News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact

The time they scored 100

By Michael Butler

Hitting the century mark is quite an accomplishment on a high school basketball court. There are just 32 minutes of playing time.

It happened at Tallassee in 1969 vs. Chilton County (then known as Clanton) in the brand new Stumberg Gymnasium.

"The score was 99-64," Gary Moore recalled. Moore, now 72, was a senior on the 1968-69 THS team. "Carl Taylor was at the free throw line with just a few seconds left. We were encouraging him to hit both free throws. He said he was too nervous.

"He missed both. The last one caromed off the goal to me. I shot the ball and the horn went off when it was in the air. I hit the basket. It put us at 101-64. Coach Paul Taylor was quite pleased."

The game had a bit more meaning to Coach Taylor, who had a previous stint at the opposing school.

"Coach Taylor had coached at Clanton years ago," Moore added. "They let him go. He really didn't like Clanton. He let us know that."

Tallassee had also lost to Clanton at their place earlier in the season, 64-60.

Fellow seniors Louis Cannon and Jimmy Hill were the leading scorers in the rematch in Tallassee. Cannon had 35 points. Jimmy Hill scored 33.

"(Gary) was probably two or three steps above the top of the circle," Hill said of Moore's last shot. "It got tipped around and knocked back out to him."

The length of the final heave was beyond three-point distance, but the three-point shot did not exist in the game then.

"If we had the three-point shot back then, we would've probably scored 120. We took a lot of shots past the three-point line," Hill continued. "The crowd got riled up. They were wanting 100.

"We were playing Reeltown a week or two before then. We were blowing them out and had maybe 55 points at halftime. We said let's score 100. Coach Taylor wanted to know what was so great about scoring 100. When we played Clanton he said if you want your 100 - go get it."

The 1968-69 Tigers: kneeling (left to right): Tony Wilkerson (Manager), Jimmy Hill, Wayne Whitaker, Gary Moore, Billy Carr, Adrian Mann, Harry Scroggins, Phil Willis (Manager). Standing (left to right): Melvin Barker, Louis Cannon, Coach Paul Taylor, Paul Taylor, Carl Taylor.

Tallassee's highest scoring games that season included the win over Reeltown, 80-56, and a 72-71 victory over Valley. The team finished 8-7.

That same season, the other city team, RR Moton, won the Class 1A state championship. The next year, the two schools integrated. The 1970 Tallassee team reached the state semifinals.

"They had the best team that year," Hill said.

It is believed that the 100-plus point game for Tallassee was not only a first but has not been matched in more than 50 years since that night in 1969.

"Jack Finlayson said it was the first and only time," Moore said referencing the former teacher and THS sports historian.

Finlayson confirmed what he saw was a feat he has not seen again at Tallassee to this day.

"I was sitting right there when it happened," said Finlayson. "I remember right where Gary was when he shot it. Gary was slimmer then than he is now. Otherwise, I can't remember us even being near 100."

As for the newness of Stumberg Gym, Finlayson remembers it well.

"My classroom was upstairs facing the back. I watched them build it from the bottom up."

Tallassee scored 45 points in the fourth quarter which might be even more impressive than eclipsing 100 for the game.

"I was told it was a record at Tallassee - 45 in the fourth," said Hill. "The last 15 points were scored in almost no time at all. We just ran them out of the gymnasium. Everything just clicked."