THE PENNSYLVANIA CATHOLIC
INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
P.C.I.A.A. STATE
CHAMPIONSHIP RECORDS
: 1943-1974

If you have any information that might help fill in the gaps in this special part of Pennsylvania basketball history please email Bill Gaffey at wgaffey@ezonline.com


1943- Class A- Pittsburgh North Catholic; Class B- St. Joseph's of Pittsburgh.

1944- Class A- Southeast Catholic of Philadelphia; Class B- St. Joseph's Mt. Olive (Pittsburgh) defeated York Catholic 39-31.

1945- Class A- Allentown Central Catholic defeated Pittsburgh Central Catholic; Class B- St. Casimir (Pittsburgh) defeated St. Mary's (Wilkes Barre) 39-33 in Wilkes Barre.  Don Myers led St. Casimir with 11, Richy Michalski had 10.
In the Western Final,  St. Casimir defeated St. Mary's Central (St. Mary's) 43-32 at Duquesne University.  Don Myers led St. Casimir with 17.  Wortman and Straub each had 10 for St. Mary's.

1946-Class A-Pittsburgh North Catholic
          Class B: Pittsburgh South Side St. Casimir beat Easton Catholic 38-34 on March 22 at Pittsburgh

1947- Class A-Pittsburgh North Catholic
           Class B: Pittsburgh St. George beat Mauch Chunk Catholic 43-41 on March 22 at Harrisburg

1948- Class A- Allentown Central Catholic.   the  PCIAA Class A State Championship game was staged in Allentown and  Allentown Central Catholic defeated Johnstown Catholic 45-41 before 4,000 fans.    Johnstown Catholic was led by the outstanding play of Leroy Leslie, who later went to Notre Dame.
Class B-
York Catholic. York Catholic defeated St. Marys Central Catholic 44 -42 on a controversial shot from beyond half court at the buzzer in a game played at Penn State. With the score tied 42-42, and with only seconds remaining........find the entire story HERE (Jack Brown)

 

1949- Class A- Pittsburgh Central Catholic (photo left) Coached by Joe Penzelik.  The starting lineup was made up of senior guards John Killian, John “Jocko” Clancy, Don Dezort, senior forward Tom Pikunas and senior center Bill Powderly. Junior guard/forward Paul Giegerich also saw time as a starter. The juniors who provided the depth off the bench were Robinson, forwards Joe Ross and Don Crespy and center Steve Zappala.  Zappala  later became a judge on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  
Tom Pikunas was the team’s best foul shooter. He won the Irene Kaufman Center foul shooting contest his junior and senior year. He made 45 of 50 in his junior year. For his efforts he won a medal and got his photo in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph newspaper. In 1951, he broke the contest record by making 98 of 100 shots.
 The team went 20-1 during the regular season, losing only to
Charleroi  55-36 in a game that saw Central Catholic playing with only four players on the court in the final minutes of the game, the others had all fouled out!
After a regular season of 20-1, Central Catholic defeated
Erie Prep at Duquesne Gardens 43-39.  Next, the PCIAA semifinals, took place at the Market House on Pittsburgh’s South Side. The Vikings’ defeated Johnstown Catholic  46-30 and earned a berth in the PCIAA championship game.   In a game played at  the Pitt Pavilion, which was a gymnasium located underneath Pitt Stadium, the Vikings defeated Allentown Central Catholic, 54-42, to give the school its first basketball title since the school opened in 1927.
(Credit: Kevin Shields, his father Hugh “Bugs” Shields was a member of the class of 1949)
         

1949- Class B: Pittsburgh St. Justin beat Scranton St. Patrick on March 23 at Scranton. Johnny Unitas was a sophomore at St. Justin this year, but he did not play on the basketball team.
          (Credit: Doug Kurtz)

1950- Class A- Reading Central Catholic; Class B- St. James of Pittsburgh.

1951- Class A- 1951 - Johnstown Bishop McCort defeated Reading Central Catholic 50-48, (but later the two were named co-champs as McCort was hit with some kind of a violation  according to sports historian Jerry Shenk).;
Class B- St. James of Pittsburgh.

1952- Class A- Allentown Central Catholic; Class B- St. James of Pittsburgh.

1953- Class A- Erie Cathedral Prep.; Class B- St. Basil's of Pittsburgh.

1954- Class A- Erie Cathedral Prep.; Class B- St. Michael's of Pittsburgh.

1955- Class A- St. Rose of Carbondale; Class B- St. Canice of Pittsburgh.

1956- Class A- Allentown Central Catholic; Class B- St. Casimir of Pittsburgh.
Reading Central Catholic 57 Shenandoah Catholic 48
Allentown Central Catholic 101 Pottsville Nativity 57
Allentown then defeated Reading 98-38 in a game played at Albright College

1957- Class A- Allentown Central Catholic;
Class B- St. Vincent's of Plymouth defeated St. Casimir of Pittsburgh 76-65.  Bob Mullery of St. Vincent's scored 40 points).

