Final score, 11-10…in basketball?



By Jared Kraham | The Warrior Report

“…and the final score in this one is 11-10, talk about one heck of a game…”

Yeah, it did happen. On February 21, 1964 two teams played a high school basketball game against one another that were such rivals, they made the Red Sox-Yankees clash look like a playground dispute. These two teams were not Chenango Valley and Chenango Forks, not Vestal and Union-Endicott, not any two teams that you could think of. It was Binghamton vs. Binghamton.

Up until what most of us know as Binghamton High School was renovated, two high schools existed in the Binghamton school district. Binghamton North (now where Binghamton Alumni Stadium stands), and Binghamton Central (now known as Binghamton High School) were the bitterest of rivals, and put out some of the toughest high school basketball teams in the area.

The time came when North would play Central, on neutral ground at the BCC gymnasium. North’s team could not match Central’s power, speed, and size, so they did what they could with the ball – they held on to it. Remember kids, this is in a time of no shot clock, three-point line, or Air Jordans. This was real basketball. North held on to the ball, only scoring only 11 points in the course of the whole game and by running out the clock, won. People in the crowd swore, boos and hisses greeted the players as they took the court after halftime. Could you imagine?

Would this type of basketball, these “guerrilla tactics” fly in the modern day high school world? The short answer in my opinion – No. First of all, it’s too risky for coaches and players. Does the coach of a high school team want that kind of win win? How would the school feel about the game? The pride of the school’s athletic department would rather suffer a horrible loss than a cheap win (if you would call it cheap, I would call it genius). Second, its against the rules. The 35 second shot clock is there for a reason, so no “exciting” games like this will happen ever again.

I remember my dad, (Chenango Valley Class of ’67) recalling the event. He was only in ninth grade when it happened. “People went nuts, cars may have overturned in the parking lot.” Although Chenango Valley had no interaction in this affair, schools from all over the area were thinking the same thing “Could this happen to us?” Luckily for them, the game style was never repeated, I suppose partly due to the death threats that North’s coach received after the game.

If something similar was repeated, I would be a huge fan of it (as long as CV wasn’t on the losing side). And please, just one request; bring back the retro 60’s look for a couple games. Get on some Chuck Taylor’s and hit the court.


TrackBack Identifier URI