Philadelphia High School Basketball

A Look at Thomas Edison's
1995-96 Public League Champions . . .

This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown and recaps of postseason games.

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   Thanks to Tom Taylor for his help.

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Edison's Mark Peterson (on floor) and Gratz' Shatee Cooks
scramble for a loose ball in the championship game

Albert Crockett celebrates his OT-forcing
shot in the championship game.

Coach Howard Ratinoff

+=Holy Ghost Prep Tourney
84 North Catholic 62
61 Chester 69
36 +Holy Ghost Prep 33
50 +Truman 66
57 Williamsport 51
  PL Reg. Season  
84 Northeast 51
60 Penn 55
99 Mastbaum 74
73 Straw. Mansion 75
77 Fels 32
71 Eng. and Science 57
79 Washington 58
76 Olney 62
87 Kensington 56
65 Dobbins 63
87 Bodine 62
66 Frankford 62
84 GAMP 62
63 Franklin LC 61
71 Masterman 37
  PL Playoffs  
80 King 56
53 Eng. and Science 48
76 Franklin LC 62
74 Gratz (OT) 68
Daily News All-City
  SECOND TEAM: Omar Logan
  THIRD TEAM: Albert Crockett
Daily News All-Public 
  FIRST TEAM: Omar Logan
  SECOND TEAM: Albert Crockett
  FOURTH TEAM: Mark Peterson
Coaches All-Pubic
  FIRST TEAM: Omar Logan
  SECOND TEAM: Albert Crockett
  THIRD TEAM: Mark Peterson


Howard Ratinoff


14-1, 21-3


  Omar Logan

  Albert Crockett

  Mark Peterson

  David "Day-Day" Wise

  Tyrone Forrest

Key Subs

  Reuben Palmer

  Ryan Moore

Tribute Page for Thomas Edison's
1995-96 Public League Champs

This story was written after the Owls defeated Gratz, 74-68, in OT,
to win the championship. It was the school's title since 1969, and
featured a series of incredible, stretch-run circumstances.

