work early enough to get inside the gym. My dad, working at Hanford — Hanford people were leaving work because Richland and Pasco were playing.
“You better get there early, or else you’re not getting in.”