Philadelphia High School Basketball

A Look at Simon Gratz High's 107-Game Winning Streak
In Public League Regular Season Games, 1989-1998

  This page includes stories, special lists, rotations for all 10 teams and, at the bottom, game-by-game
results with leading scorers. The streak ended with a loss at Dobbins.
  Crucial information provided by Tom Taylor.
To provide additions/

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Members of Gratz' 1991 National Champs, L to R -- Jamahal Redmond, Contrell Scott, Levan Alston.
(Slightly visible behind -- Calvin Wingfield)

Coach Bill Ellerbee

1989: Six
1990: Thirteen
1991: Ten
1992: Eleven
1993: Eleven
1994: Eleven
1995: Eleven
1996: Fifteen
1997: Sixteen
1998: Three

W - Wins Against Each Opponent
MPS - Most Points Scored (All Opp.)
FPA - Fewest Points Allowed (All Opp.)
School W MPS FPA
Central 8 105 18
King 8 104 18
Roxborough 7 100 23
Germantown 6 97 25
Parkway 6 96 28
Audenried 5 96 28
Edison 5 96 29
Franklin 5 94 29
Frankford 4 94 30
Mastbaum 4 92 30
Northeast 4 92 31
Olney 4 92 31
Washington 4 91 32
Eng. & Science 3 90 32
Franklin LC 3 90 32
Straw. Mansion 3 90 32
University City 3 90 33
Bartram 2 90 34
Bok 2 89 34
Dobbins 2 88 35
Kensington 2 88 36
Lamberton 2 87 36
Lincoln 2 87 36
Overbrook 2 87 36
Penn 2 86 36
Southern 2 86 37
West Phila. 2 86 37
Bodine 1 85 37
Fels 1 85 37
Furness 1 84 47
GAMP 1 85 42
Phila. Reg. (forf.) 1    



Gratz' Impressive
Winning Streak

  Over the last six games in 1989 through the first three games in 1998, Simon Gratz won 107 consecutive Public League regular season games. In the '89 season, the backcourt starters were twins Mark and Steve Patterson. Here is that story (written shortly before the streak began). 

