Coyotes catch a break

So the folks from Humboldt State are crying the blues today. Seems they think their team got the short end of the stick in the closing seconds of Friday’s 86-84 loss at Cal State San Bernardino.

The contest came down to the last possession in overtime with the Coyotes clinging to a two-point lead. The Lumberjacks Kyle Baxter drove the lane and put up a runner that went in at the buzzer only to be called back when one referee called charging.

Game over.

I actually didn’t have a good angle on the play and my view was obscured by some Humboldt players. And I was half-typing and half watching with deadline looming and visions of double overtime dancing in my head.

In talking to other impartial observers courtside, the question wasn’t whether or not a charging foul should have been called, but whether or not Baxter got the shot off in time. One who had a good angle from one end of the scorer’s table said the red light was on when the ball was just leaving Baxter’s hand. In that case, the shot shouldn’t have counted any way.

It is all a bit ironic because two years ago the Lumberjacks won the conference title by a game over the Coyotes who should have had a share of the title.

It came down to a game the Jacks won at home against Dominguez Hills on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Grayson Moyer that was ruled good. The funny part was that a picture published in the newspapers that covers the team had a great photo of Moyer going up for the shot. The ball is still in Moyer’s hand and the light at the basket at the other end behind him was red.

Clear evidence of a blown call. And Humboldt seems to have had its share of calls in its favor. So maybe they all even out.

If the Lumberjacks didn’t have 23 turnovers it wouldn’t have come down to that.

If the Coyotes could make free throws (24 for 43), it wouldn’t have come down to that.

Whether the call was right or wrong, the common thought seems to be that the quality of officiating has worsened this season.

Credit the Lumberjacks for taking the call in stride. As players were milling on the court after their postgame talk, one observer offered some words of consolation to big man Owen Newman who had fouled out late in regulation with six points and five rebounds.

“If I worried about every bad call an official made on me, I wouldn’t be a very happy person,” he said.

It was a refreshing take from a player after a tough loss.

  • Jim Long

    Having covered basketball games at Cousoulis Arena and Humboldt State, I can see how HSU could benefit from homer calls by zebras. I can also see how some would accuse Cal Straight of enjoying the same thing — only in different ways. HSU is in a gorgeous part of California (Arcata vs. San Bernardino? No brainer).The Lumberjacks’ gym, like Coussoulis Arena is very tucked away on campus (Seems moreso on a dark, rainy night at Humboldt. I’d imagine any visiting team fears the possibilities of playing in such a remote locale (Arcata, HSU’s hometown, is two hours south of the Oregon border; a 15-hour drive from S.B. in friendly traffic). If nothing else, there’s a gorgeous Redwood forest behind HSU for zebras to get away while San Bernardino has nothing in comparison, except the coyote and critter-filled hills behind CSUSB and Interstate 15 North within a short drive from Coussoulis.