Note: This article originally appeared in the Mirror on Wednesday, March 15, 1967.
By Jim Lane
PITTSBURGH — Pat Shute has made so many baskets in three seasons at Bishop Guilfoyle High School that he ranks among the all-time leading point makers for the Marauders.
However, the most important bucket of his career came last night when he tossed in a short jumper at the final buzzer to give the Marauders a 67-66 upset overtime victory over Pittsburgh Canevin in the PCIAA Western Regional championship game at Pitt Field House.
The fantastic victory gives the Marauders a crack at the Catholic state championship. BG will face Shamokin Lourdes for the PCIAA “A’’ title on Friday evening at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown.
Shamokin earned a berth in the title game with a 59-56 win over Scranton Prep in the Eastern Regional championship tilt last night in Pottsville.
Twice — once in regulation time and once in the extra session — Canevin appeared to have the game in the bag. But, the Marauders refused to concede and they came up with a couple of rallies that would have put one of Frank Merriwell’s best to shame.
Sigrist Provides Spark
As he did in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocesan championship game against Bishop McCort, Tim Sigrist again provided the heroics for the Altoona kings. The Marauders were trailing by 61-57 with just 21 seconds left in regulation time and Canevin rooters were screaming “we’re No. 1’’ and it looked like they were.
However, Shute dribbled the length of the court and fired in a jumper to close the gap to 61-59. Then, with final seconds ticking away, Canevin committed an error and Sigrist jumped in to steal the ball at mid-court. The Marauder ace who is headed for Notre Dame on a football scholarship let fly a jumper with one second to go and it swished through the net as regulation time ended.
That set the stage for a hectic three-minute overtime period. Sigrist gave BG the lead with a deuce from the corner. Pete Prunzik, the Crusaders’ brilliant guard, dropped in a pair of free throws to tie the count and moments later he tossed in a twisting layup to put the Pittsburgh Diocesan winners on top by 65-63 with 1:13 left.
Guilfoyle’s John Sonefelt was fouled with a minute to go. He missed the first of a one-and-one situation, but Sigrist was there for a tap-in to tie the count.
Canevin, which took a 23-1 record into the game, decided to go for the last shot. They worked the ball for about 50 seconds and then Jack Burik, the other half of Canevin’s fine backcourt duo, headed for the hoop. Bill Adams fouled him and prevented a shot.
Burik hit the first free throw, but missed the second. Dave Oliver, inserted into the Marauder lineup to give the Altoonans more rebounding strength, picked off the carom and the Marauders called for a timeout with five seconds showing on the clock.
Coach Bill Gaffey and his Marauders mapped their strategy, but they had only five seconds to get the ball three-fourths the length of the court and into the hoop.
Adams took the ball out and tossed it to Sigrist, who received a pick from Sonefelt. Sigrist, a football quarterback, never made a better pass than the 35-footer he uncorked to Shute who was using Joe Landolfi as a pick underneath. Shute grabbed the ball to the right of the hoop, took two dribbles and tossed a seven-foot jumper.
The ball dropped cleanly through the net as the final buzzer sounded and the Marauders had their upset victory and a berth in the state finals. Canevin fans, Coach Ron Cygrymus and the Crusader players were stunned as they saw a sure victory slip through their fingertips.
From the fans’ viewpoint, the game was terrific to watch. No less than 13 ties occurred and both teams played well despite the importance of the game. Guilfoyle, which had not played since Feb. 19, hit on 46 percent of its shots and Canevin connected on 45 percent.
Shute, who sat out about four minutes of the third and fourth periods with four personal fouls, led BG scorers with 19 points. Adams hit for 15 and Sigrist 12. For Canevin, Prunzik netted 23 and Burik 16. Burik, like Shute, had foul difficulties and both teams were forced to play without their key players for awhile.
The Field House has long been a graveyard for Altoona area teams, but Guilfoyle found the court to its liking. Shute and Adams hit early and that seemed to give the rest of the squad confidence. At the same time, the backcourt duo of Prunzik and Burik kept Canevin in the heat of things.
Lead by 7
Guilfoyle led by 16-15 at the close of the first period. The Marauders twice led by seven (24-17) and (26-19) late in the second quarter and it looked like they were going to pull away. However, the Crusaders bounced back to trail by just 28-25 at the half.
With 2:20 left in the third period. Shute picked up his fourth personal. Gaffey put him on the bench with the Marauders holding a five-point lead (41-36). With Shute on the sidelines Canevin came back to knot the score at 44-all after three quarters.
Bob Eger dumped in one from the key to put BG back on top at the outset of the fourth period, but Canevin surged ahead on three free throws, one by Bill Carr and two by Prunzik. The lead see-sawed back and forth and Guilfoyle took the upper hand, 55-53, on a rebound shot by Sonefelt with 3:56 to go.
Buckets by Burik and Tom Pipich shot the Crusaders back on top, but a tap-in by Landolfi evened things with 2:51 left. The Marauders regained possession on a bad pass with 2:40 to play and they began to hold the ball when Canevin dropped into a zone.
Shute was fouled with 1:25 left, but he missed. Moments later Prunzik put his team ahead with a fine drive. Sonefelt missed a jumper, Canevin got the ball with 48 seconds to play and it looked bleak for Guilfoyle.
The Crusaders played with the ball until Prunzik was fouled with 21 seconds left. He hit both of them and it looked like the Marauder cause was hopeless.
Then came the bucket by Shute, followed by Sigrist’s steal and tying fielder at the buzzer and the fantastic overtime finish.
Canevin led in rebounds, 38-33. Carr grabbed 13 for the losers while Landolfi (12) and Sonefelt (7) were high for Guilfoyle. The Marauders made one more turnover, 14-13, but Canevin cashed them in for just 9 points while Guilfoyle took advantage for 13.
Guilfoyle G F. Tot.
Sigrist 6-14 0-1 12
Sonefelt 4-8 1-6 9
Landolfi 3-6 3-3 9
Shute 7-13 5-7 19
Adams 7-17 1-1 15
Turchetta 0-1 0-0 0
Shover 0-0 1-2 2
Eger 1-2 0-0 2
Oliver 0-0 0-0 0
Totals 28-61 11-20 67
Vater 2-4 0-0 4
Hauris 0-1 0-1 0
Carr 2-5 3-4 7
Burik 7-13 2-4 16
Prunzik 8-19 7-10 23
Cizmarik 3-9 2-3 8
Pipich 3-4 2-2 8
Totals 25-55 16-24 66
Guilfoyle 16 12 16 17 6 — 67
Canevin 15 10 19 17 5 — 66
Officials: Daugherty and Gaydosh.