Player: Bill Moore, Altoona
Opponent: Bishop Guilfoyle
Date: Friday, Jan. 29, 1971
Site: Jaffa Mosque
Setting the scene: A capacity crowd of more than 3,000 fans jammed the Jaffa Mosque to watch the fifth-ever meeting between BG and Altoona. The underdog Marauders were 16-1, and the senior-laden Lions were 13-1 and winners of their last 34 games at the Mosque. BG led, 65-61, in the last minute before Altoona rallied to tie the game, 65-65, and had the ball at midcourt with four seconds left.
The shot: Altoona’s Larry Betar inbounded the ball to Terry Acker, who turned and fired it short of the basket. Moore, with his back to the hoop, leaped and jarred the ball free from a Guilfoyle player in front of him while flipping the ball over his head up to the backboard. Moore then spun toward the basket, leaped back in the air and tipped it in with one second left to win the game, 67-65.
Mirror excerpt from Saturday, Jan. 30, 1971: “Billy made a tremendous play,’’ said Coach John Swogger. “Only a boy with his great reactions could make a play like that.’’ —Jim Lane
(To view the entire original article from this game, go to altoonamirror.com.)
—Moore: “The lucky part was the bounce of the ball off the backboard. I just knocked the ball over my head and luckily it hit the backboard. The rest was just reaction.’’
—Acker: “Coach Swogger wanted me to try and get the ball up near the rim, probably to give Bill a chance to read the trajectory of the ball. I’ve seen many basketball games and coached for a long time, and Bill was one of the best players at being able to make adjustments in the air.’’
Aftermath: While BG finished the year 19-6, Altoona won its third straight District 6 Class AAA championship and ended 23-2 — with both losses coming to Farrell. Moore went on to play at St. Bonaventure and IUP and is currently married and living in the San Diego area. He works as a dual diagnosis counselor and said he would enjoy a BG-Altoona reunion game.
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