Last week, Norton (OH) battled Thornville Sheridan (OH) in the Ohio Division II State Semifinals at the University of Dayton, in what many people have begun to refer to as the Greatest Girls Tournament Game in OHSAA history. The game ended up as a 68-60 3 OT win for Sheridan, who would eventually go on to lose to Kettering Alter in the state finals, but what’ll be remembered is the end of regulation.
Norton, drains a three-pointer from just inside of half court as time expires in regulation, for a dream win. The bench empties, a crazy celebration ensues, and that is all reversed as the officials go to a review and decide that the shot was released after the clock had expired. Since the internet doesn’t forget anything, there have been many screenshots from many different angles to further divide the debate. The OHSAA came out with a statement prior to the state finals matchup that the LED lights on the backboard were the signifier and not any of the clocks in the arena (which were off by tenths of a second), which would about be the worst way to lose a game.
I always had mixed feelings about the introduction of instant replay into tournament or championship games when it doesn’t exist all season, and among the many reasons it’s a challenge is the officials aren’t all that used to going to a review. I’m not sure there’s a right answer and many pro sports leagues use video reviews, which don’t result in 100% accuracy, and in this case I feel bad for the kids who are questionable review was an ugly end to a great season.