A late, controversial technical foul in Ohio's Division II state championship game last night allowed Defiance High School to force overtime and eventually win the title over Cleveland Central Catholic after CCC's Antwon Lillard was called for hanging on the rim with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Lillard—undecided, but holding numerous D-I offers—threw down a dunk that gave his team a 39-35 lead with 44 seconds remaining. Lillard says he hung on the rim to avoid hurting himself or another player, but officials weren't impressed. Defiance hit both technical free throws, then scored with their possession to force an overtime period they won 10-6 for their first state title in 75 years. CCC's coach was surprisingly calm after the game:
"My Central Catholic brain tells me I am very upset and I didn't agree with the call," he said. "But just as a basketball guy, I agree with it. I don't know if Antwon didn't feel safe with people up under him. But whatever he felt, I trust him. That's my guy. Whatever he was thinking at that moment, I'm rollin' with that."
Looking at the video, the call seems pretty weak; that it decided a state championship is particularly bad. But, disclosure! I went to Napoleon High School, and we hate Defiance.
h/t to Jared