By Ted Silary
  After the amazing plays, after the controversy, after the mad stampedes onto the court by first one school's fans and then the other school's fans, and then the first school's fans again . . .
  There was Mark Peterson, all by his lonesome.
  His four fellow starters on Thomas Edison High's heaven-blessed basketball team were buzzing around the Civic Center floor, snatching down nets, mugging for TV cameras and jumping on - and being jumped on by - person after person after person.
  And there was Peterson, the 6-6 senior center, walking solo at the court's outer edge.
  He wasn't jumping. Wasn't screaming. Wasn't smiling.
  He was staring into space, looking like he'd been put under by the world's best hypnotist.
  Maybe he had been.
  That would be one way to explain what Peterson accomplished yesterday as Edison stunned Simon Gratz, 74-68, in overtime before 4,000 exhausted fans to win - no, seize by the throat - its first Public League championship since 1969.
  All around Peterson, the rest of the Owls launched brick after brick from the foul line, hitting just 11 of 31 attempts.
  But there was Peterson, keeping a simple act simple.
  He was tossing good-luck pennies. The basket was as big as a fountain.
  Kerplunk. Kerplunk. Kerplunk. Kerplunk . . .
  Peterson shot 15-for-16 at the line en route to 27 points. He was 7-for-7 in overtime, capping the win by converting a three-point play for a 72-68 lead with 10.6 seconds remaining and adding two more free throws at 2.3.
Guard Albert Crockett had 11 points, three assists and six steals. Guard Omar Logan had 17 points. David ``Day-Day'' Wise, yet another guard, had 11 points, five assists and two steals.
  But it was Peterson's foul-shooting talent, more than any other factor, that vaulted coach Howard Ratinoff's Owls to the title in this, ``The Year of the Rat'' (at least in Chinese culture). That skill by that player.
  ``Coach `Rat' always told us to shoot extra free throws after practice,'' said Wise, who went 3-for-6 at the line. ``I didn't do it. I was always rushing to get home.''
  He laughed. ``Now I see what he was talking about.''
  Logan (3-for-6) explained his woes by saying, ``I guess it was jitters. ''
Crockett (3-for-8) blamed the surroundings. ``There's no background in here,'' he said.
  Didn't seem to affect Peterson.
  ``All you do is block everybody out, bend your knees, and concentrate on shooting the ball over the rim,'' Peterson said. ``I haven't been shooting many free throws this year. But I was practicing them a lot before the game. ''
  According to Ratinoff, Peterson all season was razzed, and even threatened, by his highly aggressive teammates for failing to have a tiger in his tank.
  But yesterday, there was Wise saying of Peterson, ``I like that kid, for real.''
  And there was Ratinoff saying: ``You can't overstate how important Mark's play was, especially the free throws. I'm so happy for him. That's the biggest memory I'm going to take from this game, Mark making all those free throws with all that pressure.
  ``Know what?'' he added, brightly. ``He actually showed some emotion. I swear I saw him pump his fist one time.''
  For the third consecutive year, the PL final was a sweetheart.
  In 1994, a buzzer-beating, 30-foot, turnaround jumper by Michael Robinson gave Franklin Learning Center a 56-55 win over Gratz (though the title was later forfeited when FLC was found to have used ineligible players).
  Last year, University City edged Gratz, 44-43, despite allowing an offensive rebound off a missed free throw in the final seconds. The follow shot hit once, twice, thrice on the rim before falling off to the side.
  Yesterday's game fell in line.
  The Pub being the Pub, of course there was wackiness. It came in the form of an 11-minute, first-quarter delay after Gratz forward Terrance ``Fats'' Smith slipped and fell hard to the floor. What did he slip on? One of two Nike logos affixed to the court. After unsuccessfully trying to peel them off with razor blades, workers sanded them to remove the slickness.
