1972 Baseball

1972 Baseball Team

The 1972 Boys Basketball Team was Glen Rock High School’s most successful
basketball team

Led by Hall of Fame Head Coach Cardy Gemma, Assistant Coach Tom Dilly and the starting five of Rich Balch, Hall of Fame Inductee Bob Cook, Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Fischer, Hall of Fame Inductee Gary Glass and Brian Patterson, the 1972 Basketball Team is regarded by most as the best in school history. 1972 was a magical season for Panther basketball and the gym was packed for every game.

Having won 13 games in a row to win the B-PSL, Division 2 Championship, Glen Rock entered the challenging State Tournament. In the first round the Rockers knocked off Pascack Valley by a score of 69-59. They then faced Ramsey, who had previously defeated them twice in three games. Rising to occasion, the Panthers defeated them handedly by a score of 61-49.

Next up was an excellent Rutherford team. Like the Panthers, Rutherford had size and speed. The game was played in front of 2000+ fans at Hackensack High School. Led by Brian Patterson’s 25 points (including making 10 of his 14 shots), Glen Rock was up by six points, 69-63, with three plus minutes left — when Bob Cook was forced to leave the game for good. Rutherford took advantage of his departure and tied the game at 72-72 in the last minute — forcing the game into overtime. During the extra period, Rutherford took the lead, but Steve Fischer made two free throws and then hit a jumper to win the game, 76-75, and have Glen Rock crowned Group 2, Sectional Champions.

Having won Glen Rock’s first (and still only) Sectional Championship in basketball, the Panthers then played Vailsburg of Newark in the Group 2, North Jersey Championship game.

With size, speed and great shooting, Vailsburg would be Glen Rock’s toughest challenge. Most people in attendance agreed that they had never seen a high school team as “hot” as Vailsburg was that night. The Vikings shot “lights out,” making 9 of 11 shots in the first quarter (mostly from the perimeter). However, led by Bob Cook’s superb shooting, the Panthers battled back and took a 35-30 lead at halftime. After intermission, Vailsburg regained the lead and was up by a score of 61-55 with barely a minute left to play. However, Gary Glass and Steve Fischer hit quick jumpers to reduce the deficit to two points. With Vailsburg desperately trying to run out the clock, Glen Rock committed a foul. Vailsburg made one of two free throws. Gary then got the ball, was fouled and hit both free throws.  The lead was now down to one point. With seconds remaining, Vailsburg inbounded the ball. There was an immediate scramble for the ball. Sadly, Vailsburg regained the ball and the game ended with a heartbreaking loss, 62-61.  

After this game, Vailsburg defeated Ocean City High School by a wide margin (63-44) in the Group 2, State Championship game.

The team ended its season with a record of 19-6.  Leading scorer (averaging nearly 20 points per game) and rebounder Bob Cook was named to the First Team, All County (by The Bergen Record). Steve Fischer was named to the Third Team, All-County. They were both named to the First Team, All Suburban (by The Ridgewood News) and First Team, All-B-PSL. Brian Patterson received Honorable Mention to both the All-Suburban and B-PSL teams. Coach Gemma was named Coach of the Year by The Ridgewood News.

At the end of the season, The Bergen Record ranked Glen Rock third in the County behind two Group 4 schools, Hackensack and Ridgewood. The bottom line — great coach, great team, great memories!

Coach Carl Zaisser
Assistant Coach George Yost

Tom Bayer
Ernie Cannata
Bob Catapano
Art Faber
Steve Franklin
Jim Henry
Sean Krippes
Warren McNair
Mike Petrocci
Pete Rispoli

Rich Balch
Art Caporale
Pete Del Grosso
Steve Fischer
Gary Glass
Tom Kahn
John Locke
Dave Pauley
Bob Postma
Ken Veenema

Team managers: Bruce Auerbach and Tom Rippe