Note: This article originally appeared in the Mirror on Saturday, Jan. 30, 1971.
By Jim Lane
They’ll be talking about last night’s Altoona-Bishop Guilfoyle game for many, many years.
The city rivals went at it nose to nose for 32 minutes and neither team budged. The decision didn’t come until the final play of the game — an unbelievable last-second tip-in by Bill Moore that gave the win to the Mountain Lions, 67-65.
The Marauders appeared to have the game won with a four-point lead (65-61) and only 49 seconds to play. But, they let it slip from their grasp and Moore and Terry Acker combined to pull out the victory for AAHS.
Jaffa Mosque was filled to capacity and the 3,000-plus fans couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Guilfoyle took a 16-1 record and 10-game win streak into last night’s action. Altoona put a 13-1 mark and seven-game string on the line, not to mention their Jaffa Mosque string of 34 straight wins over a three-year span.
The Maroons, who rallied for nine points in the last minute and a half to top Pittsburgh Schenley on Tuesday, scored six markers in the final 43 seconds last night.
Acker connected from the corner to cut the BG lead to 65-63. Acker then stole the in-bounds pass and flipped the ball to Reese Piper. Piper’s shot missed, but Moore was there for the tip-in to tie the score with 32 seconds to go.
A Guilfoyle shot was off target and Galen Bickel pulled down the rebound with nine seconds left. The Lions called timeout with four seconds remaining.
When play was resumed, the Maroons got the ball at midcourt. Larry Betar tossed the ball in-bounds to Acker, who turned and fired toward the hoop.
Moore, with his back to the basket, reached over a Guilfoyle player and tapped the ball over his head onto the glass. He then spun toward the hoop in time to make the game-winning tip. The ball dropped through the net with one second on the clock.
“Billy made a tremendous play,’’ said Coach John Swogger. “Only a boy with his great reactions could make a play like that. Actually, Acker didn’t get the ball up in the air as high as we would have liked.’’
Swogger praised the Marauders and Coach Tom Lane.
Swogger Praises BG
“First, I want to congratulate Guilfoyle on a good game,’’ the Altoona coach said. “And, Tommy Lane did a fine coaching job. They were sky high. I thought Cordova and McGeary played well,’’ he added.
Steve Cordova and Pat McGeary played at Altoona High last year as sophomores. They transferred to Guilfoyle this year and their outstanding play almost enabled BG to upset the Lions. Both scored 20 points.
Although both clubs have outstanding records, most corners listed Altoona as the favorite. However, the Marauders stopped the Lions’ fast break most of the night and they also contained Moore.
Moore led the Lions with 20 points, but a tight, collapsing zone made it extremely tough for the Maroons to get the ball to their scoring ace. Only once was he able to get the ball and shake free for a layup. His other six field goals came on four tip-ins and two rebound shots. However, two of the tip-ins came in the closing seconds and provided the Lions with the win.
Lane Proud of Kids
“What can you say?’’ Lane said. “I thought our kids played a great game. I’m extremely proud of them. They can hold their heads high because they have nothing to be ashamed of.’’
The lead changed hands six times in the first period. Two free throws by Moore and a drive by Betar in the closing seconds gave the Lions a 21-18 edge.
Twice in the second quarter the Lions held leads of eight points, 26-18, and 38-30. A bucket and two free throws by Cordova, plus a pair of fouls by McGeary closed the gap to 38-35, but Dave Bistline’s layup upped the count to 40-35 at intermission.
The Marauders came back in the third period to tie the count at 41-all, then at 43-all. A free throw by Jerry Milliron and a drive by Milliron shot Guilfoyle on top by three.
A rebound by Moore, jumper by Acker and deuce by Betar regained the advantage for Altoona (49-46), but two fouls by McGeary cut the lead to one after three periods.
After Acker hit a free throw, Bub Kilcoyne stole the ball and passed to Cordova for a layup that tied the game at 50-all. Three foul conversions by Kilcoyne pushed BG ahead by 55-50 with 6:17 left.
The Lions stormed back. Galen Bickel hit from the key, then Moore sank a foul. Acker connected twice from the circle and the Lions were back on top, 57-55.
McGeary Ties Score
McGeary, who converted 10 straight fouls, hit a pair to deadlock the score at 57-57. There also were ties at 59-all and 61-all. Moore missed a free throw and a chance to put the Lions ahead. Cordova rebounded, drove the length of the court and scored to give the Marauders the lead with 1:25 left. After both teams missed a couple shots, Milliron sank two fouls to give BG the four-point spread (65-61) with just 49 seconds to play.
That’s when the Lions made their last-ditch effort and pulled out the victory with six points in the final 43 seconds, the clincher coming on Moore’s fantastic tip play just before the buzzer.
Excellent free-throw shooting also kept BG in contention. Altoona had eight more field goals (29-21), but Guilfoyle canned 23 of 31 fouls to 9 of 19 by the Lions. From the field, AAHS was 29 of 68 for 43 percent. BG was 21 of 56 for 38 percent.
The Lions had the edge in rebounds, 57-35. Moore picked off 26 and Bickel 18 while Cordova grabbed 15 for BG.
Guilfoyle lost Kilcoyne via the personal foul route with 6:31 to go. No one fouled out for Altoona, but all five starters had four personals at the end.
The Marauder jayvees of Coaches Tom McGee and Bob Johnston won the prelim, 65-62, as Bernie Bettwy scored 19 points. Dave Bistline tallied 19 for Coach Fred McConnell’s losers.
Altoona closes out its seven-game homestand by hosting Fifth Avenue on Tuesday night at the Mosque. Guilfoyle returns to action next Friday with a home appearance against Fairfield.
Altoona G F Tot.
G. Bickel 4 0-0 8
Acker 7 2-2 16
Moore 7 6-13 20
Betar 5 1-4 11
Piper 4 0-0 8
Bistline 2 0-0 4
Carles 0 0-0 0
Totals 29 9-19 67
Milliron 4 4-6 12
Cordova 8 4-6 20
Kilcoyne 2 4-7 8
McGeary 5 10-10 20
Furrer 1 1-1 3
Beauchamp 1 0-1 2
Totals 21 23-31 65
Altoona 21 19 9 18 — 67
Guilfoyle 18 17 13 17 — 65
Officials: Dwight Brocious, Don Johnson.