Manasquan's buzzer beater victory over Camden overturned by referees in semifinal game

WABC logo
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
New Jersey high school's buzzer beater victory overturned by referees
Toni Yates has the story.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- There is a big controversy over a play in a state semi-final high school basketball game in New Jersey.

The ending of the game between Manasquan and Camden is being talked about around the country.

Manasquan made what they believed to be a game-winning bucket to beat Camden. But the referees stopped their celebration and named Camden the winner, saying the ball left the player's hands too late.

Video of the play appears to show the ball leave the player's hand before the buzzer, however, there are no reviews in New Jersey high school basketball.

Now Camden moves on to the state championship as Manasquan's season comes to an end.

Manasquan High School students expressed their frustration about the call.

"It's obvious it was out of his hands... horrible call," Manasquan High School senior Douglas Ganssle said.

"It's the only game I've ever seen where you score more points and still lose," said a senior named Ryan.

The NJSIAA released a statement saying they understand the frustration and never want a game to end with controversy. After reviewing video, they apologized for the error and explained what happened:

"Here, all of the events happened within the final second of the game. One of the three officials counted the basket as beating the buzzer. The three officials then met at half court to confer. A second official saw the ball in the shooter's hands when the buzzer sounded. The officials then waived off the basket. Later, after being shown video clips, the second official agreed the basket should have counted.

That said, the rules are clear -- once game officials leave the 'visual confines of the playing court,' the game is concluded, and the score is official. So, while the officiating crews' reports indicate that a post-game review of footage of the play in question convinced them that the basket should have counted, the results could not then and cannot now be changed.

Also, NJSIAA Program Regulations, Section 14 - which governs the use of video - states, 'No video or audio recording may be used to review or challenge the decision of a sports official.' In addition, NJSIAA Bylaws, Article VII, Section 1 prohibit protests 'based upon an official's judgment or misinterpretation (misapplication) of the playing rules.' The ruling on the court is, exclusively and by rule, what determines the game winner.

Unlike in college or the pros, there is no instant replay review in high school basketball in New Jersey. These are the rules of the game that all schools agree to follow, and which have been upheld on appeal. We apologize to the Manasquan team for the error."

The Manasquan School District said in a statement it is pursuing all avenues of appeal:

"We appreciate the NJSIAA's transparency in admitting the error in the calling of last night's Group 2 Semifinal Boys Basketball game and appreciate their apology. It is indeed 'frustrating,' however, that the NJSIAA refuses to exercise its discretion to remedy a situation that was so obvious and well-documented. In our unwavering support of our players, coaches, and families, the District will continue to pursue any available appeals we can to vindicate the values of fair play and integrity that should be the hallmarks of interscholastic athletics."

ALSO READ | Man accused of squatting in Queens home faces judge, promises 'revelation' in case

7 On Your Side Investigative reporter Dan Krauth has the story.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.