By Ted Silary

  Mark Patterson is one inch taller, weighs five more pounds, holds a 2-0 lead in distinguishing features and is seven minutes older.
  That information comes courtesy of Steve Patterson, the other half of Simon Gratz's identical-twin guard basketball combination.
  It also comes challenged; at least the last part does.
  "I'm not seven minutes older. Steve is," Mark said. "He's got it backwards. I'm positive. I might look the oldest, but he is. Yeah, I'm sure. You can ask our mom."
  For the record, Mark stands 5-10, weighs 145 pounds, has an inchlong scar under his right eyebrow (the result of a car accident last year) and has a discolored front tooth (the result of a wayward elbow two years ago).
  Not that anyone sees his teeth that often.
  "I'm the happy, smile-all-the-time guy," Steve said. "Mark's the mean, evil guy. His face always has a mad-looking expression.
  "He's one of those guys who always wants his way. He likes to be on top. He thinks he knows everything, too. He likes to play father, telling everybody what to do."
  Yesterday, Mark (No. 4, white socks with black stripes) and Steve (No. 3, white socks with red stripes) performed in their traditionally pesky, heady manner as the visiting Bulldogs (11-0) beat Olney (0-9), 64-49, in a Public League game.
  Mark had 2 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Steve, bothered by foul trouble, was limited to 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 1 steal.
Scoring is not the seniors' thing. It's slicing and dicing their counterparts.
  Though coach Bill Ellerbee originally intended to have the twins share the point-guard spot, he has found such strategy nearly impossible to implement. The Pattersons play too well together. Their cumulative effect on the team is too positive.
  "They put so much heat on the ball," Ellerbee said. "It's hard to take either one of them out. The best thing we do, I feel, is play defense. They're most of the reason."
  They also might as well be one.
  "Only during the ballgame do I call them by their names, and that's only because they have their shirts on," Ellerbee said. "Every other time it's 'Twin.' Everybody calls them that. I grew up with three sets of twins in my neighborhood and I could never tell them apart. So with these guys, I don't even mess with trying."
  All in all, Steve most seems to enjoy twinship. In fact, when it comes to names, he says he prefers "Twin" to Steve.
  "It's funny when people are always asking, 'Which one are you?' " Steve said. "I usually respond to 'Mark' because I know the trouble people have. Sometimes it seems like the only person who can tell us apart is our mom (Lenor).
  "One time at Gratz, Mark's girlfriend came running into my classroom hollering and cussing. I said, 'I'm not the one you're mad at.' Also, one time at home, my mom started hollering at me for chores he didn't do."
  Mark's opinion of being a twin is mixed.
  "It's all right," he said. "I don't like it when people are always asking me, 'Which one are you?'   Sometimes they'll come up to me and assume I'm Steve and start telling me all his business. I don't want to hear it."
  Mark didn't have that problem at school until he arrived at Gratz in 10th grade. Steve had entered Gratz a year earlier.
 "I used to get in trouble when I was little," Mark said. "We got separated. We went to different schools."
  Mark attended Hill Elementary and Rhodes Middle School, while Steve went to Walton and Fitz-Simons.
  "People didn't know I had a twin until we got together at Gratz," Steve said. "Except for the people in our neighborhood (near 30th and Huntingdon, North Philly), that is."
  If possible, meanwhile, the twins agree that they'd prefer to stay together for college.
  "We're close. You'll always see us together," Steve said. "We can't be apart for too long. If I go a week without seeing him (when one or the other is visiting relatives in the summertime), I miss him bad. I have to call him, just to talk." 
  The conversations probably begin with, "Hey, Twin . . . "
  NOTES: Aaron McKie, a 6-3 junior swingman, led Gratz with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists. Harry Moore, a 6-7 junior center, had 19 points, 12 boards . . . For Olney, 6-7 senior center Artis Preston had 11 points, 10 rebounds . . . Olney soph Bill Keene, a lefty, is an impressive guard prospect. He's quick, aggressive and can shoot. He nailed three three-pointers en route to 14 points.

Aaron McKie
Harry Moore
William "Beau" Thompson
Mark Patterson
Steve Patterson
Key Subs
Andre Griffin
Mike Epps
Aaron McKie
Harry Moore
Rasheed Wallace
Levan Alston
Andre Griffin
Key Subs
Contrell Scott
Calvin Wingfield
George "Toot" Winns
Rasheed Wallace
Levan Alston
Andre Griffin
Calvin Wingfield
Contrell Scott
Key Subs
Wilfred Kirkaldy
Shawn "Reds" Smith
Jamahal Redmond
Corey Griffin
Jamahal Redmond
Rasheed Wallace
Contrell Scott
Shawn "Reds" Smith
Key Sub
Terrell Stokes
Rasheed Wallace
Jamahal Redmond
Shawn "Reds" Smith
Terrell Stokes
Alem Watson
Key Subs
Rondell Turner
Lynard Stewart
James "Noot" Smith
Lynard Stewart
Shawn "Reds" Smith
Terrell Stokes
Brian Samuels
Michael Blunt
Key Subs
Arthur Dorsey
Anthony "Chester" Watson
Ron "Bambi" Campbell
Terrell Stokes
Brian Samuels
Anthony "Chester' Watson
Arthur Dorsey
Dawan Boxley
Key Subs
Erik Hood
Jarett Kearse
Marvin O'Connor
Marvin O'Connor
Jarett Kearse
Tahric Gosley
Perry DiVirgilio
Terrance "Fats" Smith
Key Subs
Ron "Bambi" Campbell
Shatee "Meatball" Cooks
Marvin O'Connor
Jarett Kearse
Shatee Cooks
Steve Kennedy
Khari McKie
Key Subs
Sharod Carroll
Rasheem Sims
Khari McKee
Purcell Coles
Rasheem Sims
Sharod Carroll
Terrell Stokes
Key Subs
James Russell
Kenyatta McKinney
Shawn Sanders

This story about star sophomore Rasheed Wallace, a four-year starter during the streak
and later a long-time NBA player, was written in February 1991 . . .