1958- Class A- Pittsburgh North Catholic;
Class C-St. Leo's of Ashley defeated St. Casimir's 64-46. (Credit: Bob Kovalchik, St. Leo's)

1959- Class A- Pittsburgh North Catholic; Class B- St. George of Pittsburgh.
Class A Western Regional Final: Pittsburgh North Catholic 70 Erie Cathedral Prep 54
Class B Western Regional Semi-finals: Pittsburgh St. George 67 Greenville St. Michaels 43
                                                           Uniontown St. John's 68 Loch Haven Immaculate Conception 51

1960- Class A- Johnstown Catholic; Class B- Bethlehem Catholic.
Class B Western Games: Greenville St. Michael's defeated Clearfield St. Francis 48-46 in overtime for the Erie Diocese.  Lock Haven Immaculate Conception defeated Renovo St. Joe's for the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.  St. Adlabert defeated St. Thomas 54-48 for the Pittsburgh Diocese.  St. Vincent defeated Uniontown St. John's 62-58 for the Uniontown Diocese.

1961- Class A- Pittsburgh South Hills Catholic;
Class B- South Catholic of Scranton.
Erie Diocese: Cathedral Prep 69 St. Mary's Central 47
Pittsburgh Diocese: Pittsburgh South Hills 44 North Hills Catholic 41

1962- Class A- Pittsburgh North Catholic; Class B- Bethlehem Catholic.

1963- Class A- Bishop McCort; Class B- St. Rose of Carbondale; Class C- St. Michael's of Greenville.
Class C- St. Michael's of Greenville 69 Williamsport St. Joseph's 64

1964- Class A- Allentown Central Catholic; Class B- St. Canice of Pittsburgh; Class C- St. Michael's of Greenville.
Class C- St. Michael's of Greenville 50 Williamsport St. Joseph's 49

1965- Class A- South Hills Catholic of Pittsburgh; Class B- St. Frances DeSales of McKees Rocks; Class C- St. John's of Uniontown.
Class B- St. Frances DeSales of McKees Rocks 78 Shamokin Lourdes 77
Class C- St. John's of Uniontown 64 Williamsport St. Joseph's 60

1966- Class A- Bishop McCort; Class B- St. George of Pittsburgh; Class C- St. Gabriel's of Hazleton.
Class A
Bishop McCort of Johnstown defeated Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg. The starting lineup for McCort was Mike Patcher, Rudy Munko, Steve Smear, Jim Gruca, and Stan Rok. John Morihlatko was the #1 substitute and Bill Merkovsky was the coach for the winning team. Marino DeFilippo was the coach of the McDevitt Crusaders.
Class C- St. Gabriel's of Hazleton 91 Masontown Kolb Memorial 59 ("Digger" Phelps was the St. Gabriel's coach, this was his last year as a high school coach).
Western Regional Final: Masontown Kolb Memorial 83 North East St. Gregory 64

The reunion of the 1967 Bishop Guilfoyle State Championship team (Altoona,  Dec 2010)

1967- Class A- Bishop Guilfoyle; Class B- Scranton Cathedral; Class C- St. Gabriel's of Hazleton.
Class A
Finals: Bishop Guilfoyle 61 Shamokin Lourdes 57, Johnstown War Memorial Arena
Semifinals: Shamokin Lourdes defeated Scranton Prep
.............Bi Bishop Guilfoyle 67 Pittsburgh Bishop Canivan 66     (overtime), Pitt Field House
Class C- St. Gabriel's of Hazleton 68 Northeast St. Gregory 60

Inside the Bishop Guilfoyle H.S. locker room at the Johnstown War Memorial Arena prior to the 1967 State Championship Game.   Coach Labriola applies tape to the ankle of Pat Shute.  Coach Gaffey in the background provides last minute information to the team. (Photo by Hank Orberg, Altoona Mirror)

1968- Class A- Erie Cathedral Prep.; Class B- Scranton Catherdral; Class C- St. Francis Prep (Spring Grove).
Class C- St. Francis Prep (Spring Grove) defeated Titusville St. Joseph's

1969- Class A- Pittsburgh Canevin; Class B- St. Basil's of Pittsburgh; Class C- St. Francis Prep (Spring Grove).

1970- Class A- Bishop Guilfoyle; Class B- Reading Holy Name; Class C- St. Gabriel's of Hazleton.

1971- Class A- Erie Cathedral Prep.; Class B- Marian Catholic; Class C- Herman St. Fidelis.

