WATERLOO – The uproar over Tuesday’s stunning last-second loss by Waterloo West to North Scott of Eldridge in a Class 4A substate semifinal at the U.S. Cellular Center has not died down.
An online petition at change.org is asking the Iowa High School Athletic Association to grant the West boys a spot in next week’s state tournament after a controversial ruling allowed a last-second shot by the Lancers to stand.
As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, nearly 4,600 people had signed the petition.
The third-ranked Wahawks took a 40-38 lead over the second-ranked Lancers with .6 seconds left when DaQuavion Walker hit a jumper from the right elbow.
After a pair of timeouts, University of Northern Iowa commit Tytan Anderson fielded a three-quarter court pass, turned, elevated and swished a game-winning 3-point basket as the final buzzer sounded to lift North Scott to a 41-40 win.
One official immediately signaled the basket was good, and after all three officials met at midcourt the call stood. North Scott celebrated as West players dropped to the floor in heartbreak.
Video and still pictures show the ball still in Anderson’s hands when the clock hit 0.0 on the scoreboard. That is the impetus behind the online petition.
Part of it reads:
However, there is numerous video and photo evidence indicating that the player did not release the ball before the buzzer. In the videos you can also see that the clock, buzzer and backboard lights were not in sync, not allowing the referees to make an accurate assessment.
Looking to make their first appearance at the state tournament since 1994, the Wahawks were devastated, the hurt illustrated by head coach Cliff Berinobis’ post-game comments.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got kids in here (the Wahawk lockerroom) and you robbed them,” Berinobis told The Courier. “Everybody in this building knows it, including the North Scott fans.
“Common sense would tell you that on the catch, out away from the basket, he turns and shoots ... it’s not humanly possible. I don’t want to discredit them, but that shot shouldn’t count, and everybody knows it.
“They’re heartbroken. For four years they changed the culture at West High for this moment.”
The videos show the ball in the air and at its apex when the backboard lights came on and the buzzer sounds despite the fact that scoreboard clocks were already at 0.0.
The official high school rule book states:
A red light behind each backboard or LED light on each backboard is permitted to signal that time has expired for a quarter or extra period. In facilities without a red light behind or an LED light on each backboard, the audible timer’s signal shall indicate that time has expired.
In an off-the-record conversation, an IHSAA representative said there is no rule in place allowing the association to review video and change the ruling from Tuesday.
The link to read the full petition is https://www.change.org/p/iowa-high-school-athletic-association-ihsaa-grant-waterloo-west-boys-basketball-a-ticket-to-the-state-tournament-1b9c3f2d-468e-43a1-a536-2414e2a51423?recruiter=357076096&recruited_by_id=edf85cb0-3ca7-11e5-b8b7-ff2db4fee68e&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard
Calls to Waterloo West athletic director Anthony Pappas, who was preparing his girls’ basketball team for Thursday morning’s Class 5A state semifinal against top-seeded Waukee, went straight to voice mail.
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