By Ted Silary
  Athletes are much like sports writers. Negatives make more of a lasting impression on them than positives.
  Rasheed Wallace, the 6-10 sophomore wunderkind from Simon Gratz, has probably forgotten the first point and rebound he
earned last year as a varsity basketball player.
  But yesterday, in the waning moments of the Bulldogs' 60-51 Public North triumph at Thomas Edison, Wallace collected a
first he'll never forget - a technical foul.
  With 39 seconds left, Wallace and teammate Andre Griffin became tangled while chasing a rebound. When the ball rolled out
of bounds, referee Tom DeFelice awarded possession to Edison. More out of frustration than out of anger at the call, Wallace
gave a hard, one-handed slap to the partition behind the basket.
  Tweet! Technical foul.
  On Gratz's bench, coach Bill Ellerbee immediately snapped, "Calvin (Wingfield), go get Rasheed."
  The walk to the bench was perhaps the longest of Wallace's life. He knew what awaited him - a wicked tongue-lashing
delivered by a man with smoke pouring out of his ears.
  "Mr. Ell doesn't like us to get techs," Wallace said. "That's one of the things I have to learn to control, my temper. Even
though I know I'm not supposed to do it, when the game's tight near the end, stuff bothers me more. I get too emotional.
That comes out more than my hard play."
  Minus the blue streaks, Wallace said Ellerbee's message was rather succinct.
  "Mr. Ell said I have to learn to control my temper," Rasheed said. "He said I have a long way to go in the basketball field,
that I just can't do things like that. He said people could put a label on me that I talk to the refs, or get carried away
emotionally. That's one thing I don't need, he said."
  Wallace, who is ranked by most recruiting services among the top five sophomores in the country, garnered 14 points,
8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots against the Owls.
  Like always, he showed great athleticism for someone so tall so early (he won't turn 17 until Sept. 17). His jump-shooting
skills, especially on short turnarounds, have improved greatly since last season.
  Wallace was dissatisfied with his showing. Wilfred Kirkaldy, the 6-9 blacksmith, was back in Brooklyn tending to family
business and Wallace felt he should have done a stronger job on the boards.
  "When Will's here, we get about 10 boards apiece," Wallace said. "With him not here, the guys were looking for me to
pick up the slack. Edison was sending five guys to the boards. It felt like five-on-one. But still, I should have done a better
job. I still have to learn more about boxing out."
  Though Gratz had won its first seven league games by an average of 40 points, the Owls were not impressed. Nor
  Take that No. 6 national ranking (in USA Today) somewhere else. Here it means nothing.
  As point guard Dennis Caldwell (25 points) and wing sniper Mike Urqurhart (11) led the way, Edison was very much
thinking upset with 4 1/2 minutes left, with the deficit at only one point, 49-48. However, 6-6 junior Lamar Poole and
Caldwell would foul out in the next three minutes and the Owls would get no more field goals.
  "Every team we play, it's like their Super Bowl, their championship," Wallace said. "Teams come at us. It would be so
good for their school to beat us. This probably happened because we felt we could come in here and walk all over them.
The only time we can do that is when we play our butts off in the first quarter. That's when we can have fun."

This story was written in 1994 after the Bulldogs keep the streak alive with a
two-point win over Franklin Learning Center . . .