1972- Class A- South Hills Catholic of Pittsburgh; Class B- Holy Ghost Prep; Class C- Bishop Neumann of Williamsport.
Class B, Western Semi-final, Ebensburg Bishop Carroll  66 Connellsville Father Geibel (the Green Gators) 58
Class B, Western Semi-final, Pittsburgh South Side and Sharon Kennedy Christian
Class B, Western Final, Pittsburgh South Side 78 Ebensburg Bishop Carroll 66 (at St. Vincent College)
Class B Final, holy Ghost Prep defeats Pittsburgh South Side (at Harrisburg Farm Show Arena)
Class C
- Bishop Neumann of Williamsport 70 Bradford Central Christian 64


1973- This article from the Scranton Times Tribune puts the spot light on three Northeastern Pennsylvania who traveled to Pittsburgh for a State Championship Tripleheader.  (Thanks to James Farrell for sending this article).

AROUND TOWN: '73 was benchmark for area basketball

Published: March 17, 2013
IIt was, without doubt, the region's best  weekend of high school basketball.
Forty years ago, Scranton Prep's Jack Farrell and Bishop Hannan's Jerry Burke celebrated St. Patrick's Day by leading their teams to state titles, and Pittston St. John's coach Jim Kolmansberger lost in the final at the Pennsylvania Catholic Interscholastic Athletic Association championships at the University of Pittsburgh fieldhouse.  No disrespect to any of the titles teams who had broad appeal and won PIAA titles, but three teams in the finals - we won't see that again.While our teams battle to reach this year's PIAA championships, let's take a moment to reflect on the players and their coaches who made the 1973 season one that should not be forgotten.
http://thetimes-tribune.com/sports/around-town-73-was-benchmark-for-area-basketball-1.1459469

Class A- Scranton Prep Coach Farrell was almost speechless - because he was hoarse - after the Scranton Prep's 48-46 win in the Class A finale, over North Catholic and coaching legend Don Graham, the final game of the day's tripleheader.Brian Clark scored 18 and Chris Fedele chipped in with 16 as Prep won the seesaw battle. Jack McCarthy, Pat Grady and Bill Timlin, fresh off their last-minute hero roles in a semifinal win over Bishop McDevitt, were the other ironman starters for the Cavaliers, who played only the starting five.
Class B-the Bishop Hannan  Golden Lancers defeated the Elk County Crusaders by an 84-73 score in the PCIAA championship contest at the Pitt Field House. (Daily Press)
Six busloads of Hannan fans made the cross-state trip, and they weren't disappointed.With five players scoring in double figures, the Golden Lancers were indeed golden, hoisting Burke on their shoulders and triumphantly carrying him off the court after an 83-74 win over Elk County Christian.Junior Steve Granville scored 29 points to lead Bishop Hannan, which saw Elk County rally from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 71-70 lead in the fourth, only to see a 13-3 spurt by the victors claim the Class B championship.Bob Loughney added 19 for the winners, Terry Schoen and Jeff Barnes each scored 11 and Dennis O'Brien tossed in 10. Jimmy Gaffney added 4.
Class C
- Bradford Central Christian 64 Pittston St. John's 60
The day started as a bit of a down for Pittston St. John's coach Jim Kolmansberger and his troops. Despite 18 points from John Hannon, 17 from Jim Gilhooley and Pat Salmon's 16, the Johnnies weren't quite a match for Bradford Christian, which posted a 64-60 win in the Class C game.


1974- Class A: No championship appears to have been held. The PCIAA was on its last legs and many Catholic high schools had already joined the PIAA.
           Class B: Bradford Central Christian beat Braddock St. Thomas 66-61 on March 10 at St. Vincent College. This is another sign of the demise of the PCIAA. No eastern Pennsylvania Catholic school played in the championship.
           Class C: Delone Catholic beat Pittsburgh South Side Catholic 60-59 on March 15 at Harrisburg. This was the last ever PCIAA game.
 


(4/17/01)Thanks to Dick VanO'Linda, a sportswriter for the York Dispatch Sunday News who has provided us with the first data on the "old" PCIAA state championship records. We are now looking for others to come forward an help to fill in the gaps.
(4/20/01)Thanks to Jerry Shenk, who contributed to this compilation. He is currently finishing a book entitled: The100 Year (1901 to 2001) History of Pennsylvania Boys Basketball.
(5/27/01)Thanks to Victor Straub for a first hand account of the 1948 Class B Championship Game.
(10/29/01)Thanks to Jerry Shenk for the scores of the Class C games. It was additional research for his book.
(3/30/11) Thanks to Doug Kurtz for as update on some Class B games and also the 1974 info.
Additional credits: Sharon Herald, Erie Times-News Johnstown Tribune Democrat.
(3/30/11) Thanks to Doug Kurtz for as update on some Class B scores.
(12/5/12) Thanks to Kevin Shields for his article on the 1949 Pittsburgh Central Catholic team)

If you have any information that might help fill in the gaps in this special part of Pennsylvania basketball history please email Bill Gaffey at wgaffey@ezonline.com

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