Tag Archives: Basketball

Flawed officiating must be fixed on the biggest stage

By J.D. McKay

On Saturday night, Virginia and 2016 Indiana Mr. Basketball Kyle Guy beat this year’s Cinderella, Auburn. Guy sank three straight free throws after a foul with 1.5 seconds left. For some weird reason, I was feeling like a particularly passionate Auburn fan, so I was shocked by the outcome.

After I pulled myself together, CBS officiating analyst Gene Steratore said that the officials missed a double dribble on Virginia that would have given Auburn the ball with about 2.5 seconds left, up two. It is worth mentioning that both my dad and I noticed this missed call live. Had the double dribble been called, the Tigers would have inbounded a pass and been fouled, forcing a one-and-one. Now, Auburn may have missed the first, and Virginia may have hit the half-court buzzer beater to go to the National Championship, but they also might not have. Auburn also may have hit both going up four with about 1.5 seconds left, sending them to the National Championship.

So minutes after the Final Four game I wrote down my thoughts, and I realized, this is not the first of the Major Six (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball) championships to have a tainted pair of teams.

The Super Bowl featured the Rams, who probably should not have been in. After the two-minute warning, the Saints had a chance to score a touchdown that probably would have sent them to the Super Bowl. But after a missed pass interference call, the Saints kicked a field goal with enough time left for the Rams to kick a field goal of their own and send the game to OT, eventually winning. Once again, the outcome could have been the same had the Saints missed the field goal, still forcing overtime and eventually a loss, but we will never know because the call was missed.

There are missed calls in every game, so any call could have been missed and the outcome of the game been changed, but these are memorable because they are on the biggest stages at the biggest moments. It does not help the officials, either, that these missed calls can be replayed in super slow-mo.

There is not one easy fix to this problem. Humans will always make errors, but we have developed better technology, so why not use that to fix our errors? As I said above, these games are played in super slow-mo for fans, so why not have a group of officials either at the game or in a neutral place like New York? They could call in any missed call that is objectively wrong, like for instance, a double dribble. However, if that was instituted for the whole game, they might never end. To resolve this, the “New York Official” would only make calls within the last two minutes.

The NCAA could also resolve it the way the NFL did: challenges. However, this slows the game down significantly and would be weird for basketball. They would have to wait until after the play ended then asked the officials to look at the play. They could either have two for the whole game or just one at the end of each half.

Officiating may not be getting worse. It may be the same quality as always; however, with high def replays, we can always see when they are wrong. This technology cannot just be ignored for the improvement of the game. Several years ago, the MLB allowed for coaches’ challenges. This league that seemed like it would forever be stuck in the past came forward and made use of technology. That made some baseball fans mad, but all together was better for the game. Basketball and football have developed some strategies to make use of the technology and improve the game.

However, it seems to me that some small things can be done to get the correct calls, not lengthen the games, and, in the playoffs, give fans and players the champions as they probably should be.

 

FC set to get over the hump and beat New Albany in sectionals

By J.D. McKay

We just beat Jennings County. Now our eyes are set on our first big postseason matchup with our inner-district rival, the New Albany Bulldogs. However, the Dogs are without their best player, Julien Hunter, who broke his fibula vs Providence on Feb. 8.

New Albany started the season with high expectations because they had won five straight sectionals and had Hunter, who is a legit D-1 prospect. If not for a player now at IU, Hunter would have been New Albany’s best player his freshman year. But his injury lowered some expectations.

To advance to the sectional championship, first we will need to keep senior Derrick Stevenson under 10 points. Earlier this season, he scored 10 and we won, so limiting him again without the threat off Hunter to take some pressure of himself will slow their offense down. If another guy like junior Trey Hourigan or senior Landon Sprigler wants to carry New Albany’s scoring, let them. While both of these guys are talented players, I am taking senior Cobie Barnes or sophomore Jake Heidbreder to out score them in a shootout.

The next key to success is getting Heidbreder and Barnes rolling earlier on offense. New Albany does an excellent job of limiting our best two players in these games. When we beat the Dogs, our top players had close to 10 points. This year, Barnes had 12 and Heidbreder had nine. But last year, when we lost in the sectional championship, Barnes had one and now graduated Luke Gohmann had two. I think that it will be easier this time around for Barnes to get going, though. For one, New Albany does not have Romeo Langford to guard him and their next best matchup, Hunter, is injured. Even if they do contain Barnes, I think Heidbreder will be too much of a weapon to pressure Barnes the whole game and leave Heidbreder open.

Lastly, if we can keep NA from scoring 40 points like we did earlier this year, or even 50 points, we should win. Our offense is too good to not score more than 50 for a second time against the Bulldogs this year.

It is finally time to see if NA coach Jim Shannon’s words to the Courier-Journal come true: “It’s their Super Bowl because they never beat us.” However, this should be our second win against the Dogs this season. Without their best player, we should win by a bigger margin than we did previously. But do not let that stop you from showing out. As the Kilt Krew has said, we need it FAT. Final Score: FC 52- NA 41

Basketball begins sectionals tomorrow night against Jennings County

By J.D. McKay

Tomorrow night, FC basketball plays Jennings County, and I am going to tell it how it is: The Panthers are not very good. They lost to Madison, New Albany, and BNL. They also have already lost to us this season by 25. However, we cannot just play badly and win; we will still need to do three things to win, and win convincingly.

I will be previewing every sectional and hopefully state tournament game. So make sure to check back immediately after the game. I will also be the color commentator for tomorrow’s game, so tune into 88.1 FM to listen.

First, we need to limit turnovers. This key to success may be repeated every game, but it is just that important. Since we should be able to out rebound JC and get lots of offensive rebounds, turnovers will keep us off the offensive boards and will keep us from getting second-chance points. Plus, if we make turnovers and JC can use them to get fast break points they could very easily keep the game close.

With fastbreak points, JC can gain lots of momentum. We need to keep them from getting momentum. When a heavy underdog starts hitting shots and getting momentum, their confidence can soar. When an underdog gets some confidence they hit every shot they take, even with players in their eyes. If you do not believe me, ask Virginia, UMBC got momentum last year in the NCAA tournament, and the rest is history. To keep them from gaining momentum, we should slow the game down if they go on a run. Then, give the ball to the best player in the Hoosier Hills Conference, Cobie Barnes, and let him do work on the smaller, lss athletic Jennings County players.

The last factor is to stay out of foul trouble. If Barnes or sophomore Jake Heidbreder get in foul trouble, it could seriously slow down our offense. However, if both those guys get in foul trouble, I think senior Harrison Eades, or senior Nick Winchell could be shooting threats to put up some points and senior Logan Libs and senior Cam Sturgeon could grab some offensive boards and second-chance layups.

This postseason has the school buzzing with excitement. Without the thought of having to get through Romeo Langford to advance, expectations are incredibly high. The student section should be packed on Friday and Saturday, and I am expecting to see lots of green and gold throughout the third largest high school gym in the world. It is finally time to reclaim a sectional championship and win our first basketball state championship. Be there.

 

Kaden Breger and Cassie Thomerson win homecoming king and queen on Feb. 5

By Grace Allen

Pep rally excites students for homecoming

By Grace Allen