The following page contains a few photos and a brief summary of an exciting season of high school basketball.
Coach Robidoux and Asst. Coach Hoyle speak to Erica Hoffman and Carline Kelly in the South Sectional Championship game.
Jessica Gaspar, who went on to play for North Carolina and professional basketball in Iceland, and Coach Hoyle discuss last minute plans in the sectional championship as Leilah Moses and Cheryl Jalbert look on.
Celebration ! The Indians celebrate after the come from behind win over Barnstable.
The team celebrates after winning the 1995 South Sectional Championship. It had been a tough road through Brockton, Whitman Hanson, Norwood and Barnstable, but the Indians had earned the right to travel to the Boston Garden to face defending state champion Haverhill.
The coaches with the captains : Jessica Gaspar and Kate Bradford.
Evidence of the Celtic tradition hanging proudly above the Old Garden Floor.
It was a thrill to hear the names announced and watch our players take the court. The starting line up consisted of Jessica Gaspar (#24), Amy Cadieux (#23), Kristi Torman (#10), Erica Hoffman (#14) and Celia deLuz (#3).
The jump ball to begin the last high school game to be played at the old Boston Garden.
After the game the team had some photo opportunities on the famed parquet floor. Although some of the faces seem sad in this photo, the joy, pride and fond memories of this championship season will last a lifetime.
Jeff Hoyle (left) took over the head coaching duties in 1996-7 with Darren Doane staying on as the senior assistant.
Coach Hoyle could not resist the opportunity to make a shot on the same parquet floor where the Celtics won sixteen championships and his hero Larry Bird played.
It was a dream season. A season that started, like others, with many questions and much anticipation. A season that presented an early challenge with a Christmas tournament game against Barnstable High School, one of the top teams in the state and a Boston Globe preseason favorite. After falling behind by as many as 18, Dartmouth's intense pressure defense brought them back to within one point of victory. The loss proved a point. This was a strong team that wouldn't quit. This was a team that could play with the best in the state. This would be a season like no other. And so it went....
Dartmouth ran through the regular season and finished with a 19-1 record. When the Massachusetts Division One pairings were announced, Dartmouth faced old rival Brockton. Just the season before, it was the Boxers who had ended Dartmouth's year. Not this time. With 41 points from Jessica Gaspar, they more than met the challenge and moved on to the next round. Next came Whitman-Hanson, where Celia daLuz passed to the driving Gaspar, who scored with only 1.8 seconds left. It proved the difference in an exciting come from behind victory for the "Green Team". The win earned the Indians a trip to Massasoit Community College where a jammed packed gym would witness the South Sectional Division I semifinals.
"INDIANS RALLY INTO FINALS, TEAM EFFORT LIFTS DARTMOUTH OVER NORWOOD, 69-64, IN SOUTH SEMIS" The headline from the Fall River Herald News told the story as Dartmouth rallied from 8 down with three minutes left and outscored the Mustangs 15 to 2 for another come from behind victory. "It's not just the star that's special. It's the team" wrote Herald News reporter Greg Sullivan. The New Bedford Standard Times simply reported "It happened so quickly. It was mind-numbing. Here was Dartmouth trailing by eight points with 3:10 left. Zip. Zap. Zing. There was Dartmouth in the lead, for good, 73 seconds later." It was a great team effort. And it set the stage for an exciting rematch against Barnstable, with the winner moving on to the Boston Garden.
Game day. The Barnstable rematch. It did not look good before the game started. All State player Jessica Gaspar, the teams leading scorer and rebounder, was pale and in pain. She missed most of the pregame warm ups with back spasms and, perhaps over anxious, quickly picked up three fouls and took a spot on the bench. Meanwhile, Barnstable was on fire. They were unbeaten (23-0) and on a mission. They wanted to prove they were the best in the south. Gaspar, daLuz and Amy Cadieux usually carried the Dartmouth team. Tonight they needed help as the rout was on with a 34-16 Barnstable lead. Everything was going Barnstables way. Every shot seemed to fall. Every fast break resulted in a lay up. Then, slowly at first, things began to change.
Kristi Torman hit a hoop. daLuz hit a pair of free throws followed by twin three pointers. With young players seeing some action off the bench, Dartmouth switched their defense to the simple "two guard pressure" mode. The move slowed Barnstable down. Michelle Alexander, Carline Kelly and Cindy Brehaut contributed valuable minutes. Starters Cadieux and Erica Hoffman never quit. The Indians had cut the lead to nine by halftime.
Dartmouth came out of the locker room fired up. Gaspar hit a three to begin the second half and cut the lead to 6. The Indians were off and running. All told, the Indians outscored the Red Raiders by an amazing 45-8 in route to a 74-50 victory. As the Dartmouth fans yelled in celebration, Barnstable fans sat in stunned silence. It had been an unbelievable comeback!
It was the top of the mountain, but Dartmouth came back down when they faced four time state champion Haverhill. Haverhill was all the scouting reports said they'd be, great jump trapping defense, running offense, three point shooters, deep bench. They ousted Dartmouth and won another state title. For Dartmouth, some sadness yes, but no regrets. For the Indians, who went farther than any Dartmouth Girls' Basketball team had ever gone before, had a dream season of their own.
Former players and fans who may wish to share their favorite memories of the 1995 Dartmouth dream season may email them to Coach Hoyle at the address below.