Tigers Claimed Classic in 1977
Andes Scored 59, Roseberry Netted 39 in Memorable Thriller
BELLAIRE — If you like high-scoring prep basketball games then the Bellaire High gymnasium was the place to be on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 1977.
The homestanding Big Reds, led by senior standout Kevin Roseberry, hosted rival Shadyside that night. The Tigers featured all-Ohioan Ed Andes.
A packed house was treated to points produced at a prolific pace. When the final horn sounded, Shadyside left the All-American Town and headed southbound with a hard-earned 107-103 overtime triumph of epic proportions.
Shadyside improved to a sparkling 13-2 on the season after the elongated affair while the Big Reds dropped to 9-7.
It is a game that fans from both communities still talk about today. It was also a game I witnessed in person, being a Bethany College student at that time.
Andes and Roseberry more than lived up to their reputations as big-game players.
Roseberry, who went onto become a longtime Bellaire schools administrator and who is now principal with Shadyside schools, poured in a career-high 39 points.
Andes, who became a Bowling Green roundball recruit, smoked the nets for an amazing 59 tallies, including a perfect 15-of-15 at the foul stripe. Those totals are made more impressive by the fact the three-point arc was not a reality yet.
Bellaire was coached by Mark Matz, now deceased. The Tigers were guided by Terry Snively, the Powhatan High athletic legend who went onto football coaching fame at River High.
“Ironically, I was the coach at Bellaire the year before. My first year at Shadyside was the first year we picked up Bellaire in basketball,” Snively recalled. “It was an up-and-down game. We wanted to push it and Bellaire wanted to push it. There wasn’t a lot of defense being played. Bellaire played man defense, so we started overtime with a play I called for Timmy (Merryman) to set a pick for Ed and roll to the bucket. I said to Tim ‘Ed will get you the ball just don’t blow the layup.'” He made it and it got us off to a good start in overtime. Ed was a great passer.
“Ed was an outstanding player, but we had a lot of really good players. I just didn’t want to hold them back. I wanted them to get out and run. We had a great year. We went 20-3 and we beat Charlie Huggins’ Indian Valley South team in the district tournament at St. John Arena,” he continued. “We lost two regular season games to Buckeye South. Strasburg beat us in the regionals at Athens. I looked over early on in that regional game and I had four starters on the bench in foul trouble. Strasburg had a real good player named Jeff Numbers. I think he shot 32 foul shots and we only shot 18 as a team.”
Shadyside forged a 24-16 lead against Bellaire after one quarter and maintained a 45-40 halftime advantage. Andes and Roseberry both poured in 14 points during the third quarter, leaving the Tigers on top, 73-68, entering the fourth period.
Foul issues began to take a toll on the Tigers in the fourth period as starters Bob Heidelbach and Greg Andes, Ed’s brother, both went to the bench with five personals. Bellaire, meanwhile, used 10 Glen Dawson points in the frame to build an 89-81 lead with 2:45 showing in regulation. Ed Andes compensated for the loss of his brother and Heidelbach by unloading 19 counters in the fourth stanza.
Ed Andes, who played the final nine minutes of the game with four fouls, buried a corner jumper, Steve Rosser goaled from up top before free throws from Jim Ruble and Ed Andes, the latter of the technical variety, evened the score at 93-all. Two more Ed Andes’ charity throws gave the Orange a 95-93 lead with just 15 seconds showing in the fourth. After a Bellaire timeout, Roseberry took a long pass from Greg Gray and navigated through heavy traffic to mesh the game-tying bucket, forcing an extra session.
Rosser and Roseberry traded hoops to open the overtime. A Ruble bucket and two freebies by Gray kept the extravaganza knotted at 99-aside with 1:23 to play.
The 6-3 Ed Andes subsequently drove the baseline for a hoop, putting Shadyside on top for good. Merryman netted the layup off of Snively’s pick-and-roll call, making it a 103-99 Orange upper hand.
The feisty Big Reds, however, refused to roll over.
Gray, who finished with 24 markers, buried a 15-footer. Shadyside junior Dan Johnson connected from close range before Roseberry goaled again with seven seconds to go, drawing the hosts to within 105-103. Ed Andes, however, delivered the final nail in the Big Reds’ coffin by meshing two free throws in the waning seconds.
“I was extremely angry (after the game) because it is much more difficult to lose to people you know. I had gone through fifth grade with most of them and had played baseball with or against them all the way through Pony League. On top of that, we had a lead late in the game and gave it up at the end and let them tie it up in regulation,” Roseberry said. “Gary Price, Vince Mehl, Brian Dawson and Jeff Helms were the other starters. Our team was basically a bunch of athletes. When I tell people we had nine or 10 people who could dunk the basketball they don’t believe me, but we always had athletes.
“It was Coach Matz’s first year as head coach at Bellaire. Coach (Gene) Ammirante was his assistant. Coach Matz had been very successful at Bishop Donahue and he was also my uncle so I wanted to do very well for him, also,” added the former Big Reds’ hoop great. “Coach Matz wanted to be positive this year (1977). So though he wanted to win badly, he also knew it was his first year and didn’t want to tear us down. I don’t remember his exact words after the Shadyside game but he was positive and wanted us to forget it and go onto the next game. He encouraged us to get better and move onto the next game.”
Greg Andes was his brother’s top support with 15 points. Ruble was next with 11 tallies while Heidelbach netted 10 counters.
Roseberry’s 39 points and Gray’s 24 tallies were backed by Dawson’s 20 lightings and 12 from the athletic Mehl. Dawson (21) and Roseberry (16) combined for 37 rebounds.
Ruble collared 14 rebounds for Shadyside while Ed Andes grabbed 11 caroms.
Matz displayed impressive sportsmanship. A few days after that 210-point shootout, the Bellaire High head coach traveled to Shadyside High and presented Ed Andes the game ball.
“Ed and I have known each other since grade school. We were roommates at Bowling Green for one year and he was the best man in my wedding, where he met his eventual wife. We now work closely together as he is guidance counselor while I am the testing coordinator,” Roseberry said. “Although the kids have long forgotten Ed and I, a year does not go by in which one or two older fans don’t come up to me and tell me they remember that specific game. It was a packed house and it was the first year Bellaire and Shadyside had played in a while. On top of that, Coach Snively had left Bellaire the year before to go to Shadyside so this was added incentive.”
Ed Andes also has vivid memories of the game.
“We were playing a rival team at their place and it was a packed house…wall-to-wall people. The game generated a great deal of excitement,” Andes recalled. “There was a lot of offense. It had to be a fun game to watch. Coach Snively was fun to play for. He turned us loose. That game helped us get ready for the post-season.
“I was just trying to win the game. I wasn’t worried about my point total. I had no idea that I had 59 points,” he added. “It was one of those games that every shot you took you felt that it was going to go in. My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball. It’s still fun to talk with Kevin about that game even after all these years.”
SHADYSIDE (107) – E. Andes 22, 15-15 59; Merryman 1, 0-0 2; Johnson 2, 0-1 4; Rosser 3, 0-0 6; Ruble 4, 3-4 11; Heidelbach 5, 0-0 10; G. Andes 6, 3-6 15. Totals 43, 21-26. BELLAIRE (103) – Dawson 9, 2-8 20; Mehl 4, 4-4 12; Roseberry 17, 5-7 39; G. Gray 9, 6-7 24; J. Gray 2, 1-2 5; Helms 0, 0-1; Price 4, 1-1 9. Totals 42, 19-30.