Four days after the fact, the Rancho Cucamonga boys basketball team was declared a 62-61 winner over Villa Park. That was after the Cougars won the game, then thought they lost it in controversial fashion, only to have that outcome overturned on an appeal.
Yes, it was as messy as it sounds.
The game took place in the Ron May Classic at Long Beach Jordan on Saturday. Rancho led 62-61 with two seconds left and Villa Park in-bounding the ball under its own basket.
Rancho coach Bill Burke said there was a problem in the control panel of the clock and scoreboard and the buzzer would go off several seconds after the actual time on the clock had expired. It was something noticed by most coaches throughout the day-long event and he had mentioned it to the officials before his game started.
Well Villa Park in-bounded, took a shot which was off the mark. The ball caromed to the same player that took the first shot and he made his second chance. One official waved off the put-back immediately while the other made no call.
The teams even completed the post-game handshakes.
The Villa Park coach then pulled one of the officials aside. He then conferred with the other and decided to put two seconds back on the clock and replay the end of the game. This time they made the shot for what then appeared to be a 63-62 Villa Park win.
Burke was admittedly furious and informed game officials he would be protesting the outcome.
“I didn’t even know what you have to do in that situation,” Burke said. “I have never seen anything like that. It was like the USA-Russia in the 1972 Olympics. We’re going to replay the end of a game. Really?”
Burke said he filed a report to the CIF which requests the same from the other parties involved. He was not necessarily optimistic but felt he needed to at least look into the situation.
“You never win an appeal. I have talked to a lot of coaches and none of them can remember anyone winning one but I felt we were right and I was really hoping they would see it our way.”
The CIF did just that, which makes the Cougars 9-7 officially.
It’s been a bit of a tough go for Burke who has a very young and inexperienced squad. It also starts Baseline League play next week against Chino Hills and Damien.
“We really hit a tough stretch and this was a part of that,” he said. “Our kids were really devastated. It was nice to be able to give them the good news.”