Milton High’s basketball team wins amid controversy, making two foul shots with time expired

Milton coach David Boyd said the foul was called before the final buzzer sounded (AJC file)

Milton coach David Boyd said the foul was called before the final buzzer sounded (AJC file)

Milton’s Julian Royal made two foul shots with no time remaining in a controversial 52-51 win over Norcross in Saturday’s Class AAAAA quarterfinals at West Georgia.

Only moments earlier, Norcross thought it had pulled off the upset and celebrated wildly after the sound of the final buzzer. However, as Norcross coach Jesse McMillan started walking toward the Milton bench to shake hands, the referees huddled on the side of the court.

“There was a scramble situation around the rim, maybe we fouled them or maybe we didn’t — that’s the ref’s call,” McMillan said. “The situation was that (one) referee called a foul as the horn sounded.

“(The other two) referees had waved the ballgame off, but the other one said he had a foul. He called a hold on us.”

The officiating crew eventually ruled that Royal had been fouled while fighting for a rebound before the buzzer had sounded. The referees cleared the court because time had expired, and awarded two free throws to Royal, who calmly made both with fans from both teams screaming as loud as they could.

Even Milton coach David Boyd admitted he had never experienced an ending like that one.

“No, time had not expired (before the foul was called),” Boyd insisted, “I was battling the whole way for the foul. I saw the official call the play while there was time on the clock. That’s what I saw.”

It was a bizarre turn of emotions for Norcross, which went from big smiles and high fives to tears and hanging heads. McMillan said he trusted that the referee blew his whistle before the final buzzer, but if there was a foul, then there should’ve been time on the clock.

Milton's Julian Royal was nothing but clutch, with the big guy sinking two foul shots with time expired (AJC file photo)

Milton's Julian Royal was nothing but clutch, with the big guy sinking two foul shots with time expired (AJC file photo)

“I don’t think it should’ve been more than one second, but there should’ve been (something),” he said. “At least you give the kids a chance to throw it the length of the court to make a miracle shot.

“The explanation I got from the ref was ‘We don’t have replay, so there is no way to say how much time we should put on there.’ He explained it the best he could.”

Norcross forward E. Victor Nickerson made two free throws to give the Blue Devils a 51-50 lead with 10.2 seconds left. Milton rushed down the court, with Shannon Scott (committed to Ohio State) losing track of time and launching a 30-footer with about six seconds left. Milton’s Jordan Lloyd fought for the offense rebound and missed a short jumper, leading up to dramatic ending.

“I have never won a game with no time showing on the clock,” Boyd said. “I just told the team we’ll take advantage of (this game). We’re in the state semifinals … that’s about all you can say.”

What are your thoughts on the ending of this game? Please post below. Note: If anyone has video of the final seconds, please email me at mcarvell@ajc.com.

Note: Feel free to make your point,  but inappropriate comments will  NOT be tolerated.

149 comments Add your comment

dk

March 6th, 2010
8:59 pm

wow what a game.

Julian Royal

March 6th, 2010
8:59 pm

I’m good. Really good.

Coach D

March 6th, 2010
9:01 pm

FIRST?!?!?! Sounds like a heck of a way to win a game.. Just win baby!!

Jordan Loyd

March 6th, 2010
9:03 pm

Buzztime

March 6th, 2010
9:03 pm

Or lose a game if you ask me but the kid did hit both freee throws so good for him.

Whatever

March 6th, 2010
9:05 pm

If he was fouled with time on the clock, there would be time left. Didn’t see it, but you can’t have it both ways.

J.R.

March 6th, 2010
9:15 pm

I have been to several of these games this season and I must say that I am totally not impressed with the GHSA refereeing to this point. Many of them are out of shape and out of position to make the proper calls. To make a call at the end of a game to decide who wins or loses is a damn shame. I hope he was right, but my intuition tells me, he probably wasn’t if it was two refs against one. Ref(s) let the kids play and stop trying to dictate the outcome of the games.

Eastside Jacket

March 6th, 2010
9:15 pm

It’s impossible to foul a person with no time left to play in a game. Impossible.

