We’re back…football and soccer are over.  Time for a little hoops action, but for Coach Ed Lyons it could be a long one as all five starters from the previous campaign are gone.  Lyons is entering his 4th season at the helm of the Hilltoppers but the first three were the Willie Wilson years, with Summit going 66-9, including 40-2 in the Suburban Conference.

The first article on Summit basketball in the Herald talked of the following players; Derrick Stewart, “John” Gibbons (it took awhile for the paper to realize it was Tom), Bob Owen, Bob Kocis, Rick Jackson, Ken Hudgins and Darrin Davis.  What? No David Poole?  Anyway, if I recall correctly, Tom Gibbons ended up being the only senior on the squad as Summit lost its opener, 62-46, to a solid Livingston team.  Poole at least had 17 and Gibbons 14, but Bob Kimbrough, “counted on as a big scorer,” was held to 4.

In the second contest, however, Summit defeated Newark Academy, 48-47, as Gibbons scored six of the final 8 points, including two clutch free throws in the last minute to preserve the win.  Rickey Jackson had 12 and Poole had 8.

The third contest was an unmitigated disaster as the Hilltoppers lost to Berkeley Heights, 48-26, with Gibbons getting 8 and Poole 6.

Then Summit hosted its own Christmas tournament and we lost the opener, 82-37, to the defending State Parochial “A” champions, Essex Catholic.  I remember these guys.  They were huge.  No one for Summit scored more than six.

In the consolation contest, Summit lost to Westfield, 72-55, but at least Gibbons had 16 and Bob Kimbrough 9 points and 14 rebounds.

Finally, in the Suburban Conference opener, Summit lost to West Orange, 68-50, as Harold Morrison blitzed Summit for 28 (this guy was good).  But David Poole erupted for 29 of his own!  Shoot the ball, Poole…Shoot the ball! we shouted from behind the basket.  Summit’s record is now 1-5 as Ed Lyons pulls his hair out.

I’ll get to wrestling and swimming next time, but another winter sport that captured our attention at that time of year was the great Beacon Hill hockey squad, with the likes of John Combias, Jon Kenyon, Mike Moriarity, John Brady, Loch Kelly, Mark Anton, Richard Penwell, Leo McGrath, and George Ross always proving to be most entertaining.

In other news during this time, I just thought I’d throw out the local politicians names that were so familiar to us in the day…like Mayor Elmer Bennett, Frank Lehr (Common Council president), Naomi Faison, James Lovett, Dr. Murray Ross, Luther Roehm, Watson B. Smith, Jr., and Alfred Schretter.

Dom Guida was named vice president of the Union County Recreation and Parks Association.

Bell Labs celebrated its 50th anniversary.  The Labs was formed by AT&T in 1925 and by ’75 was responsible for 17,000 patents, with two Nobel prizes, including for the transistor.

Arthur Ashe was doing an exhibition at the Upsala College gym.  There is no Upsala College today.

Mike Horn made the All-Suburban Conference football team, along with Dorey Faccheini.

For the state soccer champion Hilltoppers, Doug Colson, Matt Bowyer and John Combias made the Daily Record’s All-Star first team, with Don Minkler on the second.  Lou DiParisi was the Record’s “Coach of the Year.”

Remember the Summit Squire?  They were having a New Year’s Eve party with 3 bands.  Where did they put them?

This meal caught my eye.  At the Hunt Club, for $5.95 you could get veal cutlet, potatoes, a veggie, ice cream and coffee.  Such a deal!

Women’s Florsheim shoes at Country Cobbler for $14.90.

It was Christmas concert time at the high school as our sterling 63-piece orchestra under the direction of Thomas Appert performed, along with the 92-member band under Angelo Merola, plus Vernon Post directing a tune or two.

And at The Strand…”2001: A Space Odyssey” and Charles Bronson in “Death Wish.”

Next installment around April 7.



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