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199, Horsehide and March Madness 30 Years Ago

 

   St. John Neumann and Loyalsock combined for 199 wins in the past four seasons of high school hoops.
  Wow. That will catch some attention. Coach Paul Petcavage got the hundred. Lancer Coach Ron Insinger came up one short of the century mark. That win against Conwell Eagen Catholic school of recruits from three states, would have put them in the State Championship Game.
  Neumann suffered the same fate a round earlier versus Constitution High School from Philly, which won a 2A title the season prior, dropped down to a Single A and recruited a few more ball players for this season. When PIAA high school rosters read like a college roster, with players coming from multiple states, something has gone way wrong. This is an article for another day. Congrats to both Neumann and Sock on a great season and an unbelievable four year run.
  Spring has sprung and so has the high school baseball and softball season. As you're reading this Loyalsock is playing in the USA Baseball National Tournament in Cary, North Carolina. The Lancers will be matched against some of the best high schools squads in the nation.  They open with Horizon, Arizona. 
  A little further down the Atlantic coast and back toward the east a bit, first year Coach Cory Twigg’s Williamsport Millionaires are taking the field in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
  Coach Twigg has breathed new life and energy back into the proud Billtown program. I look for a District Title out of the Cherry and White and some big surprises courtesy of hard work, energy and the commitment to winning baseball. Good luck to the Millionaires.
  The NCAA tournament is in full swing. It's hard to believe it was 30 years ago that Georgetown Coached by John Thompson featuring future NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing lost to Rollie Massimino and Villanova.
  Villanova played a near perfect game. Senior “Easy” Ed Pinckney was the tournament MVP. It was a battle of Big East Conference powers. It may not have been the upset everyone thought it was however. I watched the Big East closely back then and Georgetown was lucky to beat Villanova in both regular-season match ups.
  The Wildcats had the athleticism to run with the Hoyas and the point guard in Gary McClain to negate “G-towns” pressure defense.
  Boy, do I miss the old Big East Conference. St. John's also made it to the final for that season. Louie Carnesecca’s boys led by Chris Mullin.  Who was the other team in the Final Four that season?  There wasn’t one; this space has been vacated due to NCAA violations.  I can tell you though from watching it was Memphis State led by All American Keith Lee.
  It's hard to believe then current Big East member Syracuse left for the ACC. It's even harder to believe Head Coach Jim Boeheim is still there after all the rules he has broken over the years. He has survived more scandals than former President Bill Clinton. If a Penn State Coach operated like Jim Boeheim and the Orange, he and the University would get a double death sentence.