Found on www.pahoops.org
Other Memorable Games
This ad appeared in the York newspaper the day of the game. While York Catholic was playing St. Marys, York William Penn was playing Norristown in the PIAA Eastern Final.
Class B State Championship Game
Wednesday March 31, 1948, Rec Hall on the Penn State Campus in State College, PA
York Catholic 44
St. Mary's Central 42
Two very good basketball teams, St. Mary's Central and York Catholic met for the Pennsylvania State Catholic School Championship for Class B honors in State College in 1948. The game ended with a 45 foot toss at the basket by York Catholic with the time remaining under dispute. The ball went into the basket, but the question was, "had time ran out." If the basket was to be allowed, York Catholic was a 44-42 winner. If time had run out, then the score was tied 42 to 42 and an overtime period would be necessary to determine a winner. The referee said "no," the Umpire said "yes'"-the time keeper said the shot occurred after time had elapsed. In the hours and days following the game, St. Mary's Central Catholic filed protests with the PCIAA State Office and the PCIAA Administrator, Father Keller. They argued that the score was 42-42. In the hours and days following the game, York Catholic celebrated, staged a victory parade, and looked into entering the National Catholic Tournament in Chicago. They claimed a 44-42 victory.
At the end of the game, the Referee, Mr. Levine consulted with
the neutral timekeeper, a man from State College as well as the time keepers
from both York and St. Mary's, they all agreed that the goal should not count,
however, they were all over ruled by Harold Yost, the Umpire who said that the goal
In Rule #2, section 11 of the Official Rules, it states
"if a try for a goal occurs as the gun sounds to end the period, the Umpire declares if the goal went in while the Referee declares if the gun has sounded before the ball left the players hand. At the same time, the Referee glances at the Timekeeper to indicate if there has been any irregularity with the firing of the gun"
According to the St. Mary's Daily Press, the "St. Mary's Central Catholic coach, Jimmy Goetz, the athletic Director, Father James and Lenny Boland" traveled in person to Hanover, the location of the State PCIAA (Pennsylvania Catholic Interscholastic Athletic Association) Office (which coincidentally was located in York County) to talk to Father Harold Keller, the PCIAA administrator. His response to them, "he might call a meeting of the PCIAA Board of Control to go over the whole thing." But, April had soon elapsed, spring had arrived, high schools were beginning baseball, the month of May arrived, the leaves were on the trees, soon graduation lists were being posted in newspapers in St. Mary's and York and no word ever arrived from Father Keller or the PCIAA.
(Note: In those days, there were two separate state basketball playoffs leading to State Champions, the PCIAA for Catholic schools and the PIAA for public schools).
The scoreboard on the wall in State College was never changed and still read 42-42, but York Catholic has a 1947-48 State Championship banner hanging on the wall in its gymnasium and the game stands in the record books for the ages at 44-42.
Nolin 3 0 1 6
Campbell 9 2 5 20
Stewart 3 2 4 8
Rein 3 0 0 6
Godfrey 1 2 2 4
Munchel 0 0 0 0
19 6 12 44
|St. Marys Central Catholic
Schlimm 2 5 6 9
Herzing 2 0 1 4
Krieg 4 0 0 8
Handwerger 1 0 3 2
Straub 7 0 2 14
G. Bauer 2 1 3 5
18 6 15 42
|York Catholic opened with an 8-0 lead in the game and a 13-6
advantage at the end of the quarter. St. Mary's won the second quarter
12-4 to take a halftime lead of 18-17.
In the third quarter, York took the lead 33-30 and were elated that Jim Schlimm, the Central star fouled out of the game in that quarter.
Difficulties for St. Mary's included the loss of their center "Big Jim" Schlimm on fouls and the fact that their other leading player, Tom Bauer could not play because of a leg infection. But overcoming these adversities in the fourth period, St. Mary's tied the game at 40-40 on a Victor Straub drive to the basket and then took the lead 42-40 on a Paul Krieg one-handed shot and then gained possession of the ball with a minute and thirty seconds to go.
|Holding a 42-40 lead, St. Mary's "froze" the ball until only 30 seconds remained, but a violation gave the ball over to York. Bill Campbell "let fly with a one-hander that found the range" to tie the score. St. Mary's moved the ball up the floor with the score tied and missed a shot, the ensuing scramble led to a jump ball at mid court. The jumped ball ended in the hands of Campbell beyond mid-court, over 45 feet from the basket. He took one dribble and according to the account in the York Gazette and Daily "heeding the pleas of the York bench sent his history-making goal on its journey." Also according to the York Gazette and Daily, "when the shot, which barely reached the basket, dropped through, the place was in an uproar and both officials left the floor."||
Both teams were kept on the court as "fans swarmed on the playing floor and fists began
flying as partisans from both teams argued pro and con." Then
after more than an hour of confusion, elation for York's players and fans
and frustration for the players and fans from St. Mary's the score was certified
as being final. Jack
O'Brien of the St. Mary's Daily Press reported that a large contingent of
St. Mary's fans had made the trip to State College for the game, and now headed
But even though the scoreboard on the wall in State College was never changed and read 42-42, the record books credit York Catholic with a 44-42 win and the 1948 State Championship.
|The York Catholic "Green and Gold" team coached by John Clark
entered the game with a record of 27-2. They defeated St. John's of Manayunk 48-40 in the Eastern Finals. Jimmy Goetz coached the St. Marys
Central Catholic "Crusaders" with a record of 19-5. His four year
record going into the game was 119-12. St. Mary's had defeated Pittsburgh
St. James 41-34 in the Western Finals to reach the Championship Game.
In the 1948, the PCIAA Class A State Championship game was staged in Allentown and Allentown Central Catholic defeated Johnstown Catholic 45-41 before 4,000 fans. During the regular season, St. Mary's Central and Johnstown Catholic had met twice with each winning once. Johnstown Catholic was led by the outstanding play of Leroy Leslie, who later went to Notre Dame.
In the photo above, the York Catholic team:
top row, left to right: Benny Stewart, Elmer Godfrey, Bill Campbell; left
middle, Ed Munchel; bottom, left to right: Len Rein, Coach John Clark, and Bruce
Nolin; right middle, Jim Graham. The
starting lineup for the St. Marys Central team: Paul Krieg, Jim Handwerger, Jim
Schlimm (fouled out in the 3rd quarter and was replaced by Jake Nissel), Kenny
Herzing (who played in place of an injured Tom Bauer) and Victor Straub. Jimmy
Goetz was the St. Marys coach. Both Jim Schlimm and Tom Bauer went
on to play at Providence College..
Story credits: St. Marys Daily Press, York Gazette and Daily).
Found on www.pahoops.org
Other Memorable Games