On Sat. Feb. 2, at 2:15 p.m., the Carbondale Area Chargers' 1993 PIAA state basketball championship team will be honored between the Chargerettes vs. Lady Foresters game (1 p.m.) and Chargers vs. Foresters contest (3 p.m.). Fans are invited to attend both games and to enjoy the program to recognize the 20th anniversary of title team's run to history. The program will include introduction of the championship team and highlights of that season.
When Dan Seigle blocked Reading Central Catholic's last-second shot to preserve a 46-44 win in the Eastern Final at Martz Hall in Pottsville, fans stormed the court in wild celebration.
Back home, fans listening to Steve Young and Greg Swingle's radio broadcast dramatic call: "Make your reservation, pack your suitcases, the Carbondale Area Chargers are going to Hershey in quest of a state basketball championship," celebrated in their homes and throughout business establishments.
During the next two days, the Chargers (29-0) were the topic of conversation throughout the region.
Charger fans scooped up nearly 4,000 tickets for the Saturday, April 3 state title game against George Jr. Republic (29-0).
George Jr. Republic, located just inside the Ohio border, had boasted a 25 point victory margin throughout the season with two lightning-quick guards and a front line of 6-9, 6-7, 6-6.
The Chargers were 15 point underdogs according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
If the Chargers were to have any chance, they would need contributions from every player on the floor.
Mark Seigle, who did Herculean work all season but was not expected to be a scorer, produced CA's first basket :59 into the game to slice GJR's lead to 4-2. GJR wanted to bury CA early. The Tigers had an 11-4 led and had silenced the partisan Charger crowd when Chris Daley turned the silence into a roar.
Within 1:00, Daley swished two free throws, canned an NBA-trey from the left wing, then pocketed a three-ball from the deep right corner sending the Chargers to a sudden 12-11 lead and their fans into a frenzy.
The rest of the period was a scoring flurry.
Leo Skorupa and Daley answered GJR scores, Dan Seigle hit a short jumper on the right baseline to tie the game at 18-18, Mike Connor answered a GJR trey with a corner three of his own.
GJR hit a three with :30 left in the period for a 24-23 GJR lead but Dan Seigle brought an end to the fast-paced period with a thunderous dunk down the right baseline that had teammate Micah McHale grasping his head into total awe as he went back down the court amid an ear-shattering roar from the CA faithful.
McHale, another unsung hero all season in a sub role, produced an offensive rebound and put-back for a 27-26 CA lead.
Page 2 of 2 - After five lead changes in the first period, GJR moved to a 40-33 lead with 3:24 left in the half.
Again, CA came fighting back.
Daley hit one of two free throws before Dan Seigle scored on an offensive rebound then hit both ends of a one-and-one to close the gap to 40-38. Daley's trey offset GJR score and free throw before Dan Seigle hit one of two free throws to close the half at 43-42 GJR.
Teams exchanged points for the first 4:05 of the third period until Dan Seigle spun past a defender for a score then hit another paint popper for a 50-48 CA lead with 3:55 left in the period.
Mark Seigle muscled his way to a three-pointer for CA's biggest lead of the game at 55--50 with 2:22 on the clock but GJR tied the game at 55-55 after three periods.
Each possession was looming larger as the fourth period unfolded. Skorupa opened the period with a drive-by-basket but GJR answered to tie the game. Mark Seigle scored off a Skorupa assist but GJR answered. Dan Seigle attacked the lane for a score but GJR answered.
GJR scored back-to-back baskets for a 63-61 lead with 4:16 left but wouldn't score the rest of the way. GJR missed a pair of free throws and a lay-up while Mark Seigle scored to tie the game at 63-63 with 2:50 left.
With the game tied, GJR decided to hold the ball for a last-second shot. They turned the ball over but CA also turned the ball over hustling the possession up the floor.
GJR again, held for the last shot.
With :14 left, GJR attacked the lane. Perhaps, a few seconds too soon. Connor tipped the ball at the top of the key and Daley hugged the possession just beyond half-court, calling timeout.
Hersheypark Arena was engulfed by a building-shaking uproar. With 7,500 fans on their feet, a state title was about to be decided on this last possession.
Skorupa inbounded the ball to Daley near half-court, who navigated to his left.
After slight penetration, Daley hit Connor along the left baseline. Connor's 10-footer just missed.
GJR tipped the ball away from the basket on its downward spiral toward the foul line where Skorupa scooped the ball just below his knees.
Despite being chopped on the arm, Skorupa managed to force the ball toward the rim, the ball just made it over the rim, did a slight tap-dance, then as time expired:
Well, here's WYOU-TV's Terry Gurn and John Nugent with the call of the final :10: "Look at that Carbondale bench, this is what it's all about, baby. You want drama, we have it. We're tied at 63. Skorupa to Daley, Connor short, rebound loose, Skorupa with the underhand AHHHHHHH, AHHHHHH, AHHHHH, AHHHHH. I have seen it all. You've got to be kidding me!"