Watching paint dry is more exciting than what students are paying to see in some high school basketball games across the country and here in Hillsborough.
During a game between the Hillsborough Terriers and the Naples Barron Collier Cougars, the need for speed did not exist, amounting to one of the of the least entertaining nights of sports that students paid money to see. Fans had high expectations of their favorite teams hoping for an exciting playoff match they would never forget, that match never came because high school basketball is the only level of hoops without a shot clock existing, which turns basketball into a game of keep away.
Instituted in 1954, the NBA (National Basketball Association, mens professional basketball) started their league off with a 24 second shot clock after a ridiculous match that ended with a final score of 19-18 between the Fort Wayne Pistons and the Minneapolis Lakers, which included a 3–1 score in the fourth quarter. The reason for the low score wasn’t because the players couldn’t hit a basket but because they were going minutes at a time just passing and holding the ball back and forth afraid of giving the ball up to a team with a better offense.
For Steinbrenner, it was especially destructive when they went up against Wiregrass Ranch in the district semi-finals a few weeks ago for ladies basketball. In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, the Bulls were up by six points and a band-aid strategy came into play. Wiregrass was insecure of their inability to make fast breaks on the ball, but knowing the Warriors had a problem with close quarters defense, they knew the best course of action would be to draw fouls on Steinbrenner and hold the ball at half court rather than try to fix their own team problems.
A shot clock would have made a game changing difference, forcing the teams to play the ball and address their own issues. With such a common strategy in play, I would rather see a game similar to the Sickles versus Freedom district finals, that I covered a couple weeks back, where the game went to double overtime after seeing multiple clutch shots, a great display of talent and thrilling final minutes ending each quarter and overtime period. Basketball is a fast-paced sport, and sitting around, watching teams play keep-away from each other isn’t something I want to pay money to watch.
By: Evan Abramson / Online Sports Editor