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Big Shots No. 2

Mr. Clutch

March 15, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
This is the 19th 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

Player: Denny Tomassetti, Bishop Guilfoyle

Opponent: Allentown Central Catholic

Date: Friday, March 13, 1970

Site: Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg

Setting the scene: BG, at 20-4, was shooting for its second PCIAA Class A state championship in four years when it met 20-6 Allentown Central Catholic in the state final. Down eight (64-56) early in the fourth quarter, BG rallied to tie it at 74 and had the ball with 11 seconds remaining, thanks to Bob Landolfi corralling the ball after a Tomassetti block and jump ball.

The shot: After a timeout, BG’s Bill Gibbons dribbled through a full-court press to midcourt. He then passed to Tim Lambour, who found Tomassetti open in the corner. Tomassetti’s 15-foot jumper with three seconds left gave BG a 76-74 win and the state title. Tomassetti also hit game-winners the previous season in the diocesan championship and the Altoona YMCA tournament.

Mirror excerpt from Saturday, March 14, 1970: It was mass confusion in the BG locker room with plenty of hugging and backslapping. [Coach Tom] Lane was tossed in the showers fully clothed, but he didn’t mind. — Jim Lane

(To view the entire original articles from this game, go to


—Tomassetti: ‘‘The play was set to go to myself or Tim Lambour on the wing. What it came down to was executing the fundamentals. We did what we were supposed to do and didn’t think about it.’’

—Lane: ‘‘When we called that timeout, everybody in the arena was going crazy. We just wanted to get key people in key spots. Tomassetti was open on the baseline, and his shot went right through. It was very exciting.’’

Aftermath: Thirty-eight years later, BG’s 1970 state title was the last for any Blair County boys basketball team. Tomassetti and his wife, Yvonne, live in Oakmont. He is the chief financial officer for UPMC Passavant.

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Article Photos

Mirror file photo by Emory Wilt
Bishop Guilfoyle’s Denny Tomassetti (22) sinks the game-winning shot in the PCIAA Class A state championship game against Allentown Central Catholic in Harrisburg on March 13, 1970.

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