Posted: 12:03 am Saturday, March 7th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
In three of the five games featuring Palm Beach County boys basketball teams, the officials have been ripped to various extents in the post-game press conferences.
Grandview Prep forward Altavious Carter and Orlando Christian Prep coach Reggie Kohn are the latest to take issue with officiating.
After Orlando Christian Prep beat the Pride, 46-43 for the state championship, Carter felt the referees misled him about the way the game would be called and favored the Warriors.
“I just think they should call a fair game,” Carter said. “They tell you they’re going to let you play, but at the same time, they’re not.
“When you’re seeing kids get after it, that’s what everybody wants to see. They want to see what kind of heart you have on the court. Our guys gave it their all. They’re trying to go hard and draw contact, and the refs acted like they closed their eyes on our side.”
As far as Carter’s point, Orlando Christian was called for 17 fouls, compared to 11 whistles for Grandview Prep. One of the main reasons the Pride lost was its 11-for-23 performance at the foul line.
Kohn thought it was ironic that anyone on Grandview Prep’s side would complain about the officiating, because he felt his team was shorted some calls in the post.
Grandview Prep’s Colin Gates (6-foot-3) spent most of the game defending Warriors forward Keith Clanton (6-foot-8). Clanton scored 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Gates was whistled for one foul in the game, which seemed a little low to Kohn.
“It’s interesting to me that a 6-2 guard can battle (Clanton) inside all night and have one foul,” Kohn said. “That they actually think he can guard him straight up without fouling the whole game… he battled with him all night inside.
“He did a great job, don’t get me wrong, but holding, grabbing, pushing — you’ve got to scrap when you’re guarding a bigger guy. You’ve got to believe he didn’t hold him one time in the post? That’s unbelievable.”
This is the third Palm Beach County game in which the officials were criticized afterward. The FHSAA prohibits coaches and players from publicly deriding referees, so the shots have been relatively veiled or implied.
I haven’t spoken with coaches or players after any of the other games, but in general, the officiating seems to be very good. The refs have been pretty consistent in allowing liberal contact in the paint, strict on traveling violations and have not allowed tempers to flare to the point of causing an incident.