December 20, 2002
Two things are different about basketball in Nevada and California D no shot clock and three officials.
In California, both the boys and girls play with a shot clock, and you will rarely see three-man officiating crews.
According to Douglas boys coach Keith Lewis, the region coaches recommended by an 18-3 vote to implement a shot clock. Lewis was one of the three coaches to vote against it.
“A lot of it is due to money,” Lewis said. “It (no shot clock) could be a great neutralizer to work the clock. We went to Vacaville last week, and it wasn’t an issue. I think we got called for one violation. Galena does a lot of that; trying to milk the clock. “
One game that sticks out in Lewis’ mind was three years ago when an unbeaten Reno team, coached by Pete Padgett, came to town. Douglas, according to Lewis, had a terrible team.
In an attempt to neutralize David Padgett, Reno’s talented center, Douglas played “stall ball”.
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“They allowed us to stand near half-court with the ball,” Lewis remembered. “We stood there until he came out of the key.”
The game went down to the wire, and Reno won 56-54 on a last-second shot.
Conversely, Douglas girls coach Werner Christen has never coached a game played with a shot clock.
“The way we play, I don’t think a shot clock would affect us,” Christen said. “We like to play up-tempo. I’ve not heard a word about us switching to it.”
My personal opinion is that the girls shouldn’t use a shot clock, but the boys should, and the reason is simple.
The talent level is different at the girls level. There are more lopsided games in girls basketball. With no shot clock, a weaker girls team could compete against a stronger team.
The boys game is much better and quicker than it was 10 years ago, and quite frankly, most teams usually get off a shot within the required 30 seconds. Also, ball movement is critical with a shot clock, and the boys handle the ball better than the girls.
Three-man officiating crews first came to the NBA and college basketball to cut down on off-the-ball contact, and Northern Nevada went to three-man crews approximately five years ago.
“Their (officials) opinion is that it would help the game,” Lewis said. “I have not seen it help the game.
“They have a zone concept. You don’t get things called by officials because it wasn’t in their zone. Certain teams do stuff away from the ball; play rougher. I don’t know that having three officials has helped.”
Lewis said that many officials are trying to get better. He also pointed out that once the season ends, many don’t start again until the following season, opting not to work any spring or summer basketball.
“It doesn’t matter to me one way or another, as long as they are in position to make a call,” Christen said. “We’ve been three here for a while. Most coaches I think want to go back to two guys.”
Finances come into play, too.
Lewis said he spent approximately $1,800 on officials for his three-day tournament recently. Area officials are paid a game fee and mileage, according to the Douglas boys coach.
That’s a lot of dough unless you draw huge crowds, or the snack bar does a booming business.
Darrell Moody is the sports editor of the Record-Courier. can be reached at (775) 782-5121.