Yes, the officials made some administrative errors in basketball game Mondagagabasketball game


Game between Ridgeview and Crook County has been target of much conversation

Ever since the Monday, Feb. 17 fiercely contested boys basketball game between Crook County and Ridgeview, I have been fielding lots of questions about the officiating in the contest.

After trailing virtually the entire game, the Cowboys’ Seth Kessi hit a game-winning 3-point shot to give Crook County a thrilling 66-65 win. The win kept the Cowboys' slim hopes of post season play alive and makes tonight’s rematch between the two teams even more critical.

For the Cowboys, it's win or the season is over. The situation is nearly as critical for the Ravens as they are in 23rd place in the latest power rankings, which may not be enough to win an at large berth.

Still, even with the magnitude of the win, it isn’t the game, or even the shot, that people want to talk about. Instead it’s the officiating.

In answer to the question that I have heard countless times since that Monday night, yes, the officials did indeed make several administrative errors. How many errors they actually made, or how the game would have changed if administered properly, are subject to debate. However, there is no doubt that they made several notable errors.

Since I do not have a current National Federation of State High School Association’s rule book, I cannot say with 100 percent certainty exactly what mistakes were made, but based on the 2012-2013 rule book and the changes that were announced for 2013-2014, the errors were significant.

To begin with, we need to set the stage for what actually happened. The Ravens were leading by five points midway through the fourth quarter of a game, which had gotten progressively chippy.

Crook County’s Andrew Sofich drove towards the basket and from my angle appeared to be fouled, but no call was made. Sofich lost the ball and Ridgeview’s Tony Stanton dove for the loose ball. Sofich turned and also dove, landing on Stanton.

Initially it looked like the officials had called a jump ball, which would have gone to Ridgeview. However, Stanton seemed to be angered by Sofich landing on him.

In my view, the play was physical, but not out of the ordinary for a high school boys basketball game.

Stanton then pushed Sofich, while they were still lying on the ground, then stood up, still holding the ball, and took a swing at another Crook County player. Stanton was initially pushed away, but instead of walking away he threw the ball at Crook County’s Kohlter Kee.

By this time, the officials had already signaled a technical foul, but had not signified to the scorer’s table exactly what they were calling.

Fearing a fight, one Crook County assistant coach, along with at least three Ridgeview assistant coaches and Ridgeview Head Coach Nathan Colvill, ran onto the floor. It looked like several Ridgeview players also left the bench. However, none of the players got farther than four or five feet from the bench and none of them were involved in any kind of activity other than jumping up and appearing to start onto the floor.

That brings us to the administrative errors. Rather than making a hasty call, the officials huddled in the middle of the court and discussed what to do for approximately 30 seconds before the lead official finally walked over to the scorer's table and announced that a technical foul had been assessed to each team.

When pressed about why Crook County was being assessed a technical, the officials called both head coaches over for a discussion and then gave an additional technical foul to the Ridgeview bench.

Although I?saw nothing that warranted a technical foul on anyone Crook County had on the floor, it is not uncommon for officials to call double technicals. Nevertheless, it seemed that Kee’s big offense that warranted a T was having the ball thrown at him.

So, now that we are up to speed about what happened here are at least some of the administrative errors.

1)It is an automatic expulsion from a game for throwing a punch, so Stanton should have been ejected.

2) It is an automatic ejection from a game for anyone other than the head coach to leave the bench during an altercation. Prior to this year, even the head coach could not leave the bench unless beckoned onto the floor by an official, but that has now been relaxed. Consequently, at the bare minimum, three Ridgeview assistant coaches and one Crook County assistant coach, along with Stanton, should have been ejected from the contest.

Several Ridgeview players could also have conceivably been ejected.

How many technical foul shots Crook County should have been awarded is up to interpretation, but it should have been several.

Since all technical fouls assessed to a team’s bench are given to the head coach of that team, Colvill should also have been ejected, since the bench would have been given multiple technicals.

However, none of that occurred. Instead Crook County shot two technical foul shots and took the ball out of bounds. That’s when the next administrative error occurred. When Crook County inbounded the ball the game clock did not immediately start. Colvill ran onto the court protesting the clock and was assessed another technical. Since one of the previous T’s had been given to the bench, by rule that was Colvill’s second T and he should have been ejected.

Instead, Kee shot a 1 and 1 for a called foul and also shot two technical fouls.

The officials also made one final administrative error, and it may have been just as big a factor in the outcome of the game as the other errors.

With 9.9 seconds remaining, and the two teams tied, Ridgeview took the ball out of bounds. George Mendazona took the ball and drove most of the length of the court for a layup giving the Ravens the lead.

Crook County’s Head Coach Darin Kessi immediately began calling for a timeout, but it was not initially acknowledged. By the time the clock actually stopped the Cowboys had the ball inbounds and there were just .3 seconds remaining on the clock.

After a brief discussion, the officials added two seconds to the clock and gave the Cowboys the ball at half court. On the ensuing inbounds pass Kessi hit the game-winning shot.

The problem is that, if Kessi called time out prior to Crook County inbounding the ball, they should have had the ball on the baseline and if they called time out after the ball was inbounded there probably was only .3 seconds remaining in the game. Not enough time to catch a pass, turn and shoot.

Fans of both teams went away believing that the officials had harmed their team. The irony is that on some level both sides may have been right. No matter which team you were rooting for the game was poorly administered.

With so much on the line tonight, let’s hope that the officials assigned to the game are better able to control the game because it has the potential to be a real barnburner.

Lon Austin is the sports reporter for the Central Oregonian. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..