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Jim Hunt

Jim Hunt, contributing sports writer

Register file photo

1926: In a 13-4 baseball win over Ryan’s All Stars of Vallejo, Newton “Sticker” York was 4 for 5 including three doubles, drove in five runs and scored four times.

1957: The Saints beat Calistoga 49-40 in boys basketball in St. Helena. Paul Padilla led the scoring with 18 points and Tom Farris had 13.

1970: Chris Diemer scored 14 points and Bobbie Vanderschoot had 12 to lead the Saints’ girls basketball team to a 38-19 victory at Calistoga.

1997: In the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 girls basketball playoffs, the Saints lost at Bret Harte 58-56 in overtime. Krissy Harris led the Saints with 28 points. That season, Harris, Jenny West, and Kelly Urbanik combined for 1,039 points – an average of 38.1 points per game together. Both marks are still the girls’ school records for scoring in a season by three players.

2001: In softball, the girls beat Calistoga 17-1 in St. Helena. Katie and Emily Decker each went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI; Angela Ardizzone was 2 for 3 with two RBls; Melinda Harter was 2 for 3 with a double and three RBls; and Briana Gardner and Kristin Ashley each added a triple.

Plus: March Madness in Cloverdale

Note: You’ll have to excuse me for this piece, as I don’t like to talk about my own exploits. Even though I’m a part of the story, I want to share the account of this game with you as it is definitely, in my opinion, a huge part of SHHS lore and, of course, one in which I am proud to have been a participant. More than that, my teammates of 1962 deserve the credit they so richly deserve. So, for better or worse, here it is.

Since the Saints had defeated Cloverdale by one point twice in 1957 and captured the North Bay League III championship, the Eagles won 10 of the next 11 games between the two schools. The Saints’ only win over their long-time nemesis was a 24-20 half-game victory in Cloverdale’s own tournament in December 1959.

On Dec. 4, 1961, SHHS ended that full-game losing streak to Cloverdale with a 47-38 victory over the Eagles – once again in the Cloverdale tournament.

In late January, however, the Eagles had beaten the Saints in St. Helena 44-42 to give SHHS their only league loss and, as league play wound its way down to the final game of the year, the two arch-rivals were tied for the NBL II lead with 10-1 marks.

The last game of the season on March 3 decided it all as the Saints and the Eagles squared off in Cloverdale.

As the crucial game began, the Saints started strong and, by the end of the first period, had built a 12-5 lead.

During the next two quarters the teams matched score for score, neither giving an inch, until the third period ended with the score at 32-25 in the Saints’ favor.

For the first six minutes of the final period, the teams again traded basket for basket bringing the score to 40-34. The Eagles, however, with just two minutes left in the game, dramatically scored six unanswered points to knot the game at 40-40 and sent it into overtime.

Cloverdale began the dramatic and climactic extra period right where they left off at the end of regulation by scoring two quick baskets to take a 44-40 lead.

The Saints’ Jim Hunt then scored a field goal to bring SHHS within two with just a minute remaining. Cloverdale failed to score on its next possession, and then fouled the Saints’ Charlie Pagendarm, who sank his free throw to bring the Saints to within one at 44-43.

Once again, the Eagles failed to score and, with the clock running down to 15 seconds remaining, Hunt then lofted a jumper from 15 feet but the ball rattled in and out and, momentarily, it appeared as if Cloverdale was going to win it after all.

However, with all of the Eagles’ eyes focused on Hunt, somehow the Saints’ Ray Myers had deftly maneuvered his way to a spot under the basket, and then, as the ball bounced out of the cylinder, he leaped high in the air to tip it back in to put St. Helena on top 45-44.

One of the Eagles, before their head coach John McMillan could call a timeout, in panic threw a desperation pass deep into the Saints end of the floor where it was intercepted by Ron Bartolucci. Then, with only seven seconds left, the Saints added two free throws to clinch the win and the NBL II title.

“The Mighty Five,” as the team was called by its fans, finished the season with a 16-3 record, the second best in SHHS basketball history and, with an 11-1 record, captured the NBL II pennant for the first time in five years.