By Ted Silary
  One star missed from the right. The other missed from the left.
  Then, the buzzer droned, substitutes of the winning team burst onto the court to hug and jump all over the starters,
the coach of the losing team zipped from spot to spot to rage to anyone who would listen about what he said was a
non-call, TV cameras began capturing the various scenes and . . . and . . .
  Those with presence of mind began to think about Feb. 27, and how much fun they could have at a rematch.
  Feb. 27 is the date of the Public League basketball championship game, which will be played at the Civic Center.
  In one corner could be Simon Gratz. In the other, thanks to prearranged bracketing, could be Franklin Learning Center.
  Those two teams, which have played in the last four title games (with Gratz winning three), clashed yesterday in a
Division B-C regular-season game before 1,500 energized fans at the Community College of Philadelphia. No one
asked for his money back.
  Gratz won, 48-46, by surviving one last shot apiece from 6-4 guard Rasiheed ''Noot" Arnold and 6-7 forward
Michael Robinson, who had combined for all but six of FLC's points.
  With 17 seconds remaining, Gratz point guard Shawn "Reds" Smith went to the line for a one-and-one at the 17th
Street end of the gym. Three feet behind the baseline were FLC fans, lined up three-deep, who already had poured
out of the stands. They booed and waved as Smith shot, then rejoiced when he missed and FLC's Joe Brown grabbed
his game-high 12th rebound at 0:16 and called time.
  What would FLC do?
  "We thought they'd go for a three-pointer," Gratz center Lynard Stewart said. "They didn't want to settle for two
and overtime."
  Said Gratz coach Bill Ellerbee: "If we had decided to protect the basket, they would have raised up for a 'three.'
Actually, I thought about fouling them . . . Fleetingly."
  All five Bobcats touched the ball on the last possession. Hassan Ravenell inbounded to Brown, who passed back
to Ravenell under backcourt pressure; Ravenell passed ahead to Satu Divine, who passed ahead to Arnold beyond
midcourt on the right. Arnold dribbled toward the baseline, then released a 10-foot jumper and saw it miss long.
Robinson grabbed the rebound on the left side, stepped back 3 feet, then launched a 12-foot jumper.
  It, too, was long.
  As soon as the final rebound went to Gratz's Michael Blunt, the first question became, had Robinson been fouled
by Stewart?
  "Tell me one thing: Why didn't they call a foul there?" FLC coach Pete Merlino bellowed.
  When Robinson was asked whether he thought he'd been fouled, he shot back, ''I know I was. But I ain't mad.
We'll get another shot at them."
  When the subject was broached with Stewart, he said, "No. Uh-uh. He got that off clean. " He later added, "The
ref wasn't going to make that call at the end. If I did foul him, it wasn't very hard. Not enough to call it, anyway."
  Putting too much stock in comparative scores can be dangerous, but one might have expected a comfortable win
for Gratz.
  The Bulldogs (22-3) twice had extended powerful Rice Catholic, of Manhattan, and Rice had blitzed FLC (15-7)
by 36 points. In B-C play, Gratz generally had experienced the easier time.
  "If somebody woke those guys up at 4 in the morning and told them they played Gratz at 5, they'd be ready,"
Ellerbee said.
  Gratz played with poise and confidence while building a 21-11 lead 1:16 into the second quarter. But when Stewart
then picked up two quick fouls (he did not leave the game), FLC's spirits brightened. By halftime, the Bobcats were
ahead, 28-27, thanks to Robinson's last-second follow.
  Ellerbee went exclusively with man-to-man in the second half and put Stewart on Robinson.
  In all, Robinson shot 9-for-19 from the floor and 2-for-2 for the line for 24 points. He was 4-for-7 on "threes."
  He was so deep on the "three" he hit with 24 seconds left, drawing FLC within 48-46, he should have earned four
  "I was standing at the arc," Stewart said. "He took it back to NBA distance."
  Said Ellerbee: "Lynard was with him. They were both in the stratosphere. I didn't know Mike had those kind of
'hops.' Just to be able to take that shot was amazing.
  "When it looked like he was going to be on the perimeter, I put (6-2 forward) Brian Samuels on him. Then he took
Brian inside for two baskets and I said, 'Guess we'll have to go with Lynard. ' Then he takes Lynard way out and
hits 'threes.' Can't have everything."
  Robinson said he backed up before his final attempt because he was regaining his balance after reaching to grab the
  "If I'm squared up for my shot," he said, "90 percent of them are going to go in."
  Nearby, a listener nodded approvingly and purred, "Go 'head, Mike. "
  "My fans love me," Robinson said.
  Arnold finished with 16 points. The Bobcats not named Robinson or Arnold attempted just eight shots from the
floor, making one, a "three" by Ravenell. Gratz received double-figure scoring from Stewart (17), Samuels and Blunt
(12 apiece). Smith settled for four points, but had six assists and two steals.
  When both were little, Smith and Robinson lived near each other.
  "He's still my friend," Smith said, "but on the court you have no friends."
  With 1:49 left, Samuels, who'd taken a poor shot a half-minute earlier, made a strong move to the basket and
handed Gratz a 46-43 lead. At 1:16, Arnold tried a similar trick, but lost the ball. Stewart recovered on the floor
while calling for a that's-fast-thinking timeout.
  When play was about to resume, Greg Carr was prevented from checking in for Ravenell (four fouls) because he
had not reported to the table before the first horn. Gratz was able to waste precious time as Ravenell covered Smith
and declined to foul. Finally, Smith was fouled at 0:40 and made both ends of the one-and-one for a 48-43 lead.
  "Basically, we played a good game," Smith said. "But we could have done some things better, like a better job
against their zone. We missed some easy shots. A couple times we didn't make the extra pass." 
  In the previous four seasons, Gratz and FLC had met only once in the regular season, in '90. Gratz took both
games that season along with the title game in '91 and '93. FLC triumphed in '92.
  "It didn't matter to me whether we played them," Smith said. "They're just part of the schedule."
  The games, usually, become part of Public League lore.
  ***The teams DID meet in the final. FLC won, but later was forced to relinquish the championship for
using ineligible players. Gratz was named the champion.***

