As the 1983-84 season came to a conclusion, the Albany Patroons finished second in the Eastern Division with a 25-19 record - and were headed for the playoffs. Their opponents in the best-of-five first round were the Bay State Bombardiers, guided by CBA All-Stars Joe Dawson and Charlie Jones.
But the Bombardiers didn't play like the 22-22 team that finished 3½ standings points behind the Patroons. Bay State won the first two games of the best-of-five series, 110-100 and 100-99.
Because the third game of the series was at Brockton High School in Massachusetts, the Patroons' fans organized a little two-van road trip to Plymouth County. Pat Riley, a local Patroons fan and no relation to the famous basketball coach, remembers the trip. "At the On Broadway bar in Albany they used to have these nice posters made up, these were like styrofoam, but real thin, cardboard coated and they had all the guys' names on it, there were two-foot round ball-shaped signs, and they had each guys' name, and we had a four-foot sign that said Albany Patroons Basketball. And we took all that stuff and we went over that day. And we were chanting, 'Albany! Albany!' We walk in with all these big posters and the guys' names, and it was the first time we had ever seen the Patroons in green uniforms, because we always seen them home in their home whites. And it just put smiles on their faces."
Thanks to 27 points from former New York Knick Rudy Macklin, the Patroons took a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter. But Bay State fought back, as reserve guard Jo Jo Hunter scored nine points in a row in less than a minute. Only Rudy Macklin's free throw with seven seconds remaining kept the Patroons from elimination - and sent the game into overtime, 114-114.
Just like the 7-point division standings system and the no foul out rule, the CBA had special regulations regarding overtime. During the 1983-84 season, when a CBA game ended tied, the first team to score three points in overtime won the game. Four quarters of intense action would be over with a single three-point basket.
Andre Gaddy and Charlie Jones at center court for the tip-off.
The ball went up.
Bombardier Perry Moss got the ball and fired a three-pointer towards the basket. It bounced off the hoop. John Schweitz tried a shot from the corner. It fell short.
Bay State's Al Smith attempted a three-pointer at the top of the key. The ball headed straight for the hoop.
Phil Jackson stood up and grabbed his clipboard, consoling himself that he brought Albany to the playoffs, and if it weren't for the overtime rule, next year he would take them further.
The ball went halfway through the cylinder, rolled around twice and fell out - right into the hands of Lowes Moore. No points for Bay State. Jackson dropped his clipboard and sat down, praying for a miracle.
Lowes Moore described what happened next. "I remember receiving the basketball, and we had a play where we had Frankie J. and John Schweitz, who came off the bottom picks, but Phil gave me the green light at any time to shoot that shot if I wanted to, so as I was dribbling down, I was looking for them to come off the picks, but in my mind I had made up to shoot it soon as I got to the three-point line. I was just looking at them, looking, looking, looking, and I just pulled up and shot it, and we won the game. It was over. Three points. That was it ... I just felt like I could do anything in that situation."
Moore's 25-foot shot gave the Patroons a 117-114 victory and saved them from elimination.
But for Bombardiers coach Johnny Neumann, the series was over. After the game, Neumann waited until the press was within earshot, and then called Bombardiers owner John Ligums some rather off-color names. Ligums then fired Neumann, replacing him with Jim Sleeper for the rest of the playoffs.
Sleeper's tenure wasn't long, as Albany eliminated the Bombardiers from the playoffs, 3 games to 2.
Jones 2-2 2-2 6; Rowland 2-4 1-2 5; Moore 7-12 2-3 17; McPherson 6-11 8-9 20; Gaddy 6-10 1-2 13; Elliott 2-5 0-3 4; Schweitz 3-7 0-0 7; Sanders 9-16 0-0 18; Macklin 9-15 9-12 27. Totals 46-82 23-33 117.
Hunter 14-19 8-8 37; Jones 6-8 0-0 12; Hagan 1-6 1-2 3; Wilson 1-1 0-0 2; Dawson 8-13 4-5 20; Moss 4-7 2-6 10; Smith 9-18 3-3 22; Suchop 1-1 0-0 2; Brown 2-5 2-3 6. Totals 46-78 20-27 114.
ALBANY 35-34-25-20-3 117 BAY STATE 29-27-23-35-0 114Three-point goals - Hunter, Schweitz, Smith, Moore. Rebounds: Albany 37 (Gaddy 11, McPherson 10), Bay State 35 (Jones 12). Assists: Albany 24 (Moore 8), Bay State 29 (Hunter 6). Total fouls: Albany 25, Bay State 28. Technical fouls: Smith, Rowland. A-685.
Albany County Judge John Clyne retires after 11 years on the bench.|
Senator John Glenn drops out of 1984 Presidential race.
Former Shaker High grad Sam Perkins is named All-American on the UP and API polls.