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Big Shots No. 11

Are you 'Kitting' me?

March 6, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
This is the 10th in a 20-day series on the biggest shots in Blair County high school basketball over the last 50 years. The Mirror is counting down one per day until Sunday, March 16.

—Buck Frank



Player: Joey Kitt, Central

Opponent: Lewistown

Date: Friday, March 3, 1995

Site: St. Francis University’s DeGol Arena

Setting the scene: Central entered the District 6 Class AAA final with a 19-6 record and faced Mountain League rival Lewistown, which had beaten the Dragons twice during the regular season.

The shot: With 14 seconds remaining and the score tied 70-70, Tom Wareham came up with a rebound of a missed Lewistown free throw and handed the ball off to Kitt, a sophomore. Bypassing a timeout, Kitt brought the ball upcourt looking for leading scorer Ben Bithell, who was double-teamed. Moving to his right, Kitt buried a 12-foot jumper just inside the free-throw line with two seconds left. A Lewistown desperation shot bounced off the rim, and Central claimed its second-ever district title.

Mirror excerpt from Saturday, March 4, 1995: It is not so much that Central won, though, but how it won that left the capacity crowd numb from witnessing a playoff gem. — Neil Rudel

(To view the entire original articles from this game, go to altoonamirror.com.)

Memories:

—Kitt: “I remember watching it on tape shortly after we won the game, and it seemed to happen so quickly. It seemed a lot slower to me when it was actually happening in the game.’’

—Reggie Nevins, coach: “That’s the shot people still talk about the most in the Cove area.’’

—Kitt: “[Bithell] made big shot after big shot that night and deserves all the credit for the win. I just happened to make the last shot.’’

Aftermath: Central edged Montour, 67-64, in the first round of the state playoffs, then fell to Seton LaSalle, 58-55, in the Western quarterfinals. Kitt is now a fifth-grade teacher and the varsity football coach for the Claysburg-Kimmel School District. He and his wife, Emily, reside in Roaring Spring.

Have a memorable shot? E-mail bfrank@altoonamirror.com.

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