Quite a year for local basketball

Just when you think you?ve seen it all, something happens that causes you to shake your head in amazement.

Hillsboro has been blessed with good to great high school basketball teams for several decades. But I don?t remember a year quite like this when both high school teams and both Tabor College teams won postseason tournaments to advance to state and national tournaments, respectively.

Having officiated scrimmages back in November for the high school boys? and girls? teams, I wasn?t going to be surprised if both teams would win a lot of games, but you never know for sure until the games are played.

When I saw the sub-state pairings, I wouldn?t have been shocked if neither team made it to state. Congratulations to both teams and coaches for a great season.

The Tabor men may have underachieved slightly in the regular conference season, but they certainly peaked during their run in the KCAC tournament. While winning the tournament may have been unexpected by some, there was no doubt they could compete with any team in the conference.

The Bluejay women were one of the better teams in the conference throughout the season. Given the fact that Southwestern handed Tabor two losses in the regular season, Tabor?s dismantling and domination of a great Southwestern team in the championship game was particularly stunning.

The Tabor athletic program is having a remarkable year, again. And it never gets old, does it? Congrats to all involved.

Undoubtedly all four teams were disappointed they didn?t have a longer stay in their respective state and national tournaments, but that shouldn?t diminish what they accomplished.


Mark Titus on ESPN.com cited a stunt he has been waiting years to see. When Florida big man Patric Young fouled out in a game at Arkansas, the student section taunted him by doing that ?left, right, left, right, sit down!? chant.

Some players try to disrupt the chant by taking a bunch of quick steps or fake sit down to throw off the pattern.

Titus wrote, ?Young, however, noticed that his foul sent Arkansas to the free throw line, so he waited until the Arkansas player was about to shoot before he sat down, which prompted the student section to suddenly yell, ?Sit down!? right as one of their players was taking a crucial free throw.

?The Razorbacks player missed, the camera cut to Young cackling on the bench, and I gave him a standing ovation in my living room,? wrote Titus.


Jim Boeheim took exception to a close call at the end of the Duke/Syracuse game late in the season. Of course, a coach has every right to disagree with a call, but as Dana O?Neil wrote on ESPN.com, ?He crossed the line with his impressively quick 40-yard loafered dash across the court. The last time a coach sprinted across the court and didn?t get tossed would be never. This was the easiest ejection in the history of ejections, well-earned and automatic.?

Boeheim thought it was the worst call of the season, when truth be told, the call could have gone either way.

The reaction of broadcasters and some coaches drives me nuts. Some said the official should have not called a foul and just counted the basket that would have tied the game, even though there was a lot of contact and players landed on the floor.

The favorite argument of some is, ?Let the players decide the game.?

That got me to thinking?always a dangerous thing. A fellow official and I agreed that what officials should do sometime near the end of a tight game is to walk off the court, pull up a chair and watch. When a coach or broadcaster asks, ?What are you doing over here?? the officials could say, ?We?re going to let the players decide the game.?

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