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On This Date (April 13, 1993): Shanfelt leads North

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Since May of 1999, the Times News Sports Department has featured an On This Date practically every day, highlighting an event that happened in the past. With the coronavirus putting a halt to sports locally and nationally, the On This Dates have been expanded to the stories that actually ran in the next day’s newspaper. Today’s On This Date story is from April 13, 1993).

By Joe Plasko


SCHUYLKILL HAVEN - Prior to the start of Tuesday’s Schuylkill County Senior Charity Boys All-Star Basketball Classic, Brad Shanfelt and John Plachko were spotted sitting near each other in the bleachers.

Perhaps a friendly challenge was exchanged, resting on the outcome of the annual cage benefit game at Penn State’s Schuylkill campus, sponsored by the Pottsville Kiwania, Lions and Rotary Clubs.

In any event, Marian’s Shanfelt and Pottsville’s Plachko, two of the leading scorers in the Schuylkill League, were expected to have their usual productive outings, and neither disappointed.

Plachko took game-high honors with 31 points, but Shanfelt had the last laugh, pouring in 25 to lead his North squad to a 133-128 victory.

Even with 20 minute halves and a shot clock, the amount of offense was staggering. While the defense was relaxed at times, as with any All-Star affair, the scoreboard suffered from burnout due to the rapid production.

A good portion of the attack came from area players, who teamed for 83 of the North’s points. In addition to Shanfelt, Tamaqua’s trio of Todd Rottet (16 points), Jason Shellhamer (14) and Damian Fritz (10) combined with Panther Valley’s Cazzie Kosciolek (7), Dave Hnat (6) and Bob Breslin (5) to aid the North’s cause.

“Coach (Bill Dreisbach of North Schuylkill) told us he wanted us to take 100 shots, and we might have come up short,” laughed Shanfelt, whose team collected 57 buckets, 16 of them from three-point land.

Plachko, the Crimson Tide’s 6-5 star, tallied 17 points during the first 10 minutes. Rottet had 12 to keep the North within 37-30.

At that point Dreisbach went to his “second unit,” featuring Marian’s all-time scoring leader and local rivals Shellhamer, Breslin and Kosciolek.

The North proceeded on a tear, outgunning Pottsville coach Jim Steidle’s South contingent 37-22 to bolt ahead 67-59 at the half.

Shanfelt pumped in 11 during the spree, much of it coming off of passes on the run from Shellhamer and Breslin. Shellhamer added 10 points of his own, hooking up with Shanfelt on the alley-oop a few times.

The North opened the lead to 10 in the second half at 76-66 on a triple by Rottet and a dunk by Fritz. The margin was as large as 13 before the South made a comeback.

Williams Valley’s Denny Kasper hit a three-pointer with 6:05 to go to put the South ahead at 109-108, and the lead see-sawed until the North took command down the stretch.

With the South up 118-116, Shanfelt hit for six during a nine-point run that put the North ahead to stay. Opella added a triple during the decisive surge. A deuce by Fritz made it 127-119 North with 1:36 left.

Three Plachko points and a rebound hoop by Pine Grove’s Larry Bellew cut it to 127-124, but Opella and Rottet answered with consecutive three-point bombs to ice it.

Bellew backed Plachko with 17 points for the South while Pottsville’s Kris Armson added 15, Kasper 14 and Nativity’s Ron Shaw 11.


Plachko 13-3-5-31, Machamer 3-0-0-6, Bellew 8-0-0-17, Dudick 3-0-0-7, Derfler 2-0-0-4, Armson 6-2-5-15, Kasper 6-0-0-14, Welker 1-0-0-2, Krebs 2-0-0-5, Shaw 5-0-0-11, Scharadin 3-2-3-9, Kulp 3-0-2-7. TOTALS: 55-7-15-128.


Dombrosky 2-0-0-4, Fritz 5-0-0-10, Opella 8-0-0-21, Hnat 3-0-0-6, Wetzel 5-0-0-13, Michalowski 4-0-0-8, Shanfelt 12-1-1-25, Breslin 2-0-0-5, Shellhamer 6-0-0-14, Rottet 6-0-0-16, Kosciolek 3-0-0-7, Dean 1-2-4-4. TOTALS: 57-3-5-133.

South 59 69 - 128

North 67 66 - 133

Officials: Joe Gerchak, Ray Merwine, Earl Miller.

Three-point goals: South - Plachko 2, Kasper 2, Bellew 1, Dudick 1, Armson 1, Krebs 1, Shaw 1, Kulp 1; North - Opella 5, Rottet 4, Wetzel 3, Shellhamer 2, Breslin 1, Kosciolek 1.