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“We’re so proud of the team and all their hard work,” Barbara Few said Tuesday afternoon. “And it’s tremendous enjoyment to watch them.”
CRESWELL – They were having a watch-party Monday night at Norm at Barbara Few’s house for the NCAA Championship Game.
It wasn’t much of a party. There was little to cheer for. Baylor cruised to an 86-70 victory over Gonzaga, which is coached by the Fews’ son, Mark.
Baylor hit an early barrage of 3-pointers and led comfortably throughout the game – in sharp contrast to the Zags’ semifinal victory over UCLA that some called the greatest college basketball game in decades.
“I kept thinking it was going to get better,” Barbara Few said. “We started to make a little bit of a comeback, but we met our match in this Baylor team. But I was so proud of our boys’ sportsmanship, especially there at the end.”
The Fews’ daughter Kathy was at the house with her two daughters, and son David was there with his two sons. “And we had lots of phone calls and texts. We had people from all over … Norm’s relatives from Minnesota and North Carolina.”
Norm and Barb talked to Mark after the loss and said he was taking it well.
“He does well, he focuses on the boys. He said he’s proud of what they accomplished. They’re such a coachable group,” Barbara said. “And like he said in his TV interview, they beat us on both ends, they were just the better team.”
Norm said, “Tomorrow will still come, and we’ll have one less loss than them, and we’ll have been to more consecutive Sweet 16s than any other team.”
Both parents were very appreciative of the city’s backing.
“Creswell has been so supportive,” Norm said. “Bill Spencer has a sign up at the (76) filling station, it’s just neat.”
Earlier this season, Gonzaga and Baylor were scheduled to meet on Dec. 5 in the Jimmy V Classic. But the game had to be canceled when one Zags player and another member of the team’s travel party tested positive for COVID-19 less than two hours before tipoff.
Few and Baylor coach Scott Drew made a pact that they would fit the game into their schedules, somehow, some way. There were so many other cancellations throughout college basketball, there was no way of making it happen.
“We both agreed on December 5th, ‘Hey, you know what? What if we met back here for the national championship?’” Drew said to CBS. “And we said, ‘Yeah, that’s a deal for sure.’”
“After everything this team went through, the pandemic, having to switch so many games, the pressure of an unbeaten season, it was unprecedented,” Barbara said.
Mark Few was a multi-sport standout at Creswell High School before graduating in 1981. That year, the Bulldogs reached the Oregon Class AA Final Four with a 24-0 record and No. 1 ranking. The team lost to LaSalle in the semifinal, 36-34, in overtime, and later lost the third-place game.
EMMA ROUTLEY/CHRONICLE PHOTO
Retired Rev. Norm Few and wife Barbara, holding a sign they made in support of son Mark’s Gonzaga basketball team, pose with two of their grandchildren, holding Mark’s photo, Tuesday afternoon in Creswell. The family watched the NCAA national title game together Monday.
CHS inducted Few into its sports hall of fame, where his framed picture and plaque still hang in the gym’s hallway.
Few has led Gonzaga, a small, private college in Spokane, Wash., to the NCAA Tournament every year he has been head coach since 1999 – an unparalleled record in the modern era. (The lone exception was last season, when COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.