Lady Bears Win 44-42 To Finish 6-0 In District Play
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The Lady Cats fought until the bitter end last night against Butler County, and the end was certainly bitter as it concluded with a controversial call on the final shot.
With the score tied 42-42 and one second on the clock, Butler County had the ball under their own basket. After two timeouts for either team to determine their respective game plans on the final play of regulation, Butler County in-bounded the ball to Taylin Clark, who turned, shot, and banked it in for what appeared to be the game winner. However, there was a clock malfunction and the clock never started.
Fans on either side would agree that it appeared as though Clark got the shot off in time, so it would've counted; however, the officials' ruling was unconventional to say the least. Without the clock starting, how can the officials be sure? The officials briefly discussed the situation with the scorer's table, who indicated there was a malfunction. They then convened briefly among themselves and motioned that the basket was good. Game over.
The officials had two options last night. One was the choice they made, by judging that Clark's shot definitely left her hand before one second and it was good, or two; realize the clock did not start and replay the in-bounds by Butler. We couldn't find anything specific in the KHSAA rules, but NCAA rules basically leave an end-of-game clock scenario up to the officials. Officials in various forums seemed to be split on the issue, according to what we found, but Coach Bart Weaver's argument was that the officials couldn't be sure that the shot was made in time if the clock wasn't running. He said he specifically asked the officials as to why they made their decision.
"Neither one of the three (officials) could give me an answer," he said. "They just told me, 'there's no time. No time on the clock.' And it's a hard pill to swallow."
"I said, 'then you explain to me what went on in that 30-second meeting with all three of you,'" he said. "'Just tell me what you said and I can get over it, but tell me what you said,' and they couldn't tell me. They just said 'oh, you know, we were just discussing to make sure, you know, uh, that, uh there's no time on the clock,' so there it is."
The game was back-and-forth all night long and the Lady Cats had a solid performance as they out-rebounded the Lady Bears 33-28 and shot better from the field (41% to 28%). However, they committed 17 turnovers (compared to BC's 14) and failed to make a three-point basket (0-8). The Lady Bears made 6 of 18 three-point attempts (33%). They also struggled from the free throw line once again, hitting only 6-13 for 46%.
While the Lady Cats are 9-16 on the season and 2-3 in District 12 standings, Coach Weaver felt like it's still anybody's game when it comes district tournament time, which will be hosted at Butler County.
"I told their coach, 'we'll see you in the finals,'" he said. "And that's not taking anything against Whitesville (Trinity). We have to play to beat anybody, but I'd love to have another chance at them for the nets. It would be unbelievable."
According to Butler County's 21-2 season record and a perfect 6-0 in the district, most would favor them to win the district; however, some critics might also point out that 19 of their victories have been against opponents with a record under .500.
Leading in scoring for the Lady Cats were Annie Kiper with 10 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals, and Paige Wolfe with 10 points and 2 rebounds. Lily Jayne Vincent had 8 points and 7 rebounds, Cariann Williams had 8 points and 8 rebounds, Hallie Cassady had 4 points and 8 rebounds, and Leah Ballance added 2 points.
The Lady Cats are scheduled to take on Adair County today at 3:30 on the road and will finish up the regular season next week with games at Trinity on Monday, at home against Daviess County on Thursday, and at Ohio County on Friday.