Your team is down by five with 12 seconds left and has just committed an intentional foul. Game over? Not if you can find a way to get eight technical fouls called on your opponent.
Rio Americano High found itself in just such a position last Friday, against league rival Bella Vista, near Sacramento. Rio's Pierce Burton tried to close the gap on a layup and was blocked and lost the ball. He then went Jeff Van Gundy on Bella Vista's Justin Haley trying to pull him to the ground. Burton received an intentional foul and was ejected from the game, but there was no shoving or yelling and no punches were thrown. The players even shook hands afterward, to show that it was all good. It all seems pretty non-eventful on the video, right?
Well, the refs conferred to sort it all out and then totaled up the damage. Bella Vista received eight free throws. (Two for the foul, plus three technicals.) Rio Americano—the team that committed the foul in the first place—received eighteen free throws. One Rio player made 17 of the shots and his team ended up winning the game by six points.
The referees contended that players from both benches stormed on to the court after Burton's foul, which is true. Okay, maybe it was more like they wandered aimlessly away from the bench for a few feet. But Bella Vista coaches say that's not the case and even if it was, that doesn't mean you give out a technical for every single one. That sort of seems to make sense too. They're appealing the decision to the league, but I think at the very least, the kid who made 17 or 18 free throws should get a ribbon or something.
Bizarre finish to boys game disputed [Sac Bee]
UPDATE: The league appeals committee has overturned the referees' decision and given the game back to Bella Vista. I guess that means no ribbon. [Sac Bee]