  Edison trailed, 9-1, at the time of Swooshgate. Then came the long, gradual comeback.
  The first of many key sequences occurred late in the third quarter. Peterson scored on an assist from forward Tyrone Forrest. Crockett made a steal, whizzed 60 feet to the basket and was hammered by Jarett Kearse for an intentional foul. Crockett made both free throws, sank a 12-foot
  continued right below . . .


baseline jumper on the tagged-on possession and the Owls (nee Inventors) had a lead, 43-42.
  The fourth quarter featured Edison vs. Marvin O'Connor, and O'Connor almost won. The 6-4 junior guard poured in 13 of his 35 points. His last two, resulting from a spectacular drive down the lane, handed Gratz a 58-56 lead and caused the first of the mad stampedes.
  The ball went through the hoop with 2.9 seconds remaining and Edison immediately called for time, but the clock wasn't stopped until 0.6.   Referee Tom DeFelice ordered the timekeeper to put up 2.0 seconds.
Forrest whipped the ball three-quarters court. It scraped the top of the fingers of Gratz's leaping Khari McKie and continued on to Crockett, stationed about 15 feet from the hoop on the left wing.
  In one motion, Crockett caught the ball on a short hop and, while absorbing contact from Kearse on the lower part of his legs, turned and shot the ball from his hip at 0.07 as a whistle sounded.
  Off the glass and . . . innnnnnn!
  All eyes went to DeFelice. He signaled the basket good and waved off inquiries about the whistle. Stampede No. 2, this time by Edison's delirious fans.
  ``Every young kid dreams about making a shot to win a game,'' Crockett said. ``I didn't win it, but I got us to OT. I guess that was just as good. I thought it was going to be an `and-one. ' I got fouled.''
  Little by little, the floor was cleared and order was restored. But Gratz coach Bill Ellerbee and the Bulldogs were nowhere in sight. They were in their locker room.
  "Ellerbee felt the game was over,'' said John Koskinen, the PL boys basketball chairman. ``He felt the clock had run out, that the shot wasn't good. He was upset. I explained to him, `The game is not over.' ''
  Again, there was a lengthy delay. Gratz assistant Nate Smigel watched a replay with the Channel 29 crew. Smigel left and returned with Ellerbee. Both could see that the shot was out of Crockett's hand before the clock hit 0.00. Both contended the clock had not been started when McKie tipped the ball.
  Koskinen said he did not look at the monitors because he knew his crew had gotten the call right.
  Far up a runway, Koskinen could be seen huddling with Ellerbee outside of Gratz's locker room.
  Did Koskinen threaten Ellerbee with a forfeit?
  ``It never got to that situation,'' Koskinen said. ``What I said was never put into a threat. I told Bill, `You wouldn't want this to end on something so negative. Your kids deserve a chance to win the game.' ''
  Ellerbee told his players he was leaving the decision on whether to return up to them. They wanted to continue.
  After the game, Ellerbee at first refused to speak with reporters. Later, as he began to make his way out of the building, he said, ``I'm very upset. I'm not going to say anything. When you lose, it comes off as sour grapes.''
  In OT, Peterson (nine points) and Wise (six) did almost all of Edison's scoring. Peterson's two free throws signaled the final lead change, at 66-65, with 1:19 left. At 17.7, O'Connor made the second of two free throws to draw the Bulldogs within 69-68.
  Against pressure, a nifty sequence of Crockett-to-Forrest-to-Peterson produced the three-point play.
  ``After Albert made that shot to put us into OT,'' Peterson said, ``I knew we were going to win.''


