Manasquan HS urges Education commissioner to overturn loss to Camden in basketball tournament

The NJIAA says that Manasaquan should have won the game, but refused to overturn the initial decision by the referees.

Chris Keating

Mar 7, 2024, 11:17 PM

Updated 127 days ago


The Manasquan High School boys basketball team is fighting back against a controversial loss to Camden High School on Tuesday.
Manasquan has already petitioned the state Department of Education to reverse the loss suffered in a state semifinal game. Attorneys for Manasquan were in Ocean County Superior Court on Thursday arguing for a judge to step in. The judge was asked to stop the championship game from being played on Saturday until the commissioner of Education rules on whether the outcome of the game should be reversed.
Manasquan High School believes it won the game against Camden at the buzzer. However, Judge Mark Troncone passed on the matter saying by procedure that it is up to the commissioner of Education.
The dispute centers around a last-second shot during a state semi-final game between the two schools. As time was running out, Camden was ahead by a score of 46-45.
With half a second left, a Manasquan player scored. But the shot was eventually waived off by referees, saying time ran out, giving Camden High School the victory.
High school referees do not use video review but a later review showed the shot did go in before the clock ran out.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said after the game that a mistake was made but stands by the referees' in-game decision.
But Manasquan believes it deserves the win because one official initially called the basket good.
“We would’ve hoped he would rule to stop the game on Saturday because the game should not take place until a final determination is made. Based on what actually happened, the admission of the referees that they made an error,” said Michael Gross, an attorney for Manasquan.
However, Camden school officials disagreed, saying everyone agrees to NJSIAA rules. Their attorney says this should not be before the courts at all.
“This should put an end to it. What are we teaching our kids to go to court when they don’t agree with a referee’s decision? It’s ridiculous,” said Camden school attorney Louis Cappelli.
It’s now up to the commissioner of Education to decide on this matter.
Attorneys for Manasquan are hoping to have a hearing before the Department of Education on Friday. As of now, Camden is supposed to play Newark’s Arts High on Saturday for the championship.
The superintendent of Newark schools also stepped into this dispute by sending a letter to the courts saying he is willing to postpone the game until this matter is resolved because he believes Manasquan to be the winner.
A decision could be made by Friday.

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