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Kennedy girls left with sour taste after officiating issues mar game

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Kennedy's Autumn Barth (right) boxes out St. Paul's Cassidy Merten in the Trojans 49-36 victory over the Buckaroos Friday night. Kennedy's eight-game win streak to open the season was snapped the following night against Triangle Lake in a game that prompted coach Peter Hall to file a grievance with the OSAA against the officials association.The Kennedy girls basketball team had its eight-game win streak to open the season come to a crashing halt Saturday in a game that had head coach Peter Hall filing a grievance with the OSAA against the Salem Basketball Officials Association.

“It was absolutely the worst reffing I’ve ever seen,” said Hall after the game. “It was atrocious. People were leaving the game, they were so disgusted.”

The girls lost 49-34 to Triangle Lake at the St. Paul Holiday Tournament.

The game started out on a good note for Kennedy. The Trojans built a 19-4 lead through the first 12 minutes of play before the tone of the game turned for the worse, said Hall.

“All of a sudden like a switch, it just turned and the game became this huge brawl,” said Hall.

The Kennedy coach said the referees stopped calling obvious fouls mid-way through the second quarter, leading the game to escalate to a physical level that put players from both teams in danger.

“Two of our girls came to me and they were saying, ‘I don’t want to play anymore,’” said Hall. “That’s a warning sign to me as a coach that something is critically wrong here.”

The team was able to beat St. Paul the night before 49-36 behind a strong defensive attack in the first half. Despite several players missing playing time due to flu-like symptoms, the Trojans’ bench players were able to fill in with larger roles.

“With the kids that were sick, girls like Hannah Kloft really stepped up,” said Hall. “She’s been playing really good basketball.”

But the positive feeling was short lived, and Hall hopes his complaints to the OSAA will be heard before a situation like this occurs again and a player gets hurt as a result.

“I don’t care that we lost...but these calls were just off the deep end,” he said. “I don’t want an apology. I want results. This should never happen.”

The Trojans (8-1, 2-0 Tri-River League) resume play Friday at Santiam against the No. 1-ranked Wolverines (8-0).



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