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Big Shots No. 3

Bang! Bang!

March 14, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
This is the 18th 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.

—Buck Frank



Players: Tim Sigrist, Pat Shute, Bishop Guilfoyle

Opponent: Pittsburgh Canevin

Date: Tuesday, March 14, 1967

Site: University of Pittsburgh Fitzgerald Field House

Setting the scene: The 18-6 Marauders met 23-1 Canevin, in its backyard, in the PCIAA Class A western regional championship game.

The shots: After Shute dribbled the length of the court for a layup to pull Guilfoyle within two points with seconds remaining, Sigrist stole the ball at midcourt on an errant Canevin pass. Sigrist then made a 12-foot shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, 61-61. With Canevin leading in OT, 66-65, Guilfoyle was faced with going the length of the court in five seconds. Bill Adams inbounded the ball to Sigrist, who then threw a 35-foot pass to Shute, coming off a Joe Landolfi pick underneath the basket. Shute took two dribbles before hitting the game-winner, a seven-foot jumper.

Mirror excerpt from Wednesday, March 15, 1967: Marauder assistant coach Tony Labriola defines luck this way: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.’’ —Jim Lane

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

Memories:

—Sigrist: “I wasn’t a good ball-handler or a good shot. But [Coach Bill] Gaffey needed my skills at that moment of the game, and I fed off his confidence. I was darn lucky to play a part in that great finish.’’

—Gaffey: “Canevin had played twice on the Pitt Field House floor. We requested a practice on the floor, and the PCIAA denied it. So we threatened to forfeit, and the PCIAA reversed its position. After practice, we took the whole team to a popular smorgasbord in Monroeville and had a great time, but [Tuesday] we returned and had a much better time defeating Canevin.’’

Aftermath: BG went on to win its first PCIAA state title with a 61-57 win over Shamokin Our Lady of Lourdes at the War Memorial in Johnstown. Sigrist went on to play football at Notre Dame and is now, after 35 years of marriage, a grandfather and retired teacher in Rochester, N.Y., and is in his first year as an LPN. Shute played basketball at St. Francis College. He died of cancer March 7, 2007, at his home in Frisco, Texas.

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

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