Apparently, there was something to talk about late Friday night at the Class AA Boys' State Basketball Tournament at Barnett Arena.
And we’re still talking and talking and talking.
In case you weren’t at the final boys’ semifinal between Yankton and Sioux Falls O’Gorman, or your cave is the state that doesn’t pick up South Dakota Public Broadcasting, let’s go over this again.
O’Gorman’s Luke Ronsiek hit a 10-foot floater at the buzzer to give the Knights a 43-42 win over the Bucks and into tonight’s state title game against Brandon Valley.
Or did he?
The game officials said he did and they left the court. The Knights celebrated like it’s 1999, and the rest of us — especially on the Yankton sideline and in the stands, were like, “No he didn’t.”
Well, probably not in those exact words, which I can't repeat.
It was very close, but the simple proof is Ronsiek didn’t quite get the shot off in time.
No shot, no basket, no O’Gorman celebration, and the Bucks are playing for their second straight title.
We should be talking about the shot that didn’t count instead of the shot that shouldn’t have counted.
But here we are. O’Gorman is playing Brandon Valley and Yankton played for third place.
As could be expected, social media is a buzz and there are hundreds of expert opinions on what happened and what should happen.
Again, some of that can’t or shouldn’t be published.
It all boils down to one opinion: implement instant replay.
Here’s what South Dakota High School Association Executive Director Dan Swartos said late Friday night (after deadline) in a press release.
“The SDHSAA is aware of the situation that occurred at the end of the Yankton/O’Gorman State AA Boys Basketball Semifinal this evening in Rapid City. NFHS rules do allow states to adopt instant replay in basketball under very limited circumstances. The SDHSAA process for rule changes involves passage by member votes at an advisory committee level, followed by a vote of the state athletic directors, and finally two readings by the SDHSAA Board of Directors. While the topic of instant replay in basketball has been previously broached in South Dakota, it has never left the advisory stage of our membership’s rule change process. As such, instant replay is not currently used in SDHSAA basketball nor any of our other activities. Further, per our Constitution and By-Laws, officials decisions in any contest are by their nature necessarily regarded as final and shall not be considered as the basis for protest.
“It is the intention of the SDHSAA to again examine instant replay in basketball throughout the coming year, and we will follow the wishes of our membership in regards to this topic. It will go through the same rule change process as anything else, and would be implemented if approved by a vote of the state Athletic Directors and two readings of the representative SDHSAA Board of Directors.”
Of course, that won’t stop post after post on Facebook, Twitter and other media platforms in the next coming days.
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“Why can’t we just have instant replay?”
Sorry if you have already posted this, I wasn’t picking on you specifically.
Except now. My favorite social media post, so far, has been:
“Rig up the hoop so when the buzzer goes off the ball can’t go through!”
Okay, enough of that. The bottom line is that when a call is missed with the game on the line, regardless of what level or what sport is being played, cries for change immediately occur.
The SDHSAA is looking into football instant replay during championship games after a title-game officiating mistake.
The National Federation of State High School Associations approved limited use of instant replay a few years ago.
It’s probably time, and this is coming from an old timer who prefers to often live in the past.
But you can’t live in the past forever and you can’t change the past.
Another social media favorite: "O'Gorman should give up the win and play for third place."
One of the unfortunate and prevalent comments from the end of the game is that the Bucks had the game stolen from them. By saying that, it can be implied that the game officials did so purposely, whether that is the intention of the comment or not.
That is so far from the truth. Human error happens in the heat of battle whether you want to believe it or not. If you disagree, try looking in the mirror.
Did the shot come after time expired? Yes. With that said, should have Yankton won the game? Yes. Are the Yankton players, coaches and even their fans devastated right now? Absolutely. They should be. Maybe it was too much for them, I don't know. The Bucks fell to Harrisburg 70-64 in overtime and finished fourth.
Yet, what can you do about it? It's all about picking yourself up and move forward.
I know, it’s easier said than done, but it is a start.
The same should be said of the SDHSAA, but be patient and smart.
To be continued.