Saturday, March 13, 1999

Country Day falls on contested hoop


Coach says winning shot was too late

BY CAREY HOFFMAN
Enquirer contributor

        DAYTON — Cincinnati Country Day was eliminated from the boys' basketball tournament on a controversial play Friday.

        Houston scored on a shot that CCD players and coaches believe came after the final buzzer at the end of regulation to force overtime. Houston won 64-59 in the extra period in a Division IV district game at UD Arena.

        Houston had the ball with 2.3 seconds left in regulation under the CCD basket, trailing 56-54. CCD aggressively defended the inbounds pass, forcing Houston's Doug Ernst to lunge forward with a contested three-point shot. It fell well short, but Steve Polhamus came out from under the goal to tip the ball back over his head backwards with two hands and perfectly into the basket.

        Official Butch Burbridge never hesitated, running to the scorer's table to immediately signal the basket good.

        CCD coach Howard Brownstein, after reviewing the play on videotape after the game, strongly contended the basket shouldn't have been allowed.

        “It's as clear as day on film — the ball is in the air when the light went off,” said Brownstein, referring to the red light above the basket that lights up as the buzzer sounds.

        “The thing that bothers me is that no other official made the call and I think they knew it (was too late). This is no way to lose a tournament game.”

        Houston coach John Willoughby sympathized with CCD.

        “It might have been too late,” Willoughby said. “We felt saved or relieved that they counted it.”

        CCD seemed unable to shake the turn of events in overtime, falling behind by four in the first 1:30 and never getting closer than three after that.

        CCD (59) — Johnson 2 0 4, Smith 2 0 4, Wright 5 6 16, Lewis 1 0 2, McPhie 6 0 16, Pope 1 0 3, Allen 3 0 7, Torlone 1 1 3, Cohen 2 0 4. Totals: 23-54 7-14 59.

        HOUSTON (64) - Perry 3 6 13, Polhamus 5 5 15, Ernst 7 3 22, Roeth 1 0 2, Pipinic 6 0 12. Totals: 22-59 14-18 64.

        CCD ....... 20 14 13  9  3-59

        Houston 16-11-9-20-8-64

        Three-point goals: CCD - McPhie 4, Pope, Allen; H - Perry, Ernst 5. Records: CCD 18-6, H 18-6.

       



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