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Time for a Shot Clock for Maine High School Hoops

March 2, 2020

It's a Maine high school basketball topic that is debated more and more every season, especially when we see final scores in which the winning team fails to score 40 points.

 

Only eight states across the country mandate the use of the shot clock, and many across Maine are wondering, is it time for the Pine Tree State to think about becoming the ninth? 

 

To be blunt and honest, it is. 

 

While there are some understandable cons to the idea, such as smaller, rural high schools ponying up to pay to have the equipment installed and pay to have someone run it, the pros far outweigh the cons.

 

For one, many of Maine's high school basketball stars aspire to play at the next level, where you're going to have 30 or 35 seconds to put up a shot. 

 

But the biggest pro? It would finally eliminate stallball. 

 

While there are some who look at holding the ball near halfcourt as an "offensive strategy" - anybody who covered Maine high school hoops during Bob Cimbollek's coaching days can attest to this - it's not basketball, to put it simply and honestly.

 

In the waning days of the regular season, two teams in Maine's largest hoop division - Portland and Windham - played to an 18-16 final score that left Pine Tree State roundball followers clamoring even more for a shot clock.

 

While some will tell you that poor fundamentals and a heavy reliance on 3-point shooting are trends leading to low scorers in Maine high school hoops nowadays, another factor is that coaches choose to pull the ball out when faced with a zone defense, rather than teach their players how to properly attack it.

 

Imagine being a 16-year old point guard and being instructed to keep dribbling the ball for two minutes near midcourt. If that was my son, that probably wouldn't sit very well with me.

 

The solution is a simple one: Give the boys 40 seconds to put up a shot, and the girls 45 seconds. 

 

While a shot clock wouldn't completely fix any offensive inconsistency we see on the hardwood, it would go a long way in eliminating scores that end in 18-16.

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