Had the chance to watch 10 State High School Play-Off basketball games on Friday and Saturday and wanted to share a few thoughts.
Twenty officials worked these games from Tucson to Tuba City, Both men and women, Father and son and almost every ethnicity as diversity was apparent. All Arizona officials who have dedicated hundred if not thousands of hours honing their craft for a chance to work under the bright lights of The Toyota Center, Wells Fargo Arena or Jobbing.com Arena. They all displayed passion, poise and the highest level of professionalism. Each pair having complete control of their game and allowing the players decide their Championship fate by calling fair, consistent, outstanding games.
But what stood out for me was the D1 Boys Final game between Corona Del Sol and Pinnacle. Arguably the biggest game with the biggest crowd, packed with greatest amount of pressure to get it right. Doug King and Jack Erb got the assignment and for 31:59 seconds they called such an outstanding game letting the two heavy weights battle hard while maintaining complete control and outstanding consistency. But it’s the last second in regulation I found as the defining moment.
As the buzzer goes off to end the game so much happened all at one time. Jack had a whistle, a Pinnacle player shoots and scores and everyone in jobbing.com arena is not sure what just happened. As both teams begin celebrating State Championship wins, Doug is quick to get on his whistle and settle down both benches. After gaining complete control back he summons both coaches over to explain they are going to the TV monitor, by rule when a last second shot is involved, to review and sort out the play. It takes five minutes for TV to find the right angles and give Jack and Doug the information they needed to get the play right. Time well spent as a large crowd and two teams wait for the verdict. In the end the Pinnacle basket does not count but a Pinnacle player is awarded two free throws. Sitting in the arena you just knew these two veteran officials got it right. Epic game and Epic officiating.