Non-League Edi. Leading Scorer(s)


North Catholic 84 Logan/Peterson 20
Chester 61 Omar Logan 27
Holy Ghost 36 Omar Logan 19
Truman 50 Omar Logan 15
Williamsport 57 Omar Logan 27
PL Reg. Season      
Northeast 84 Logan/Peterson 15
Penn 60 Crockett/Peterson 14
Mastbaum 99 Omar Logan 29
Straw. Mansion 73 Omar Logan 17
Fels 77 Logan/Peterson 12
Eng. and Science 71 Omar Logan 21
Washington 79 Crockett/Peterson 19
Olney 76 Omar Logan 21
Kensington 87 Albert Crockett 18
Dobbins 65 Omar Logan 16
Bodine 87 Omar Logan 23
Frankford 66 Omar Logan 30
GAMP 84 Omar Logan 24
Franklin LC 63 Mark Peterson 19
Masterman 71 Omar Logan 21
PL Playoffs      
King 80 Omar Logan 26
Eng. and Science 53 Omar Logan 17
Franklin LC 76 Omar Logan 27
Gratz (OT) 74 Mark Peterson 27


  This story was written after Omar Logan gave the Owls a last-second win over Dobbins . . .

  By Ted Silary
  Omar Logan jumped for joy, raised his arms, then made a mad dash around the Thomas Edison High gymnasium.
  For company he had many of Edison's fans, who had burst out of the stands in ecstasy.
  It's exhilarating, Logan discovered yesterday, being a last-second hero. Kind of dangerous, too.
  ``Some people were hitting me in the face,'' he said, laughing. ``It felt real good, though. ''
  With 5 seconds remaining and Edison locked in a tie with Murrell Dobbins Tech in a Public League sweetheart, Edison's Albert Crockett inbounded the ball along the sideline, perhaps 10 feet from halfcourt. His pass went into the backcourt, where it was collared by Logan.
  Then . . . Showtime!
  Logan turned to his left. He began a looping approach to the basket. He maneuvered around guard Rahsaan Ames. He turned on the afterburners. He zoomed down the left side of the lane. As two tall defenders approached, he veered slightly to his left. He stopped on a dime. He jumped and released.
  The 10-foot shot kissed high off the wooden backboard and fell straight through the net. The buzzer droned in the background.
  Edison 65, Dobbins 63.
  As Logan celebrated, Ames collapsed to his knees at halfcourt and bent forward until his forehead touched the floor. He had scored 28 points. He had drained six three-pointers. He had nailed his last trey - from NBA distance, no less - with 0:11 left to tie the score. He had launched it over three defenders, including 6-6 Carnell Adams.
`  `That kid's shot was more amazing than Omar's,'' Edison coach Howard Ratinoff said. ``Omar makes his shot all the time. ''
  But not in that situation.
  ``That was the first time I won a game with a last-second shot,'' Logan gushed. ``It feels good, man. It feels great.
`  `When those two big guys came over, I had to go with a higher arc. I knew it was going in. It had that feel. I like those bank shots. I've always been comfortable with them. It seems like the ball has more of a chance of going in. ''
  Ratinoff said his plan was carried out perfectly.
`  `That was it,'' he said. ``Give the ball to Omar and let him penetrate. `Yank' [Dobbins coach Rich Yankowitz] was telling his guys to foul Omar at the beginning [with one personal still to give], but they couldn't catch him. ''
  Logan, a muscular 6-foot senior with hard-to-match determination, finished with 16 points by shooting 7-for-10 (two treys) from the floor. He also had five assists.
  Logan formerly was the Owls' point guard. Now, he mostly plays small forward and wing guard.
  ``Know why we switched him? '' Ratinoff said. ``Our big guys' reaction time is two seconds slower than Omar's passes. They hardly ever catch the ball. On the wing or in the corner, Omar can shoot the ball fine. If he takes it along the baseline, he can pass from there. Hopefully to the other guards. They can catch his passes.
  ``The kid's a player, isn't he? He's relentless. He works hard all over the floor. ''
  Said Logan: ``I guess I get the hard passes from playing with the older guys in unlimited summer leagues at 16th and Susquehanna and B and Wyoming. All those guys can catch the ball. Here, I guess I have to throw it a little softer. But I know one thing: If not for my teammates, I wouldn't be what I am. All these guys can play. ''
  Edison also received strong contributions from guards Crockett (nine points, three assists) and David Wise (17, six) and rotating centers Mark Peterson (12 points) and Adams (seven rebounds, one eye-popping dunk on a follow).
  For Dobbins, Ames shot 6-for-8 on treys and junior forward Larry Nicholson had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.
  Logan is receiving Division II interest, but feels he wants to attend a junior college so he can improve his academics and ultimately play Division I basketball.
  He would prefer leaving town, though the desire to flee is not as strong as it once was. Trace that to the fact he moved several months ago from 11th and Huntingdon in North Philly to Frankford.
  ``It's more peaceful in Frankford,'' Logan said. ``I can relax and chill and not have to watch my back. Everybody's friendly. Down there, it was rough. I was always hearing gunshots and seeing bad things.''


Coach - Howard Ratinoff                
Record - 14-1, 21-3         16 Qtr Semi Final
Starters  GS Pts PPG   King E&S FLC Gtz
Omar Logan 14 253 18.1   26 17 27 17
Albert Crockett 15 202 13.5   15 10 12 11
Mark Peterson 15 188 12.5   5 9 15 27
David "Day-Day" Wise 15 177 11.8   15 7 6 11
Tyrone Forrest 13 114 8.8   13 10 15 7
Key Subs                
Reuben Palmer 8 33 4.1         1
Ryan Moore 2 8 4.0          
Carnell Adams 12 87 7.3          
Tony Nance 4 18 4.5          
Rodrick Chestnut 6 17 2.8          
Ed Vample 4 15 3.8   4      
Jose Gordian 4 11 2.8   2      
Melvin Eason 2 7 3.5          
Matt Feldi 2 7 3.5       1  
Ayres Robinson 1 6 6.0          
Raymond Butler 2 6 3.0          
  15 1149 76.6   80 53 76 74



  This story was written after Albert Crockett helped the Owls top Engineering and Science . . .

