Phil McLaughlin was a star on the
gridiron. He was a three-year starter and played both ways at end. He
was named honorable mention All-Star on the defensive squad of the 1972
Middlesex League Championship football team, but it was on the
basketball court that Phil truly made his mark. He saw only minutes of
varsity action his sophomore year, but some rigorous off-season work
turned him into a 24 or 26 point and 20 rebound performer. McLaughlin
had 363 points for 15 games that year.
“He’s got a very soft
touch for a big, strong kid,” said head coach, the late Steven Conroy.
He can hit the jumper from 15-18 feet out, but we also like to try and
work it to him underneath.”
The 6’6” junior led the Spartans to
an 18-0 Middlesex League Championship. Stoneham High became the
Cinderella team of the new Eastern Mass Basketball Tournament as they
pulled four upsets. In one of the most unbelievable comebacks in
tournament history, the Stoneham High basketball team bounced back from
an 18 point deficit to defeat Don Bosco 73-70 in the opening round. Phil
had 22 points for the Spartans, with a hoop in the waning seconds of the
game. The Spartans romped North Andover 66-48 in the second round.
When Stoneham faced Rindge Tech, the Suburban League Champions, Phil
was the original one-man gang, as the Spartans moved to Boston Garden.
He blocked shots, grabbed down 21 rebounds, and played great defense.
McLaughlin hit 18 out of 19 from the floor and seven out of eight from
the foul line for a new District II scoring record. Phil scored 43
points to lead Stoneham to a 67-61 victory. Rockland put an end to
Stoneham’s state title hopes. Despite the loss, Phil took scoring honors
in the game with 25 points despite the fact that he was double-teamed
all night. His efforts earned him a spot on the 12-player All-New
England squad where he dominated the boards and the scoring until he
suffered an ankle injury in the first half against the Connecticut
Phil was named Division 2 MVP by Peter Gammons and
was one of only two juniors named to the Middlesex League All-Star Team.
He was selected as a Boston Globe, Herald, and Record-American
All-Scholastic both junior and senior years. In addition, Phil was also
selected to try out for the Boston Shootout.
resides in Early Branch, South Carolina.