A Pennsylvania high school boys basketball playoff game was decided after one team held the ball for more than two minutes to incite a foul-shooting fest.
As reported by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) playoff game between Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) and Allderdice (Pittsburgh) was tight, with Mt. Lebanon holding a narrow 50-49 lead with just more than seven minutes remaining. In an attempt to hang on to that narrow lead, Mt. Lebanon literally stopped trying to drive the ball to the hoop.
In fact, Mt. Lebanon literally stopped trying to do anything. If you think that’s an exaggeration, just check out the “action” for yourself:
In the end, Mt. Lebanon stalled more than two minutes to run the clock down to 4:38 before they eventually made another offensive move. The subsequent missed shot begat an offensive rebound and a game-breaking three en route to a 64-58 victory.
“If we’re up, we’re going to do what we do,” Mt. Lebanon coach Joe David told the Post Gazette. “There’s no reason for me to change it because I know those guys are gamers and they’re going to knock their free throws down. It’s the best way for us to win a basketball game. I didn’t plan on holding it, but if you’re going to stand there and let my guy there, I’ll be fine.”
David was right. He and his team was fine, and their unorthodox victory game-strategy landed the Blue Devils a spot in the PIAA quarterfinals Saturday, where all bets are off. That includes another long-term holding episode.
“I said it felt like forever,” Mt. Lebanon senior guard Mike Palmer, who held the ball, told the Post Gazette. “It was like three minutes, but it felt like 20. But whatever you have to do to get it done.”