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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Jefferson rebounds in title game, but baskets hard to come by

Jefferson trailed by 10 points with 1:35 to go in the 2019 6A boys’ basketball championship game last week. Then they rebounded.
The trouble was, that was about the only thing they could get right. They missed most of their shots. But by rebounding 12 of their 13 missed shots, they kept the ball in play at their end of the court until something positive happened.
Although it wasn’t enough, they trimmed the lead to five points before losing 71-66.
During their remarkable rebounding streak, they got the ball back on all five of their missed three throw attempts. So although they were only 3-8 on free throws in the closing 95 seconds, they came away with more points than had they simply made the foul shots.
They hit four of 12 field goal attempts in the last 1:35, regaining possession on all but one of the eight misses.
How were they able to rule the boards in desperation time?
I haven’t watched the video or dissected each play, but it seems to me that with nothing to lose by hanging back to defend against a Jesuit fast break, they sent everyone crashing the boards. With so almost every player on the court going for the ball, it was impossible officiate tightly. The most typical rebounding call is for going over the back of the rebounder, but any such offenders were buried from sight by layers of players on both teams, perhaps most of them going over the backs of those inside the scrum.
There’s also a tradition of not making ticky-tack calls in these do or die moments. 
Jefferson had the clear advantage in size, athleticism and motivation to get those boards. Still, getting 12 of 13 potential offensive rebounds—when the norm is for two-thirds of rebounds to go to the defensive team—is nothing short of amazing.

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