Sports Scrapbook – A rare record-setting day in local sports

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Sixers and Flyers both win

Mark down this date – Jan. 26, 2013 – as one that was filled with rare wins, some of which have not happened in 60 years. We’ll start at the top, where both the Flyers and Sixers won on the same night. The Sixers recorded the first upset by easily beating the first-place Knicks 97-80. Jrue Holiday set the first record of the day with a career high of 35 points. The Flyers had a rare scoring outburst, beating Florida 7-1.

Villanova and La Salle upset top teams twice each in one week

Villanova pulled the stunner of the day by upsetting No. 2 Syracuse 75-71. The Wildcats had previously beaten No. 5 Louisville on Tuesday. This is the first time in memory that an unranked Wildcat team beat two top 20 teams in one week.

Not to be outdone, the La Salle Explorers stunned No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth 69-61 after beating No. 9 Butler earlier in the week. Thus, for the first time in history, the Explorers and Wildcats knocked off four of the top 20 teams in one week.

La Salle had not upset two top teams in a week since 1952. Tom Gola led the Explorers to three straight upsets in the NIT for the tournament championship. Beginning in 1952, La Salle won the NIT, NCAA and was runner-up in the NCAA to Bill Russell and San Francisco in the NCAA finals in 1955. Tom Gola at 6 feet, 6 inches still holds the 60-year NCAA record for most career rebounds and points combined.

Salute to the Spartans

On the night of upsets I attended the Holy Spirit Salute to the Spartans at the Carriage House. The Kenny I band played a Salute to the Spartans football team for winning their third consecutive state championship for the first time in history this past December. TV-40 Sports Director Pete Thompson then announced that the Spartan boys basketball team had won a dramatic game beating Trenton Catholic 51-50 on Paul Moore’s buzzer beater. Pete also announced the Spartan girls will take on their third consecutive top 20 team Point Pleasant Beach in the Prime Events Shootout at Holy Spirit on Sunday, Jan. 27.

Joe DiBuonaventura, a key member of the Holy Spirit state champion football team, won two wrestling matches on Saturday.

Saturday, Jan. 26 was indeed a memorable day for local professional, college, and high schools teams.

Turning back the pages to 2010

Local Ismail “The Rocket” Naji caught eight passes for 89 yards and one touchdown to help the Vikings stun St. Augustine Prep in a 26-24 come-from-behind victory.

Kerin Maguire and Katie Kresz won their doubles match to help Holy Spirit sweep Pleasantville 5-0 in girls tennis.

Brett Uhing will be a key defensive player for the Atlantic High soccer team this season. The Vikings hope to follow the football team’s lead and rebound from last year’s 2-14 season.

Aaron Virelli and Doug Brown are important players on Holy Spirit’s soccer team under new Coach Chad Severs.

Abad Akhtar (Atlantic High) finshed 14th in the men’s cross country competition with a time of 26 minutes and 52 seconds. Stockton College garnered eighth place among 13 teams at the Fordham Fiasco held in New York City.

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