By MICHAEL LETENDRE
On Monday, Feb. 13, the Bristol Eastern girls basketball program honored all its 1,000-point scores over the years during the Lancers’ 63-28 victory over Bristol Central on Monday, Feb. 11.
Tami Chapman (1,045 points, 1973-1976), Laura Lishness (1,405 points, 1984-87), Kathy Ferrier (1,563 points, 1986-1989), Ginny Ziogas (1988-1991), Ernestine Austin (1,248, 1994-1997), Taylor Losey (1,411 points, 2003-2006), and Khadaijia Brooks (1,410 points, 2012-2015) all received trophies and awards for those amazing accomplishments.
And when Jack Krampitz, a former girls basketball assistant coach under current head man Tony Floyd, introduced each of the 1,000-point scores, he mentioned how there were only two boys in program history to notch 1,000 points compared to all the girls who made that accomplishment.
Those two boys who netted 1,000 points, Jim Bates Jr and Cody Bayne, were honored during the Eastern/Central game back on Jan. 18.
However, when the 1,000-point scorers were accounted for at Eastern, several observers felt that list for the boys should have contained more than two male names on it.
And all sorts of names came out of the woodwork, athletes who were big-time performers at Eastern such as Gary Palladino, Al Stocki, Mike Whitcomb, Tim Curtis, and Terry Burke to name a few.
While some of those athletes pumped in the points as seniors, and even juniors, the final list of two names, Bates Jr and Bayne, is the correct total.
Some of those players mentioned certainly came close but simply didn’t play much varsity as freshmen and sophomores as the Lancers put together some very good years with squads filled of upper classmen.
However, some players just missed out on tallying 1,000 points.
Burke for one.
Burke (1960-62 in terms of varsity playing years) played under former UCONN men’s coach Burr Carlson at Eastern – a former second pick of the Philadelphia 76ers.
He scored 970 points for the Lancers before his time was said and done.
In all honesty, Burke should have tallied 1,000 points for the Bristol Eastern program but a horrible football fight between Bristol Central and Maloney squads a couple weeks before the Thanksgiving day football game in 1959 saw Bristol Athletic Director Tom Monahan pull the Meriden schools from the 1959-60 winter season schedule.
Because of that incident, Eastern played only 15 games that year instead of the scheduled 19 and Burke – who averaged 10.0 points-per-game as a sophomore over the 1959-60 season – ended up falling short in his quest for 1,000-points.
By the spring, however, both Maloney and Platt were back in Bristol’s good graces and the schedule went back to 19 games the following year.
Palladino (1960-1963), who moved on to the University of Hartford men’s basketball team after playing at BE, was one of the rare players to score points in all four of his scholastic seasons for the Eastern program.
Overall, he scored just south of 750 points for his career.
Stocki (1971-73) is a good example of a player putting together a big senior year that might have people thinking he was close to 1,000 points.
He pumped in nearly 350 points as a senior but did not tally more than 600 for his career at Eastern.
Whitcomb (1970-1972), who once pitched 15 innings in a baseball game for Eastern, nearly notched 400 points for the Lancers under coach Vin Punzo as a senior but ended up with just over 700 for his career. He once pumped in 40 points in a game – the third highest total ever in school history.
Curtis (1979-1982), the former Avon High School varsity basketball coach, helped Eastern – under head coach Jim Bates Sr. – make its only state finals appearance in 1981 and also scored points over his four seasons but ended up with less than 800 for his career.
And there were others that were close that former Bristol Eastern boys basketball coach Mike Giovinazzo knew of.
Dave Nye (1979-82) scored over 900 points but did not get to 1,000 and neither did Pace University standout Todd Ziogas (1991-94) who played varsity hoop over his final three seasons at Eastern but was less than 100 points away from 1,000.
Daryl Floyd (1973-1975) just scored over 800 points while Bobby Jones (1965-67) was about three-quarters of the way there, once scoring a school record 42 points in a game.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.