Catlawson

March 6th, 2010
9:27 pm

I am not impressed with the GHSA refereeing to this point.To make a call at the end of a game to decide who wins or loses is a damn shame. This should have been a no call. Refs let the kids play and stop trying to dictate the outcome of the games.
It’s impossible to foul a person with no time left to play in a game. There should have been at least a second left on the clock.

Joe

March 6th, 2010
9:29 pm

This is horrible officiating.

Devil Lover

March 6th, 2010
9:30 pm

How can you end a game with 2 foul shots with no time on the clock? At least put one second on the clock.

E.S.

March 6th, 2010
9:31 pm

GO MILTON!!!!!

JCF

March 6th, 2010
9:46 pm

Crazy ending – Norcross fought hard to take the lead late in the game. Milton bended, but did not break. Foul shots by Julian Royal to win the game – biggest foul shots by a big man that I have ever seen under the circumstances. Refs should have put at least 0.1 second back on the clock. It does make sense to call a foul with 0.0 on the clock. Ref clearly blew the whistle and raised his arm to call a foul just before buzzer sounded. Norcross should hold their heads high. Hopefully Milton uses this extra life to win the state title – Go Eagles!!!

mpd

March 6th, 2010
10:00 pm

Enter your comments here

SGT CHRIS

March 6th, 2010
10:03 pm

LaGrange girls vs Northside Columbus girls: 0.9 on the clock, LaGrange inbounds, Northside fouls, time runs out, refs put 0.3 back on the clock…could have been done in this instant..foul called with time on the clock, time should be on the clock when he shoots the free throws point blank and simple

mpd

March 6th, 2010
10:03 pm

I had a perfect view on the baseline, there was a foul on julian, but Jordan was fouled more on his shot than julian was, so it shouldve been 2 shots either way

SRS

March 6th, 2010
10:11 pm

Two great teams, one of them had to lose, its just a shame the loser had to be decided by the referee with no time left.

stw

March 6th, 2010
10:15 pm

SGT. CHRIS: It’s obvious you are not an official. As a long time HS ref there is a lag time from whistle to when scorer can stop clock. H/S makes no allowance for putting back this time and besides if they had put 0.3 it would have made no difference. The clock starts as soon as it is obvious the free throw has been missed. Only reason it’s done in college and pros is because of the television. It is physically impossible for Norcross to inbound and shoot in 0.3 seconds.Schools could not afford to pay full time officials and refs do not take into account how much time is left..A foul is a foul and blowing the whistle is instinct. This call did not cost the loser the game..

BBall Fan

March 6th, 2010
10:35 pm

Even though I’m a Milton fan, I can say that the officiating was horrible. All you want from the officiating is for them to be consistant and they were not even close. BY the way, who at the GHSA would pick W. Georgia to host a qtr final? I went to the Milton vs. Marietta game at Milton and there were more people. Talk about wasting a chance to make good money. Why not Ga. State or Kennasaw? This is crazy to drive that far. No one wants to travel that far. Hello GHSA wake up and make decent business decisions…

John

March 6th, 2010
10:49 pm

It does make since to put time on the clock, because just the same while trying to inbound the ball Milton could have been called for a foul and Norcross would had foul shots.

bodog

March 6th, 2010
11:03 pm

The Ref. made the call as he saw it. Done Deal,,,,,you can discuss it all week long aon’t gonn CHANGE THE CALL The Ref did nothing wrong. Even if Ref put 1 sec. on clock it would have made no difference.

HatesPinkos

March 6th, 2010
11:06 pm

This is why I quit going to high school sporting events 10 years ago. There’s always an official trying to relive his youth and wanting to make his miserable life seem more important and he completely makes the contest about him. Anyway, sorry for the loser, hope the official can sleep
tonight. Maybe one day, it’ll happen to one of his kids.

bodog

March 6th, 2010
11:06 pm

The ref made the call as he saw it, AND THAT MAKES IT A DOBE DEAL. YOU CAN TALK DOR A WEEK, AND NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE, AND IF AS MILTON COACH SUGGESTED THE REF PUT ONE SEC. BACK ON CLOCK THE GAME WAS STILL OVER.

bodog

March 6th, 2010
11:06 pm

bodog

March 6th, 2010
11:07 pm

SickandTired

March 6th, 2010
11:14 pm

What is Boyd still coaching for? Does anyone that hires him not do any research whatsoever?