**The Streak, Game by Game**
1988-89  (6) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Parkway 82 51 Aaron McKie 25
Central 68 66 Steve Patterson 17
Roxborough 87 84 Harry Moore 24
Germantown 62 53 Aaron McKie 25
King 67 65 Aaron McKie 24
Straw. Mansion 85 57 Aaron McKie 20
  451 376    
  75.2 62.7    
1989-90 (13) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Penn 69 61 Aaron McKie 26
Mastbaum 73 48 Calvin Wingfield 19
University City 72 39 Harry Moore 22
Dobbins 72 45 Harry Moore 19
Franklin LC 60 45 Aaron McKie 17
Franklin   54 41 Aaron McKie 19
Edison 53 41 Aaron McKie 12
Straw. Mansion 94 34 Aaron McKie 29
Parkway 59 37 Aaron McKie 20
Central 62 48 Aaron McKie 21
Roxborough 62 42 Aaron McKie 15
Germantown 86 48 Harry Moore 12
King 80 50 Harry Moore / Rasheed Wallace 17
  896 579    
  68.9 44.5    
1990-91 (10) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Kensington 104 46 Contrell Scott / Wilfred Kirkaldy 20
Mastbaum 71 50 Rasheed Wallace / Levan Alston 16
Lincoln 90 47 Rasheed Wallace 22
Olney 71 48 Levan Alston 15
Northeast 78 51 Levan Alston 18
Bodine 90 41 Jamahal Redmond 15
Washington 87 38 Levan Alston 14
Edison 60 51 Rasheed Wallace 14
Central 70 54 Wilfred Kirkaldy 20
Frankford 72 36 Rasheed Wallace / Jamahal Redmond 14
  793 462    
  79.3 46.2    
1991-92 (11) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Washington 77 44 Rasheed Wallace 23
Olney 57 51 Contrell Scott   16
Northeast 81 40 Shawn Smith 20
Roxborough 67 33 Rasheed Wallace 17
Parkway 59 36 Contrell Scott 16
Central 71 48 Rasheed Wallace 19
Germantown 91 31 Corey Griffin 31
Frankford 71 46 Jamahal Redmond 23
Eng. & Science 79 36 Contrell Scott 25
Edison 69 36 Contrell Scott 16
King 92 41 Contrell Scott 23
  814 442    
  74 40.2    
1992-93 (11) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Southern 62 28 Rondell Turner 16
Bartram 96 48 Rasheed Wallace 23
Roxborough 88 36 Rondell Turner / Shawn Smith 14
Central 92 32 Rasheed Wallace 18
University City 78 44 Rondell Turner 19
Audenried 100 39 Rondell Turner 26
Overbrook 69 47 Rondell Turner 12
Bok 59 30 Rasheed Wallace 16
Parkway 78 18 Rondell Turner 18
King 90 50 Rasheed Wallace 18
West Phila. 60 47 Rasheed Wallace 22
  872 419    
  79.3 38.1    
1993-94 (11) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Mastbaum 76 51 Lynard Stewart 21
