Monday, January 6, 2014
- by B.B. Branton
"The best thing Scott McMahen does as the UTC p.a. announcer is the ability to pronounce those tough international names. He takes the time to do his homework and get the names correct. He's fantastic "
Lynn Trent, longtime UTC basketball game clock operator
It was 17 years ago tonight - Mon. Jan.6 1997 - and the Chattanooga men's basketball team was in a funk (2-5) and had a crucial three game schedule that week beginning with Monday's game with Wofford at McKenzie Arena.
Four players scored in double figures for the Mocs that night in a convincing 83-46 win as the Blue and Gold led by Johnny Taylor went on a 22-7 run all the way the NCAA Sweet 16.
Sitting courtside that night handling his first Mocs game as public address announcer was 27-year-old Hixson High grad Scott McMahen.
Whether the new "voice" in the building helped kick start the Mocs on the way to national attention is up for discussion. But nonetheless, "Quake" has been announcing tough losses and dramatic wins for five men's coaches and also in his third year of announcing starting lineups and baskets made for the UTC women's teams.
Tonight Quake starts his 18th season as "The Voice" of the Mocs in his familiar spot near longtime game clock operator Lynn Trent.
UTC Women vs. Davidson Tonight - While the men were struggling 17 years ago, tonight Quake and other Mocs faithful will be in McKenzie Arena to see if the women's team can make it 32 straight home wins in a 7 p.m. Southern Conference game with Davidson (Radio - 106.9 FM).
"I have called all 31 home wins and hope the streak continues tonight," said McMahen with a smile who replaced J.R. Finch for the 2011-2012 season who had handled Lady Mocs games for 11 years; 2000-01 - 2010-11.
Lou Gehrig and Wally Pipp: As Yankee great Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp at first baseball in mid- season 1925 and played 15 straight seasons, Quake took a seat courtside for the second half of the 1996-97 season, and except for less than 10 home games, has sat behind the mic for 17 seasons.
For the men's games, McMahen (17 years and counting) replaced Randy Price in early January who had handled the p.a. duties for 12-plus years.
Price in turn followed Dr.Tom Ward (11 years) who announced games in Maclellan Gym during the Ron Shumate Era and four the six seasons when Murray Arnold was coach.
Dr. Ward holds a doctrate from North Carolina in English and was pleased to not only handle announcing duties in Maclellan Gym, but also the first year McKenzie Arena which opened for the 1982-83 season.
"I enjoyed that season in McKenzie as I was behind the mic for the opener with Tennessee, but also for the game with North Carolina which had Michael Jordan and Chattanooga product Jimmy Braddock on the Tar Heel roster," said Dr. Ware.
Scott McMahen UTC Baskeball Home Highlights
Best UTC Men's Players
5) Steph McDowell/ Tim Parker
4) Oliver Morton
1) Johnny Taylor
Best Opposing Men Players
5) Andrew Goudelock College of Charlesron
4)Trenton Hassell - Austin Peay
3)Kevin Martin = Western Carolina
2) Steph Curry - Davidson
1) Antonio Gates - Kent St.
Best UTC Women Players
6) Jeneya Wade-Fray
5) Shanara Holinquest
4) Alex Anderson
3) Ashlan Dewart
2) Taylor Hall
) Katasha Brown
Best Opposing Women Players
5) Sophia Aleksandravicius
4) Ashley Houts UGA
3) Alaina Beard Duke
2) Cappie Pondexter Rutgers
1) Sylvia Fowles LSU
Top 7 games men’s or women’s
7) Keegan Bell halfcourt buzzer beater to win over The Citadel 1/14/10
6) Neil Ashby 10 blocks in a game vs Murray St. 12/21/01
5) Lady Mocs NCAA win over Rutgers & H.O.F. coach Vivian Stringer
4) Georgia Southern coach Jeff Price wanted to fight after the game.
3) Senior Dontay Hampton hit 3-point shot against Appalachian State to force overtime as Mocs stage big comeback in regulation and win in overtime, 91-88
2) Marshall 1997 Huge Johnny Taylor dunk to seal the victory
1) Lady Mocs upset of Tennessee in Nov. 2013
Called Jeff Lebo as visiting coach and home coach
Called Holly Warlick’s first game replacing Pat Summitt
Called game where the St Joe’s Hawk flapped his arms the whole time(college hoops tradition)
Called 3 Steph Curry games (Davidson) and he had 30+ in all three
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com