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NJ high school buzzer beater heads to court – NBC New York

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What to Know

  • Manasquan High School and Camden High School had hoped to figure out a winner Tuesday night on the court, but instead it appears the winner will be determined in a court of law.
  • A semifinal matchup was coming down to the wire, with one point separating the teams with just seconds remaining. After a missed shot by a teammate, a Manasquan player scooped up the rebound and scored just as time expired for the win — but referees called off the basket.
  • Manasquan High School brought its fight before a judge on Thursday, arguing in Ocean County Superior Court that the championship game should be postponed until a final decision can be made on who the rightful winner is. The judge ruled there was no jurisdiction for the court to hear the case

A buzzer-beater battle is brewing after a bad call in a New Jersey high school basketball game, costing one team a trip to the state championship.

Manasquan High School and Camden High School had hoped to figure out a winner Tuesday night on the court, but instead it appears the winner will be determined in a court of law. It comes after the semifinal matchup was coming down to the wire, with a single point separating the two teams after Camden hit a free throw with just seconds remaining.

After a missed shot by a teammate, a Manasquan player scooped up the rebound and scored just as time expired for the win.

Or so everyone thought.

After initially counting the shot, referees got together and waved off the go-ahead bucket, sending Camden to the state finals on Saturday — and sending Manasquan home.

But Manasquan High School brought its fight before a judge on Thursday, arguing in Ocean County Superior Court that the championship game should be postponed until a final decision can be made on who the rightful winner is. In a court filing seeking an injunction, they argued that “video evidence of Manasquan’s game-winning basket is present, irrefutable, and conclusive…What followed next, however, was an absolute tragedy.”

“For some unknown reason, the referee changed the ref’s opinion that made the original decision. We just need to make that wrong, right,” said Michael Gross, an attorney for the Manasquan Board of Education.

In a statement, the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association said that it understands Manasquan’s frustration, but “the rules are clear — once game officials leave the ‘visual confines of the playing court,’ the game is concluded, and the score is official.” The NJIAA, which does not use instant replay, went on to say that the “results could not then and cannot now be changed.”

The Camden school district said they had no influence or say in the outcome, or the decision made by officials. An attorney for the Camden City Board of Education said the court hearing never should have happened in the first place.

“This case never should’ve been brought. There’s no authority under the law, it was frivolous to bring it here,” said attorney Louis Capelli Jr. “Are we going to go back and look at all 32 minutes of the game? It’s ridiculous, that’s not what we do, it’s high school basketball. There’s rules and regulations. You have to learn to live with the decisions of a referee. That’s a part of sports. Coming here was a waste of the taxpayers’ money.”

The judge ruled Thursday that there was no jurisdiction to hear the case in Ocean County. Attorneys for Manasquan said they’re not done fighting, and has appealed to the Department of Education. Saturday’s game has so far not been delayed.

“Certainly the district and the students deserve the right outcome of this particular incident,” said Gross.

The DOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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