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MPA to discuss using replay during Maine high school basketball tournament

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The Lawrence and Cony girls basketball teams compete during a Class A North semifinal basketball game on Feb. 22 at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

 

AUGUSTA — Upon further review, video replay could be coming to Maine high school basketball. 

On Tuesday, the Basketball Committee of the Maine Principals’ Association will discuss the possibility of adding limited video replay during the high school basketball tournament. 

High school basketball officials will also discuss the topic at a Maine Basketball Commission meeting Monday. 

The MPA announced the decision to take up video replay during an Interscholastic Management Committee meeting Thursday morning. 

“(The Basketball Committee) meets that week every year; every sports committee comes back together at the end of the tournament or championship,” MPA director Mike Burnham said. “It’s just that (particular) end of the game situation and protocols will be discussed.”

Video reviews would be used only to confirm potential game-winning baskets made at the final buzzer. 

Also Thursday, the Management Committee unanimously approved a plan to keep Class AA — the state’s largest enrollment class — divided into North and South regions. 

The Classification Committee had advanced the proposal last week.

Various MPA committees have engaged in a series of discussions in the last two months to dramatically alter the sport’s landscape. 

In January, for example, the Basketball Committee proposed doing away with Class A and creating a Class S for the state’s smallest schools. The Classification Committee ultimately rejected that plan. 

The latest classification plan would impact the 2023-24 and 2024-25 basketball seasons. 

The decision to take up video replay comes after yet another controversial ending in a high school basketball regional final sparked calls for change. 

Thornton Academy edged Bonny Eagle 52-51 in the Class AA South final in Portland on Feb. 25 after WIll Davies buried a shot at the buzzer. However, some videos and still photos that circulated on social media after the game showed the shot may not have beat the buzzer. 

“There was obviously a situation in the game and we need to talk about it,” Burnham said. “It makes sense.”

Bonny Eagle boys basketball coach John Krull said Thursday he would welcome the addition of video replay in the tournament.

“I think it’s good for everybody,” he said. “It’s good for the players, the officials and the fans. All the people want is for the correct call. Replay would eliminate that grey area. No more, it should have counted or it shouldn’t have counted. If we are the last team to get hurt by a last second shot without replay, then so be it. Hopefully, this will bring change. ”

Members of the MPA Management Committee also cited the 2020 Class C North boys basketball final, which Dexter won 50-48 over Central Aroostook of Mars Hill thanks to a Parker Ponte 3-pointer as time expired. Videos and photos of that shot seemed to show that it, too, did not beat the buzzer. 

“This is common sense,” Cony Athletic Director T.J. Maines said. “Let’s use it. I’m 100% for it so long if its scope is for the end of game on a shot that can decide a game. We don’t need it to see if there was a charge or anything like that. But I think it’s a great move for the end of the game.”

 

Central Maine sports editor Bill Stewart contributed to this report.

 

This story will be updated.

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