Low-scoring Minn. HS basketball game prompts shot clock debate

March 1, 2018 / Basketball
The shot clock again became a topic of debate this week, this time in Minnesota where a girls high school basketball game ended by a score of 17-4.

Marshall and Waseca high schools faced off in Tuesday’s section opener. Marshall, apparently sensing it faced long odds to win, deployed a stall tactic that had players standing still for minutes at a time. Marshall’s plan failed, as it lost the game.

Here’s video of the inaction:

Stall tactics are not uncommon in high school basketball, especially outside of the eight states that use a shot clock. It’s an effective strategy for outmatched teams, but when it’s taken to the extreme — games ending with single-digit scores — the end result is a statewide (or nationwide) discussion about adopting a shot clock. Schools scoff at the added costs of installing clocks and hiring operators, and coaches at smaller schools argue that stalling is their best strategy against bigger, better teams.

During a radio interview, the Marshall coach said he instructed players to only take layups and open 3-pointers. He said he knew people were disappointed, but his team could not match Waseca straight up.

Our sister magazine, Winning Hoops, has conducted its own survey of basketball coaches about using a shot clock. Roughly two-thirds believe it should be adopted at the high school level.

Click here to read more.

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