Block? Or charge?
There’s less than a minute left, and Roosevelt trails Bothell by one point. Bothell grabs a defensive rebound, and but Roosevelt strips it right back and the ball ends up in the hands of the Roughriders 5-foot-9 speedster, Portland State recruit Glen Dean. Dean storms toward the basket. Bothell’s Neddy Dirini steps in front as Dean goes up for a layup. A whistle blows as the ball drops in the basket.
Block? Or charge?
“I thought it was a charge,” Bothell coach Ron Bollinger said. “I thought he was there.”
“That’s just being in good defensive position at the right time,” Dirini said. “I knew it was Glen Dean, he’s going to be super-aggressive and he’s going to be fast. I just tried to predict where he was going to go, and I just stepped in. I knew I was going to get it.”
As you can probably guess by now, the call is a charge. With 45 seconds left, the layup is wiped out and Bothell keeps the lead. Dean, the Roosevelt coaches, and, especially, the Roosevelt fans make it clear they don’t agree.
In between a pair of fruitless Roosevelt possessions, the Cougars sink one more free-throw to make it a two point lead. On the final Roosevelt possession, Amin Tufa’s mid-range jumper misses, and then the ball pinballs out to Dean, who desperately throws up a three-pointer. The shot is short, the horn blows, and Roosevelt is looking for a foul on the final shot. There is none. Bothell wins, goes to a winner-to-state game. Roosevelt’s season ends.
Block? Or charge?
It’s easy to sum it up that way, right? To boil a 36-minute game down to one play, one judgement call. Half of the gym left Juanita last night convinced the ref was right, and the other half left fuming because they thought the ref got it wrong.
They’ll be arguing block/charge calls until the end of time. This will never change.
But to say that Bothell won, or that Roosevelt lost, because of one call is to trivialize the other 36 minutes. To say this game was decided because of that call is to ignore that Roosevelt had two chances to tie or take the lead and missed, or to forget that Bothell had to make a comeback late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
This is what Roosevelt coach Bart Brandenburg said: “I thought we had great shots all night. We have to be able make shots and make plays, and we just did not make enough of them.”
Block? Or Charge?
Frankly, it just doesn’t matter.
1. Malcholm Love, West Seattle, boys basketball. Love scored 26 points in an 82-76 overtime win against No. 9 Bellevue.
2. Brittany Gray, Bainbridge, girls basketball. Led the Spartans with 21 points in a win against No. 9 Lakeside.
3. Darious Walker, Decatur, boys basketball. Scored 22 points, giving state-bound Decatur an inside presence in a 66-55 win against Gig Harbor.
Tonight’s top games
1. Mariner vs. Stanwood, boys basketball, 6 p.m. at Marysville-Pilchuck. Winner-to-state, loser-out? It doesn’t get much more intense than this. Mariner’s looking for a return trip to state.
2. Garfield vs. Franklin, boys basketball, 8:15 p.m. at Juanita. Second-Franklin can make it a three-game sweep against its biggest city rival — or Garfield could hand the Quakers their first in-state loss. The Sea-King top seed is on the line. Ballard and Inglemoor will play in the girls championship game at 6 p.m.
3. Federal Way vs. Graham-Kapowsin, 6 p.m. at Auburn. Winner goes to state as the West Central fifth seed, loser sees its season end. Neither team made state last season.