Jose Benzaca

March 6th, 2010
11:19 pm

Let’s see, there is no time on the clock and a scramble around the rim with a bunch of kids trying to get a ball and you only see one kid commit a fout? I really doubt it. Ref should have swallowed the whistle and let the kids decide the game, not him. All champions need a little luck to win. Bama got help with an injured Texas QB, the Saints play a bad game but get 5 turnovers and an overtime, Canada got a weak tip in goal in the Olympics. You have to be good to get to this point, but lady luck can get you over the top.

NoLion

March 6th, 2010
11:29 pm

This is typical GHSA, Bullsssssst. There is no excuse for the ref to call a foul with no time left on the clock. I do not understand how 2 ref’s called game over, and this yoyo 2 timin , no good SOB said there was a foul. If i was norcross i would protest the game and get the reversal, They deserved the win. I have no alegiance in the battle, just enjoy high school sports, but this is typical of Serigan and his cronies from the south…Its time the GHSA gets investigated into their running of their programs. He has an agenda and they pick the winners each year. I have told this to several people and they always think i am crazy, but I can show you time and time again where these inept refs. either football, basketball, cheerleading whatever have gone totally against one school for another. this year its Miltons time to win state championship and no matter what happens next week, it is their destiny. they will get help getting there,so whoever they play watch out you will not get any calls….

NoLion

March 6th, 2010
11:34 pm

just saw where norcross girls won and milton girls won, hope they both get to the finals…

Crazy8

March 6th, 2010
11:35 pm

Norcross won this game.

bigben

March 6th, 2010
11:38 pm

The Norcross coach ran circles around Boyd. Boyd puts 4 of the top players in the country on the floor. Norcross couldn’t get shots to drop but keep running their sets and playing solid defense. They took the lead the old fashioned way, they earned it. And then one referee decided that wasn’t good enough.

consistancy

March 6th, 2010
11:41 pm

Congratulations to Milton. Part of winning a championship is being good, being a little lucky and getting a few breaks. They got a break tonight and by coach Boyd’s comments above he knows he got one. He may have complained if the ref swallowed his whistle at that point of the game but he would have known it was the right call. At least 3 times in the game Norcross had 3 put back attemps that missed and you know there was contact on those plays. At least be consistant and don’t call a foul as time expires. I give Julian all the credit in the world for stepping to the free throw line with no time left on the clock and hitting both free throws but he was the biggest player on the court and should have been able to finish foul or not. He wasn’t tackled. Milton you got your break now win the championship.

bluedevil

March 7th, 2010
12:07 am

Norcross should’ve won. plain and simple.
They really did deserve it.

.

March 7th, 2010
12:09 am

More Bull Shi#! This is not the first time ref’s have decided the out come of games.

Timmy

March 7th, 2010
12:14 am

QUESTION – How can foul be called with no time left?…..in a scramble for a ball?

Ripped

March 7th, 2010
12:22 am

Milton has made a practice this year of having controversial games – go back to the Wheeler game. Then again, David Boyd, in my opinion, is a controversial figure. The article reads as if Norcross was ripped off.

ERIC ROGERS

March 7th, 2010
12:55 am

I was at Westlake game!!!!!!!!!! If Norcross WAS THE TEAM TO BEAT IN 5A, WHY WAS THE GAME SO TIGHT!!!!!!! Westlake won by 20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Refs could not decide that game!!!!!!!! STOP CRYING NORCROSS YOU SHOULD HAVE PLAYED BETTER!!!!!!!

milehigh

March 7th, 2010
12:59 am

I am also a basketball official of twenty years as well as a women’s college official for ten years. In high school the ball is considered dead during free throw administration. In order for the ball to become live again it must be given to the free throw shooter. If he or she is shooting in a bonus or one and one situation then the first shot is live. If as in this case the free throw shooter is given two shots then the second shot is live. In high school the clock starts once it touches the rim or a live player on the court. If the shot is missed (air ball) then the clock DOES NOT START! The officials blow their whistles and inbound the ball. In my opinion the issue was not whether there should have been time put back on the clock but whether the call should have been made at that point in the game.

