High school basketball game ends in controversy after ‘craziest 20.9 seconds in history’

Here’s your appetiser for March Madness.

A high school basketball game in Maine — a Class AA South boys’ semi-final contest — ended with a controversial buzzer-beater, dubbed on Twitter as “the craziest 20.9 seconds in Maine basketball history.”

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The Thornton Academy Trojans led the Bonny Eagle Scots, 47-45. A 3-pointer gave the Scots a 48-47 lead seconds later, immediately followed by an and-one on a contested shot, awarding the Trojans a 50-48 advantage as 8.8 seconds remained. The Scots regained the lead with 1.3 seconds left on a put-back attempt, plus the foul and a made free throw, making it a 51-50 game.

The wild finish only got more dramatic.

On the previous drive, which gave Bonny Eagle the lead, the clock on the WHOU.live score bug was all over the place, though it appeared that Thornton Academy had 1.3 seconds left for a last-chance heave.


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Thornton Academy made a long inbounds pass that was caught about 30 feet away from the rim. Following a single dribble, the shot was released just above the free-throw line, and the red light — signalling the end of the fourth quarter — clearly goes off before the ball is in the air. So according to the clock in the arena, the shot should’ve been invalid.

However, as the ball goes up, simultaneously, the game clock on the actual broadcast read 0.2 seconds, and the shot appeared to go up just before time expired on the live stream, but not in the arena. It was clear, at least in the gym, that the shot shouldn’t have counted, which the broadcast indicated, but alas, Thornton Academy won, 52-51.

Thornton Academy subsequently won the state championship over the weekend, defeating South Portland, 82-61.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and has been reposted with permission

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