It’s time for Beaver County Memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. Since it’s high school basketball playoff season, in this memory, we will highlight some of the great teams that that played on the courts of Beaver County High Schools.
There has always been some debate about what teams were the greatest when compared to one another, but one thing is for sure, four teams stand out among the rest for going undefeated and three other county teams lost only one game. All seven of these teams won state championships.
In 1949, The Aliquippa Quips went twenty nine and oh and beat York in the state championship game coached by Sam Milanovich and led by star player Mickey Zernich. It was also the first basketball state title for any school in Beaver County.
In 1965, The Midland Leopards had a powerhouse team including future three time N.B.A. all pro, Norm Van Lier, and future A.B.A. star, Simmie Hill, and a legendary coach in Hank Kuzma. The Leopards beat Steelton in the state championship game that year on the way to a perfect twenty eight wins and zero losses.
Two of the most prominent basketball names in Beaver County, Dick DeVenzio and Dennis Wuycik, teamed up together in 1967 under head coach, Chuck Divenzio, to propel the Ambridge Bridgers. They beat another undefeated team in Chester for the state Championship that year and finished twenty seven and oh.
And in 2016, The Aliquippa Quips, Coached by Nick Lackovick, and featuring the talents of Chucky Humphries, Kaezon Pugh and Jassir Jordan, won thirty games without losing even once and beat Mastery Charter North to claim the school’s seventh state basketball championship in high school boys and girls basketball.
Three other teams from Beaver County lost only one game and went on to bring P.I.A.A. Gold back to their home towns. The 1982 Monaca Indians lead by future Miami Hurricane college football player, Bruce Flemming, The 1985 Beaver Falls Lady Tigers, paced by Joy Jeter, who would later star at the University of New Haven, and finally, The 1992 Blackhawk Cougars with Future North Carlolina Tarheel Dante Calabria leading the attack, all finished with only one loss and are usually mentioned as well among the greatest teams in Beaver County history.
Maybe this year will bring more memories of Beaver County basketball greatness, like these teams did, for future generations.
This has been Beaver County memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. Tune in everyday at this time for more Beaver County memories.