Three Center Court columns for the price of one…

Human error is a part of officiating and if you can’t accept that maybe you should just stay away from sports.

Multiple news outlets reported Tuesday that a possession-arrow error at the scorer’s table with less than 20 seconds remaining in a girls basketball Class B South quarterfinal between No. 3 Lake Region and No. 6 Yarmouth affected the outcome of the contest.

A jump ball that should have kept the ball with the Clippers in a tie game was then incorrectly awarded to the Lakers, who in turn drew a foul and made one of two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining to score a 32-31 win.

Did Yarmouth get a raw deal and should the officials have gotten this one right? Yup.

Is this the presiding reason the Clippers lost the game? Hardly.

Don’t mistake this as a criticism of the players or coaches involved. Amateur athletes and coaches who commit way more time than they are compensated for are hardly deserving of criticism in a difficult situation like this.

Just don’t go piling all the blame in a loss on the officials.

In a 32-minute game — particularly one as a close and low scoring as this — there are countless plays that could have affected the outcome. Another made jumper here or one less turnover there and maybe it’s a different game.

Blaming one missed call in a 32-minute contest creates a slippery slope of excuse making.

Maybe the rims were too tight, which in turn caused a couple jumpers to rattle in and out?

How well-swept was the floor?

For crying out loud did anyone check the air pressure in the basketballs!?

As long as the game of basketball has been officiated, referees have made mistakes. They will continue to make mistakes and all you can hope for is they make as few as possible. All you can control is your own performance on the court, the sideline or in the stands.

Of course, this is another one of those areas on the path where life lessons and athletics intersect.

At some point in your life, you’re going to get screwed over by a situation out of your control.

The more important question is are you going to dwell on the call or put your head down and hustle back on defense?

• • •

Beyond possession arrows and missed calls, Tuesday’s Lake Region-Yarmouth game also raised another question: Where is the offense in this season’s tournament?

As of early Tuesday evening, 13 of 54 girls basketball games had been won by teams that scored less than 40 points. In that same frame, only four teams — Katahdin (62) in Class D, George Stevens (51) and Picataquis (50) in Class C and Foxcroft (52) in Class B — scored more than 45 points and lost.

While there have been some impressive point totals, there have also been a number of rock fights — Searsport 33-32 over Richmond, Boothbay 32-17 over Carrabec, Valley 31-22 over Forest Hills and Bonny Eagle over Thornton Academy 41-37 in overtime, to name a few.

Low-scoring games have found their way onto the boys’ side, too.

Excluding the Class AA games Tuesday night, nearly 64 percent of teams had failed to reach 60 points in a game. Those low-scoring affairs include Dexter’s 39-36 win over Piscataquis, Boothbay’s 43-34 victory over Hall-Dale and Edward Little’s 46-43 win over Cheverus, among others.

Monmouth is the only boys team to eclipse 60 points in a loss, as the Mustangs fell to Old Orchard Beach 68-65 in overtime in a Class C South preliminary round game.

• • •

After the initial round of AA games brought in less than desirable attendance numbers, the games Tuesday night seemed to draw better upon first glance.

The Civic Center was far from capacity for the anticipated boys basketball showdown between No. 2 Deering and No. 3 Oxford Hills, but the stands were above half full on each side.

Among those in attendance Tuesday was University of Maine men’s basketball coach Bob Walsh. Walsh was seated on press row to watch Oxford Hills senior Andrew Fleming, who has committed to play for the Black Bears next season.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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