With one minute left to play and the La Monte Lady Vikings leading Otterville 52-38, head coach Donnie Mayes instructed his team to keep the ball moving, but avoid shooting.
Playing offense not to score or, stalling, is not an unusual strategy seen at a high school basketball game. Whether it’s to prevent running the score or slow the pace against a fast-paced offense, the tactic is nulled by implementing a shot clock.
There are no current talks within MSHSAA about installing the rule. But a wide range of viewpoints exist around the topic. The discussion ranged even within the cozy confines of the Kaysinger Conference tournament at State Fair Community College on Saturday.
Otterville girls head coach Mike Scott:
On the necessity of a shot clock
“At our level, I don’t think so. I’m just not sure one-A and two-A girls can cover the court enough and get the ball up and down the court fast enough and play fast enough to warrant one.”
“I’m fine with it. Of course, when I grew up, you saw a lot of that. In fact, we do that sometimes, depending on the situation. To me, that is part of the game. Running up and down the floor is not all there is to the game of basketball. There’s slowing it down and doing things.”
Sacred Heart girls, Caleb Crooker: “I don’t see the need for one. I don’t know how other coaches feel. Right now, I don’t really see the need for one.
It would definitely speed up the game. It could be (a good thing) for scoring purposes, just more high-scoring games. Better set plays—you wouldn’t be able to loop the ball around as long.”
Tipton Girls, Jason Culpepper: “I’d love to have the shot clock. I think the shot clock would be very beneficial for high school players because, a lot of times, you get some teams that will play offense for a minute, a minute and a half, and it’s not necessarily that they’re running good offense, they’re just not doing anything.
Also, it benefits defense as well. You can play a really good zone defense, play good defense for a minute, and eventually, you get out of rotation and you give up a shot. I think it would also, at the end of games, make it more interesting. You’d be less likely to see teams stall out around four minutes because they still have the shot clock.”
La Monte Girls, Donnie Mayes:
On preference of a shot clock, after stalling for about 50 seconds in a win against Otterville Saturday
“Well, I come from the 80s era, and I like the up-tempo style. I like a high-scoring game. But I also appreciate good half-court offense and patience. I would be OK either way, but I would really like to see some kind of shot clock. Because we stalled at the end, people have done it to us. Eh, just play ball. I’m eating my own words because I just did that but, out of respect, I don’t try to run the score up on people.”
Smithton Boys, Rich Pond: I don’t like the idea of it in high school. I haven’t seen very many high school teams that’ll reach a shot clock. I mean, we definitely would never.
I don’t think it will be useful. I don’t think you’ll get to it, or, very seldom.
I wouldn’t think so just because of the expense of it. You’ve got to hire another person to keep a clock, to run it.”
Otterville Boys, Jay Allen:
“I would be in favor because I like playing fast. I like the added element of it but that’s my experience with it. I don’t think it’s very practical in Missouri, at least not right now. Main thing is, you would have to ask all the high schools to purchase the equipment, install the equipment, hire another person at the desk specifically to do the shot clock, and that’s asking a lot financially from the school.
On the necessity of stalling
“There’s coaches in our league that will run the score and try to get to 100 just because they think it’s fun. And there’s other people that do their jobs and teach life lessons with their kids. Yeah, we go hard, we beat them, I don’t think there’s any sense in rubbing anybody’s nose in it, and I think a shot clock would push that on people.”
Green Ridge Girls, Amy Gibbs: “I would not be for the shot clock in high school. I think in the high school level, there still needs to be time for players to develop. We’re trying to get girls or boys either one to run an offense, play the true game of basketball versus who can run down the court and make a layup. And I think a shot clock encourages kids to rush through things versus let a play develop and work it in.”
Cole Camp Girls, Dan Schnell: “I don’t see it as necessary or imminent. But I could see it being implemented in the future.
You have to train people to actually run the shot clock correctly. You have to pay more people at the tables … So I could see where it would be a problem getting them into the high schools.
Are there times when I wish we had one to kind of pick up the pace? Well, yeah, sort of. But you know there are a lot of people who don’t like the three-point line either. It’s a change in the game of basketball.”
The NBA introduced the shot clock in the 1954-55 season. NCAA women’s basketball adapted the shot clock in 1970, and the men installed it in 1985.
California, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington and Maryland girls basketball currently use a 30-second shot clock in high school.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2