Fifty Years Ago: January 2021

Fallsburg Hoopsters Open Defense of DUSO Village Crown
by John Conway
FALLSBURG – It was January, 1971, 50 years ago this month, that the Fallsburg Comets basketball team opened defense of its DUSO Village League championship with a convincing 78-57 win over the visiting Monticello Panthers.
It was the ninth win in a row for Coach Jim McDermott’s undefeated Comets.
McDermott, in his 13th season as head basketball coach at Fallsburg, expected big things from his veteran team prior to the season’s start, and they didn’t disappoint.
“I guess I’ve been here quite awhile,” McDermott told Times Herald-Record sportswriter Lou Hansen before the league opener. “Maybe 13 is an unlucky number for some people, but I think I have a lot to look forward to.”
In the January 15, 1971 contest against Monticello, the league opener for both squads, the Comets leading scorer Stan Gilmore again led the way with 22 points. Hurleyville native Nate Patton, who years later would serve as head basketball coach at Sullivan County Community College, contributed 15. Robert Jancko added 12. Sophomore sharpshooter Chris Cummings led Monticello with 22 points, while Cliff Doyle added 13.
The game was never close, as the Comets raced out to a 22-9 lead after the first quarter and led at halftime by 43-20. Gilmore and Patton combined for 18 of Fallsburg’s 22 first quarter points.
Fallsburg also won the jayvee game, 74-52 with Arthur Gonzalez scoring 22 points.
The Comets win streak was snapped just one week after the Monticello win, when visiting Liberty held on for a 56-51 victory, giving the Indians first place in the DUSO Village League standings. The Comets went on to finish 18-3 on the season, losing the Section IX Championship to Jeff-Youngsville in a 47-42 defensive struggle at SUNY New Paltz.