Saturday night was the 40th anniversary of one of the most memorable games in the long and rich history of the Litchfield High School boys basketball program.
In an epic contest on Dec. 29, 1978, Crosby-Waterbury came to Litchfield and defeated the Cowboys 107-100 in a shootout that saw Dave Vigeant fire in 42 points for the hometown team.
A packed house witnessed the post-Christmas duel between the Berkshire League's best team and a strong team from the Naugatuck Valley League. Litchfield, coached by the legendary Don Jacobs, went toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs in aborbing what would be its only loss of the regular season.
Vigeant, in the pre-three-point field goal era, exploded for 30 points in the second half to keep he Cowboys close. Many of his buckets came from long range. Doug Gleason worked inside for 26 points and brought the Cowboys close (102-98) with four straight points around the 2-minute mark.
Crosby, however, scored five straight points to put the game out of reach. A layup by Vigeant with two seconds left gave the Cowboys 100 points and sent a delirious crowd to the exits.
Charlie Montgomery scored 32 points, Greg Humphrey 22 and Ron Maness 21 for Crosby, which led 52-43 at halftime. Jay Bertoli added 14 points, Craig Yard 10 and Mike Scanlon eight for the Cowboys. Big man Greg Raap and and Bill Andrulis, a stylish all-around athlete, were other key players for the Cowboys.
Litchfield a few games later broke the 100-point mark with a 114-85 win over Gilbert. The Cowboys blasted through the BL schedule before winning four games in the Class S tournament to reach the championship game at Central Connecticut State University. Litchfield shot poorly in a loss to Cromwell in the title game.
Vigeant broke the 2,000-point mark during the tournament and Gleason nailed his 1,000th point in the championship game.
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