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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

New Jersey high school basketball team robbed in state playoffs on terrible call by refs

Manasquan ready to shoot

A New Jersey high school basketball team was robbed of a state championship game appearance by a terrible call.

The Camden Panthers and Manasquan Warriors were facing off in a New Jersey Sports Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group 2 semifinal game on Tuesday. The winner was set to earn a trip to the state championship game.

Camden made a free throw with 5.8 seconds left to break a 45-45 tie and go up 46-45. Manasquan got the ball and dribbled down the court to attempt a potential winning shot.

Rey Weinseimer attempted a 3-pointer that missed, but Griffin Linstra got the rebound and made a putback for what initially went down as the game-winning shot to give Manasquan a 47-46 victory. However, the referees gathered afterwards and said that Manasquan’s shot came after time had expired. They awarded Camden a 46-45 win.

Despite the video evidence proving Manasquan’s shot came before the buzzer, NJSIAA rules state that video cannot be used to review game decisions.

The NJSIAA issued a statement on Wednesday in response to the blown call that began receiving national attention. They admitted the error but said they could not change anything.

“NJSIAA understands Manasquan’s frustration regarding the outcome of last night’s game. We never want a contest to end with controversy or confusion,” the NJSIAA’s statement began.

“Here, all of the events happened within the final second of the game. One of the three officials counted the basket as beating the buzzer. The three officials then met at half court to confer. A second official saw the ball in the shooter’s hands when the buzzer sounded. The officials then waived off the basket. Later, after being shown video clips, the second official agreed the basket should have counted.

“That said, the rules are clear — once game officials leave the ‘visual confines of the playing court,’ the game is concluded, and the score is official. So, while the officiating crews’ reports indicate that a post-game review of footage of the play in question convinced them that the basket should have counted, the results could not then and cannot now be changed.

“Also, NJSIAA Program Regulations, Section 14 – which governs the use of video – states, ‘No video or audio recording may be used to review or challenge the decision of a sports official.’ In addition, NJSIAA Bylaws, Article VII, Section 1 prohibit protests ‘based upon an official’s judgment or misinterpretation (misapplication) of the playing rules.’ The ruling on the court is, exclusively and by rule, what determines the game winner.

“Unlike in college or the pros, there is no instant replay review in high school basketball in New Jersey. These are the rules of the game that all schools agree to follow, and which have been upheld on appeal. We apologize to the Manasquan team for the error.”

Manasquan is exploring legal options to obtain an injunction or something to stop Saturday’s championship game between Camden and Arts High School in Newark, N.J.

If the NJSIAA is unwilling to make an adjustment due to their rules, then Camden should resolve the matter themselves. They were beaten fair and square and should step aside and insist Manasquan take their spot in the interest of proper sportsmanship and integrity.

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