PA high school hoops needs a shot clock


Mikala McCracken

Does the PIAA need to adopt a shot clock.

Colin McCaulley, Sports Writer

Basketball is a game that is made to be played down to the last second. Until the final buzzer sounds there is still a chance the momentum could shift and go in the losing team’s favor.

If teams in college basketball didn’t have a shot clock, could you imagine how boring March madness would be? The best part about the tournament is seeing so many close games that come down to the last second because teams aren’t simply allowed to have their point guard hold the ball just over half court and play keep away.

This is the way it used to be before the institution of the shot clock in college basketball. In the 1985 NCAA championship game, Villanova held the ball for two minutes at the end of the first half until they made an inside shot with 4 seconds to go to take a one point lead. It was just a sign of things to come in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when the Wildcats, an 8-seed, defeated No. 1 Georgetown.

Some people argue that there was no shot clock in 1985, so they weren’t breaking any rules, but what they were doing ruins the integrity of the game.

This is why he PIAA needs to adopt a shot clock for high school games.

A shot clock wouldn’t have given either team an advantage.

Whether millions of people tune in to watch a professional, college or high basketball game, nobody wants to watch teams stall, and if they’re honest players don’t want to play that type of game. They signed up to play basketball not monkey in the middle.

Why should High School basketball be any different? How are players supposed to prepare for college basketball when all they know is to score ten points then hold the ball?

Some states have already made the jump to a shot clock such as; Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, New York, California, North Dakota and South Dakota are among them.

Is it a coincidence that, according to, Maryland produces more male division 1 athletes than any other state? I don’t believe it is; the shot clock is producing more capable players who have to actually play every game the whole way through instead of playing one half of good basketball before degenerating into a schoolyard game of keep-away.

Earlier this season the Bellwood-Antis basketball team was down by 11 points by the end of the first quarter in a non-conference game against Southern Fulton. The Blue Devils came out strong in the second quarter and cut the lead to 6, where it would remain until the end of the third.

The beginning of the fourth quarter started with a 2-minute possession by Southern Fulton, followed by a quick Blue Devil bucket, before another 3-minute possession. It was a boring spectacle, with Southern Fulton holding the ball and passing it around when they absolutely had to, with a few occasional screens that led to the ball handler to retreat off the screen to half court. The Blue Devils would only score 6 points on single digit possessions in the entire 8 minute period.

A shot clock wouldn’t have given either team an advantage. It would just force both teams to do what they agreed to: meet in the gym to play basketball not keep away. At this point any shot clock would be appreciated.

High school basketball not having a shot clock is like high school football not having a play clock and being able to stand at the line and not snap the ball until time runs out.

That isn’t basketball and it shouldn’t be allowed. Pennsylvania needs a shot clock in High School basketball.