By Ted Silary
  Any time Thomas Edison High's basketball team finds itself in a grave situation, it leans on Albert Crockett.
  After all, some day he'll be a funeral director.
  Crockett, a 6-2 senior wing guard, works part-time (full-time in the summer) at the Ellis Funeral Home, on Rising Sun near 5th, and is checking to find colleges that offer mortuary science as a major.
  ``It doesn't bother me being around dead people,'' Crockett said. ``I'm used to it. My grandfather is a funeral director down South. He used to show me how things worked when I'd go down there on breaks from school. ''
  Yesterday, Crockett totaled 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals as the visiting Owls put Engineering and Science 6 feet under, 71-57, in a Public League game.
  Crockett's duties at Ellis include everything short of embalming.
  ``I'm not allowed to do that,'' he said. ``But I'm in there when they do them, passing equipment.
  ``One of my jobs is to drive back the people from the hospital. Also, I dress the people, help to prepare the caskets, help with the visitors . . . We have a counselor who helps the people deal with their grief. That's not really my department, but I try to give comfort to people in whatever way I can. ''
  What he won't do is yield to strange and/ or distasteful requests.
  ``People want to put wild things into caskets,'' Crockett said. ``When some of these young boys die, people want to put guns in there with them. We can't have that. But Bibles and roses and nice personal things, that's OK. ''
  Basketballwise, Crockett gives much of the credit for his success to his cousins, ex-Edison stars Joe Jefferson ('87) and Corey Seabrook ('90). Jefferson was a first team Daily News All-City pick and still dominates in community leagues.
  ``He should be playing in the Spectrum,'' Crockett said. ``I tell him that all the time. ''
  What Jefferson tells Crockett is that he has a ``phone book jumper'' because he doesn't jump very high off the floor.
``I wasn't any good at offense when I first started playing,'' Crockett said. ``Joe always stressed it was good to think about defense because that could lead to offense. Corey taught me more about offense, like breaking people down. ''
  Crockett, who lives near 6th and Cumberland, at first intended to play his high school ball at Ben Franklin. But his middle school, Julia deBurgos, was located in Edison's old building and had its commencement in the new building. Jefferson and Seabrook happened to tag along.
  ``They introduced me to Mr. Ratinoff,'' Crockett said, referring to coach Howard Ratinoff. ``They said he'd take care of me. ''
  Edison's all-senior starting lineup also included Omar Logan (21 points, four assists), Tyrone Forrest (14 points, 12 rebounds), Mark Peterson (12 points) and David Wise (eight points). E & S was led by junior guard Lynn Greer, who poured in 33 points.


Recaps of Public League playoffs . . .

Edison 80, King 56
  Omar Logan scored 26 points and David “Day-Day” Wise mixed 15 points with 10 assists. Tyrone Forrest added 13 points, 10 rebounds, four steals. Brian Jeter (17) and Malik Moore (15) led King.
Edison 53, Eng. and Science 48
  Omar Logan scored 17 points, Mark Peterson claimed 12 rebounds and David “Day-Day” Wise dealt five assists as the Owls advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 1983. Lynn Greer led E&S with 19 points.
At the Civic Center
Edison 76, Franklin LC 62
  Omar Logan was in control with 27 points and seven assists while Mark Peterson and Tyrone Forrest scored 15 points apiece as the Owls advanced to the title game for the first time since 1969. FLC’s Eric Coleman hit five threes en route to 29 points.
At the Civic Center
Edison 74, Gratz 68 (ot)
Mark Peterson shot 15-for-16 at the line en route to 27 points (nine in OT) and added 10 rebounds for the Owls, champs for the first time since 1969. Omar Logan added 17 points. After Gratz's Marvin O'Connor (35 points) scored with 2 seconds left in regulation to provide a 58-56 lead, Edison forced overtime on an amazing play: Tyrone Forrest made a three-quarters court pass to Albert Crockett, who caught the deflected ball on a short hop and made an all-in-one-motion turn and flip to the basket from 15 feet. The ball banked in!