IM’s controversial loss leads to calls for instant replay

EDITOR: To start off with, I am generally not a big supporter of Iron Mountain High School sports, especially basketball. Unfortunately, I think you were likely denied a state championship by the officials.

Overall they did a good job, but the calls in the last few seconds were likely blown and that unfortunately decided the game.

From what I could see on TV, the second foot had not dropped yet before the ball was passed on the traveling call that negated your last basket that would have made it a three-point lead. It was admittedly close.

The next play, your defensive player tripped and fell into the offensive player, who took a long-range desperation shot, and was called for an intentional foul.

That likely should have been a three-shot “in the act of shooting” foul but was not called and gave Iron Mountain no chance or any chance at a last-gasp effort because the intentional foul call gave the opponent the ball after the intentional foul call.

I have done officiating for many years, mostly in Little League baseball, and I admit that I have not always gotten the calls right. Any official that is honest will tell you the same. More than a few times I wish I would have had an “instant replay” to get a second look at what happened from one angle and you might not always get it right.

I think that was true in the championship game They do the best they can and I doubt there was any intentional bias involved.

I am not proposing any general use of “instant replay” for future high school games in any sport but I do think that in critical games, like the state championships, where the video is available, that it should be available for use, it would be beneficial to both the athletes as well as the officials, to make sure they got it right.

A blown call will be remembered the rest of their lives when it happens in championship situations.

I hope this will be brought up as a possible rules change for future play. We cannot change what has happened, but I hope we can prevent it happening in the future.

In the meantime, congratulations to the Iron Mountain team on a great season and making the entire U.P. proud.

Lawrence Mellstrom

Iron River

EDITOR: The Iron Mountain High School basketball team’s loss in the championship game was a disaster, as all of us feel the game officials made two very bad calls that cost Mountaineers the state title.

In my opinion, high school coaches should be able to request a replay of any incident they feel needs further scrutiny to determine whether the call was correct. Had coach Bucky Johnson been able to request one, I’m sure the call would have been reversed, and the Mountaineers would have retained the lead and won the ball game. College football coaches have the right to request such replays, and I feel the basketball coaches should have the same opportunity.

As an alum — Class of 1952 — I offer my heartiest congratulations to coach Johnson and his basketball team. They had a fantastic season with 27 wins, and only one loss. No doubt, this had to be a record season for the Mountaineers, and they deserve to be honored for a job well done.

John “Jack” Hamm

Ann Arbor

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