The 1989 Boys' Basketball Team

The 1989 Boys' Basketball Team
Inducted in 2019

The 1988-89 Peddie boys’ basketball team punctuated the program’s most successful three-year run with a huge exclamation point! Pre-season favorite to three-peat as NJISAA Prep Champion, this “last of the eighties” squad did not disappoint. Along the way, this special group of Falcons followed their own flight plan and distinguished themselves as one of the very best hoops teams in school history. 

Mentored by Head Coach Al Lozier and captained by senior Jon Greene, the ’88–’89 squad finished 22-5 and captured both the Mercer County Tournament (MCT) and the NJISAA Prep championships. The team was led by seniors Jon Greene, Hank Bounds, Evan Carlson, Greg Dalin, Spencer Day and Jason Van Brunt and postgrad Mike Lester. Three-year award winner Tom Caldwell and fellow juniors Brad Daggett, Adrian Lozier, Dave Mayfield, Lance Rucks and Mike Yesler completed a balanced roster which included significant talent on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. 

Despite early season injuries to Carlson and Day, as well as Lozier’s recovery from knee surgery, the team jumped out to a 4-0 start, including Coach Lozier’s 300th win as the Falcons’ head coach, before falling to a formidable Solebury School five in the PSIT title game. This December disappointment combined with January losses to Lawrenceville and Hightstown helped chart a flight course which included epic, late-season rematches against both rivals. Lester’s game-winning jumper to secure a thrilling double-overtime victory at St. Benedict’s also helped prepare the team to play its best basketball when it counted the most. The outcome of the February 23 MCT semifinal game between Peddie and Lawrenceville would determine who would advance to the Mercer County title game against Hightstown and who would claim the 1989 prep crown. The Falcons avenged their earlier loss to Big Red behind a 30-point fourth quarter. Peddie prevailed 70-55 as Caldwell led all scorers with 21 points and three others added double-digits in title game — Carlson (18), Greene (16) and Day (10). 

1989 Peddie Boys' Basketball Team, Sports Hall of Fame

Back row (from left): Robert Foote (assistant coach), Jason Van Brunt, Lance Rucks, Evan Carlson, Tom Caldwell, Mike Yesler, Hank Bounds, Adrian Lozier, Alfred Lozier (coach). Front row (from left): Dave Mayfield, Spencer Day, Greg Dalin, Jon Greene (captain), Brad Daggett, Mike Lester, Jennifer Schnitzer (manager).

Branded “The Battle of Hightstown,” the MCT Championship game lived up to its billing. Peddie, the No. 2 seed, outlasted No. 1 ranked Hightstown, 48-47. A 15-point fourth quarter lead nearly slipped away, and with just seconds remaining, Hightstown’s James Parrish missed the front end of a one and one. Parrish collected his own rebound and passed to Ram’s junior Mark Borosko for a last shot. Caldwell then took flight to block the potential game-winner, securing the win for Peddie’s first and only Mercer County Boys’ Basketball Title. 

After claiming two championships in three days, this outstanding team celebrated their success by competing in the prestigious Collegiate School Tournament in New York City. After soundly defeating Brooklyn Friends 95–63 in the opening round, Peddie lost a thriller to Dwight School before rallying to beat the host school 84–69 in the consolation game. 

Along their seasonal flight, the ’88-’89 Falcons won a school-record 22 games, a county and state title; and now fly home to the Hall to take their place amongst Peddie’s most accomplished teams.