It took a lot of guts to make an unpopular call at the end of a game of this magnitude. My experience in basketball officiating has taught me to let the kids decide the game but make the call if it is obviously a foul. At the end of all games an experienced crew will huddle and remind themselves to make sure it is an obvious foul before they call it. If this particular type of infraction had been allowed throughout the contest without penalty then it should have been allowed that final time.

Finally. any type of officiating is about applying the rules with common sense. We are taught to try as best as we can to blend into the game and don’t become the show because no one goes to a game to see an official blow their whistle. If you as an official allow teams to do certain things in the first quarter then you must allow them to do those same things in the fourth quarter. Illegal contact is illegal contact (a foul) no matter when it is called during a game, but players and coaches alike cannot adjust and play to their highest level if they don’t understand what is going to be called a foul in a particular game. I am certain that official believes he saw some contact but was it the same contact the crew had been calling the whole night? Only the members of the crew and Ernie Yarborough (ghsa coordinator of officials) know this for certain because I guarantee you that he has reviewed the tape. There is usually someone at the late round games evaluating the officiating crews. I wonder what his rating was for the game?

Legend of Len Barker

March 7th, 2010
1:47 am

Long-time scorebook-keeper here:

If I’m reading the situation right, the ball was still live when the players battled for the rebound and the foul was called. The play is still active until the ball either drops into the net or doesn’t (after becoming ineligible for a goaltend). And a game isn’t over while a play is still active.

Though this is mentioned by Coach Boyd (as he says he saw time on the clock), a foul doesn’t happen right that second. Though I’ve seen referees set a clock to when it the physical contact happened, a play isn’t officially dead until the whistle is blown. The lag time between contact and the whistle counts as time elapses.

Besides, technically, yes, there can be a foul with no time on the clock. A basketball game is not over just because time expires in the 4th quarter (or overtime) and one team is in the lead.

A game isn’t over until certified over by the officials.

Nilo Silvan

March 7th, 2010
2:03 am

Royal was fouled while attempting a shot, and it was before the horn went off. The refs made the right call on that; however, they definitely should have put some time on the clock…even if it was just 0.1 second.

The refs definitely struggled throughout the whole game. And they were not a whole lot better during the Central Gwinnett–McEachern game.

gakat1

March 7th, 2010
2:13 am

I was there. It is so obvious that the refs don’t know what the hell they’re doing most of the time. There was a delay of about a minute BEFORE THE ref comes over to the scorers table and signals a foul with a sheepish look on his face. I sat right behind the scorers table and could not believe it. And no I am not a Norcross fan. I attend all tourney games in all classes.

I say give the official a lie detector test. This one is for a Ripleys’ Believe it or NOT. Just pathetic.

Mr. D

March 7th, 2010
2:19 am

I’ve read all of your comments and can agree with most. Bottom line, the Norcross plyed against the best team in the state and the worst officials in the building. This was one of the most inconsistantly called ballgames I’ve watched this year. Milton had 4 gimmee shots in the last 5 seconds with plenty of contact and no whistle AND THEN you make a call with time expired? Shame on the officials for being the focus of an incredible ballgame.
Congratulations to both teams.
p.s. Norcross got hosed!

Big B CH 99

March 7th, 2010
2:19 am

I didn’t see the game, but I really feel sorry for Norcross, HS officials are attrocious, they’re as incompetent as they are corrupt. Many times they determine the outcome of games. Thankfully when I was in HS they had a hard time keeping us from winning. I went to Collins Hill when Maya Moore was there, it’s hard to prevent a team that has the best player in the country from winning.

