HomeTop StoriesManasquan and Camden NJ basketball semifinal playoffs marred by controversial ending

Manasquan and Camden NJ basketball semifinal playoffs marred by controversial ending

Manasquan and Camden NJ Basketball State Semifinals Marred by Controversial Ending

Manasquan and Camden NJ Basketball State Semifinals Marred by Controversial Ending


BAYVILLE, NJ – Look up “robbed” in the dictionary and there should be a picture of the Manasquan High School boys basketball team.

The Warriors were left stunned Tuesday night after the conclusion of their NJSIAA Group 2 semifinal against Camden at Central Regional High School after the officials waved away their apparent winning basket as time expired.

There is overwhelming video evidence that Griffin Linstra’s deferral on an offensive rebound was clearly cleared before time expired, and that Manasquan should have won 47-46. And at first the officials agreed, but during the wild celebration on the field they huddled and a few minutes later they reversed their decision, sending Camden to the state finals and Manasquan home to reflect on what should have been to happen.

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“Heartbroken, confused, looking for answers we can’t give,” Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau said of his players.

Making the case even more frustrating for Manasquan is that the NJSIAA, which regulates high school sports in the state, denied the school district’s appeal Tuesday night. Despite the videos showing the recording was released on time, the use of video to review game decisions is not allowed under NJSIAA rules.

“On the court, the basket was good. The whole gym erupted. All three referees started leaving the court, which is a clear indication that the game was over,” Bilodeau said. “No other officials gave any indication through hand gestures that they disagreed, and the officials began to leave the court. I couldn’t tell you what happened in the meantime.”

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The NJSIAA issued a statement on Wednesday, saying in part: “Later, after being shown video clips, the second official agreed that the basket should have counted. That said, the rules are clear – once game officials see the ‘visual boundaries of the playing field,’ the game is over and the score is official.”

Manasquan’s players were beside themselves, their hopes of a historic victory dashed by a technicality that seems unjust and cruel.

“Right now, we want to embrace our team, and we’re going to celebrate their achievement,” said Superintendent Dr. Frank Kasyan of Manasquan Schools.

Needless to say, social media had their opinion on the controversial ending.

The win was taken away from Manasquan, but everyone knows who would have to play Arts High School of Newark in the state championship on Saturday. Manasquan plans to appeal to the state commissioner of education in hopes a correction can be made. But it’s clear the clock is ticking.

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“We won. We’re not going to play on Saturday. Well, maybe we’ll play on Saturday, depending on what their decisions are. However, the board of education will celebrate this team with the victory they got last night,” Kasyan said.

Barring another unexpected turn of events, the game will be remembered for the buzzer beater that wasn’t.

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