Roxborough 89 39 Shawn Smith 27
Central 68 44 Terrell Stokes 18
GAMP 85 42 Michael Blunt 22
Franklin 49 35 Shawn Smith 15
Audenried 83 63 Michael Blunt 17
Straw. Mansion 83 46 Lynard Stewart 24
Penn 92 40 Shawn Smith 17
King 87 51 Shawn Smith / Michael Blunt 16
Franklin LC 48 46 Lynard Stewart 17
Dobbins 76 38 Shawn Smith 26
  836 495    
  76 45    
1994-95 (11) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Olney 76 42 Terrell Stokes 28
Northeast 74 46 Brian Samuels  18
Audenried 105 45 Brian Samuels / Jarret Kearse 20
Franklin 64 51 Marvin O'Connor 18
Central 82 25 Marvin O'Connor 20
Frankford 58 32 Dawan Boxley / Brian Samuels 12
Germantown 37 23 Anthony Watson 12
Eng. & Science 69 64 Terrell Stokes 18
Washington 61 40 Marvin O'Connor 16
Edison 47 40 Anthony Watson 21
King 70 45 Brian Samuels  16
  743 453    
  67.5 41.2    
1995-96 (15) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Lamberton 86 37 Jarett Kearse 17
Overbrook 59 49 Marvin O'Connor 20
University City 66 59 Marvin O'Connor 18
Southern 71 28 Marvin O'Connor 15
Furness 70 47 Marvin O'Connor 19
West Phila. 49 45 Marvin O'Connor 15
Audenried 84 66 Marvin O'Connor 16
Parkway 47 34 Perry DiVirgilio 9
King 52 50 Marvin O'Connor 15
Phila. Regional forf.      
Franklin 64 51 Jarett Kearse 19
Bartram 49 29 William Horton 9
Roxborough 80 32 Marvin O'Connor 24
Germantown 71 29 Marvin O'Connor 16
Bok 64 45 Marvin O'Connor 17
  912 601    
  65.1 49.2    
1996-97  (16) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Eng. & Science 66 47 Jarett Kearse 25
Kensington 96 31 Jarett Kearse 25
Frankford 66 37 Marvin O'Connor 26
Northeast 56 18 Marvin O'Connor 30
Lincoln 90 40 Marvin O'Connor 28
Audenried 94 32 Marvin O'Connor 25
Washington 88 58 Jarett Kearse 25
Central 79 37 Marvin O'Connor 22
Franklin 71 56 Jarett Kearse 19
Germantown 56 43 Steve Kennedy 15
King 96 38 Marvin O'Connor 26
Olney 82 58 Marvin O'Connor 39
Roxborough 86 39 Marvin O'Connor 25
Parkway 83 39 Marvin O'Connor 27
Edison 90 39 Rasheem Sims / Sharod Carroll 15
Fels 97 30 Marvin O'Connor 34
  1296 642    
  81 40.1    
1997-98 (3) Gratz Opp. Leading Scorer(s) Points
Mastbaum 71 46 Rasheem Sims   15
Franklin LC 59 52 Purcell Coles 15
Lamberton 69 47 Khari McKie 16
  199 145    
  66.3 48.3    
  7812 4614  (Forfeit not counted in totals)  
  73.7 43.5