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By Staff | Feb 21, 2018

I suppose it’s happened before; however, in all my 60 some years of watching high school basketball, I’ve never witnessed it. I thought I’d seen it all, a brawl here or there, a fight among players, coaches going back and forth, fans coming on the floor, objects thrown from the stands, arguments with officials, parents upset, and just about anything else you could imagine… However this one takes the cake: A cheerleader ejected from the gymnasium.

That’s right! It happened last week at a local high school game. The outcome of the contest was not in doubt, and the game wasn’t close; it was actually one of those boring-type games that you can’t wait to be over. Nothing exciting was happening, especially for the home team.

It was so bad I had thoughts of leaving a little after halftime, something I seldom do unless I have to make it to another game. Glad I stayed! When the referees came out for the second half, one who I know (and knows me), walked by and said, “Stick around Ed; there’s going to be some fireworks.” I had an idea the game might get a little rough in the second half, because the score was so lopsided; that never happened however. A foul was called against the home team, and the player made a remark. I don’t know what he said, because I was on the other end of the court. Whatever it was, he received a technical and went to the bench.

On the next trip down court, one of the cheerleaders asked the official what the technical was for; he didn’t respond and she said, “Well thank you.” I was right there, I heard her, and there was no mistake that’s what she said. Granted, she should not have questioned him at all, but he seemed to lose it. He started screaming for the athletic director, who had to remove her from the gym. I thought, “Here goes the fireworks,” but no. The fans stayed cool; there were the usual boos and hisses, but good sportsmanship prevailed, and the official departed quickly following the game, feeling somewhat embarrassed and maybe even questioning himself.

It’s just another example of some of the weird calls this season. At least there was no riot, something that’s occurred a few times in Pennsylvania this year. Other than that, I’d say it was one of the better officiated games I’ve seen this season. I knew at two of the officials; they are veterans of the court and know the rules.

Now, if you’ve never officiated a basketball game, believe me, it’s not as easy as it looks. I used to do them, and I can tell you – no matter what you call, you are going to be wrong in someone’s eyes. Unless someone is carrying a rules book with them, and for certain, there are some who do. However, the normal fan probably doesn’t even know the rules of the game.

Most of us know what walking is, but that seems to have changed some as well. We all know what double-dribbling is, but that has changed somewhat. Fouls are now left up to the discretion of the referees to call as they see fit. Lane violations could be done away with since they are never called.

What about over the back, five second violations. I saw one the other day where the ball hit the rim, bounced up to the top of the bankboard, then hit the brace, came back down and went in. Good basket? I don’t know, and don’t think the ref knew either, but the basket counted and play resumed. At least it got people talking to each other!

I went to a pee-wee (grasshopper) league game the other day, and the fans were much more vocal. It seemed more fun and the refs seemed to enjoy it. The kids were having a great time and were not worried about making mistakes; everyone got to play and equal amount, or at least close to it. They ran the floor (when they wanted to), and they listened to the coach (or so it seemed). They paid absolutely no attention at all to the men in stripes. Even when they blew the whistle multiple times to get play stopped, they just kept right on going. It just might be that we need to go back to those days to make the game fun again and take the pressure off everyone.

I enjoy a good game, but they are few and far between. I say to the refs: don’t be afraid to make a call when you see it, but be careful not to call something you don’t see. Makeup calls are too obvious, even to those who don’t know the game.

Senior night was held last week at Tyler Consolidated for boys basketball:

Colby Buchanan, son of Slade and Stacie Buchanan, was honored. Colby received an injury early this school year and didn’t get to play; however, he is a two-year member of Knights basketball. He is an honor student in the top 15 percent of his class. Colby has been a big part of Knights sports during his years at TCHS. He plans to attend WVU to study Industrial Engineering. Colby gets my Big Heart award!

Luke Daugherty, son of John and Lori Daugherty, was honored. Luke is a four-year member of Knights basketball and a two-year letterman. He was named LKC Night of Champions Scholar Athlete for the 2016-2017 season. Luke is a member of the National Honor Society. He plans to attend WVU to major in Engineering. Luke gets my All-Out Effort Award.

Adam Efaw, son of James Efaw, was honored. Adam is a first-year member of Knight basketball. He is also on the honor roll and in the top 15 percent of his class. He plan to attend Fairmont State University and major in Journalism. Adam gets my Best of Class award, plus my job when he graduates from Fairmont.

Nate Lancaster, son of Jeff and Chandra Lancaster, is a four-year member of Knights basketball and a three-year letterman. He is an honor roll student and plans to attend Fairmont State University to major in Computer Science. Nate is my Do-It-All recipient award winner.

Kyle Mason, son of Chad and Kristie Mason, is a three-year member of Knights basketball and a two-year letterman. Kyle plans to attend WVU to major in Business. Kyle gets my Hustle and Good Hands award.

Dylan Roberts, son of Mike and Stacy Roberts, is a four-year member of Knights basketball and a four-year letterman. Dylan made honorable mention LKC his sophomore year. Dylan plans to attend Fairmont University and major in computer science/cyber security. Dylan gets my First Team All-State vote. He also gets the Best Jump Shot award.

Steven Ross, son of Karl and Darla Ross, is a three-year member of Knights basketball and a one-year letterman. He plans to attend the Police Academy or become a Corrections Officer. Steven gets my Most Improved Player award. He can be a force inside!

Levi Smith, son of Tim and Cindy Smith, is a four-year member of Knights basketball and a one-year letterman. He plans to study Criminal Justice at West Liberty. Levi get the Most Coachable and Best Attitude award.

Mark Wilson, son of Mike and Tammy Wilson, is a four-year member of Knights basketball. He is senior class vice president and plans to attend WVU to major in Sports Management. Mark gets my Always Ready and Best Longshot award.

Sebastian Hooks, the Silver Knights Mascot the past two years, plans to attend Berea College to pursue a career in Acting. See-Hooks gets the Biggest Knight Of Them All Award.

My congratulations to all the Silver Knights on their achievements and for, working their tails off to make the Silver Knights the best that they could be.

More senior athletes from Tyler Consolidated and Paden City will be recognized next week, along with some more sports news. Hopefully we have a state wrestling winner and some sectional basketball wins to report on. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com or 304-652-4141.