But I played football, & we got screwed twice, the refs cost us 2 games that yr. Norcross in the 2nd to last game of the yr, & Roswell in the first round of the playoffs.

North Fulton Sports Guy

March 7th, 2010
3:30 am

I know what everyone’s thinking, ’someone has to have video of this.’ Well it exists.

http://itsneversunnyincincinnati.blogspot.com/ has a video of Royal’s free throws. Apparently they also have video of the foul call at the end of the game, but it’s not up yet.

As you’ll see if you watch the video, the second free throw provided more drama than a daytime soap, it bounced off the rim two or three times.

UGA75

March 7th, 2010
3:59 am

Another HS and College BB Official, and the folks complaining about the officiating of this whole game are pretty much dead on. This set of officials shouldn’t be calling rec ball. There could have been fouls called on the last two shots, that would have been correct and courageous, but the so called foul that was called was totally fabricated. Officials are taught from day one, did someone gain an advantage in order to call a foul. In this case the only advantage was the fact the foul was called. You could almost see the wheels in the Official’s head spinning, “oh no, the higher ranked team got beat, we’ll never get another game, I have to do something”. He did though when the tape is viewed I suspect it will show his hand going up after the buzzer. This was criminal, I hope the GHS administrators looks at it. They can’t reverse the call, but they can make sure these officials never screw another bunch of kids.

g

March 7th, 2010
4:26 am

The obvious solution was for the milton coach to instruct his player to miss the last FT and let it go to OT. Given everything we know about his character, no surprise that it would never occur to him.

Sports are beginning to stink

March 7th, 2010
5:23 am

Every time you turn around a ref/official is blowing it. As a sports fan who has watched all kinds of sports over 50 years, I don’t know what has happened to sports officials. From the HS level through the pros, blown calls at crucial times are taking the heart out of competitive sports. Many Officials want to be seen and want to exert their power and influence. There’s some mighty big egos with some officials. All in all … sports are beginning to stink. I think in the next five years we will see major declines in ALL sports. The fans now will take anything … including poor officiating and be satisified. Yep, there’s an odor in the air and it’s coming from sports ….Think I’ll just give it up for awhile and see if the smell in my life improves.

Wheeler Grad08

March 7th, 2010
7:44 am

MileHigh said it correctly. GHSA needs to review and reverse the call. But they don’t have the nerve to do so. It looks like they want someone else in the finals other than Wheeler, Norcross, Stephenson, etc., so they set their brackets and ref. crews to see it done. I was there last night and couldn’t believe the call, I’m a graduate of Wheeler and have no love loss for Norcross, but they got ripped a new one…..Heart goes out to Norcross Fans, GHSA needs to change the results. Milton got beat and they know it.. Last night’s game to me was the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP.just like it was last year when we beat Norcross at West Ga. I won’t be at Gwinnett next week.

El Mongol

March 7th, 2010
7:51 am

This reminds me of “Live Atlanta Wrestling”, when everyone knew it was fixed.

b. devil fan

March 7th, 2010
7:57 am

While I agree that Norcross did not play their best game and should not have wound up in this position in the first place, there were some horrible calls by these refs and some calls that should have been made at important times and weren’t- all in Milton’s favor (as basically quoted by both coaches in the newspapers and by Milton fans/parents that I spoke with after the game). I can handle if my team loses, but not like this!

First off, in the last seconds of the first half, Jeremy Lamb shot a basket and the ball CLEARLY left his hand before the buzzer sounded, but the refs called off the shot. Secondly, when Marty Johnson went for a final basket at the end of the game (and missed), he was CLEARLY fouled but the refs did not call it- which is something that many of us are familiar with in close state tournament games, where not every little thing is called at the end. Finally, if the refs, the player, the coach, and anyone who is not blind knows that there is time left on the clock when that final foul is called, then there should be some sort of rule in place about putting a minimum amount of time on the clock for the final free throws, instead of just completely obliterating the other teams’ opportunity to have final possession of the ball.

I hope the GHSA will take this controversial call into consideration and possibly make some sort of changes for future games, so other teams do not get cheated like Norcross did.