01/18/12 — Official got late call right

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Official got late call right

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 18, 2012 1:48 PM

A standing-room-only crowd witnessed a bizarre ending to the Princeton-Goldsboro High varsity boys' basketball game Friday evening.

Despite the differing opinions offered after the controversial finish, the official made the right call.

With 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation, the Bulldogs put the ball in play. CJ Jeffreys dribbled toward the basket and the lead official pushed the "start" button on the Precision Time pack on his belt.

The clock didn't start.

The lead official counted off three seconds in his head and sharply blew the whistle to stop the game. The Princeton crowd roared its disapproval and tempers reached the boiling point as the lead official walked over to the scorer's table to determine the situation.

Before the game, he had instructed the scorekeeper not to start the clock from the table. When the lead official discovered a malfunction had occurred in the pack, he placed the ball on the table and said "game over."

He told both coaches that he counted out three seconds once play resumed. The decision drew mixed reactions, and fans shouted their disapproval when the official announcement had been made.

The News-Argus contacted the N.C. High School Athletic Association and received an email from Mark Dreibelbis, supervisor of officials, on Tuesday morning.

The email reads:

"Rule 5-10-2 states: If the referee determines that the clock malfunctioned or was not started/stopped properly, or if the clock did not run, an official's count or other official information may be used to make a correction."

Dreibelbis said, "the timing situation as you described was handled correctly by the crew."

The teams meet again Feb. 3 at Princeton.