The Lawrence and Cony girls basketball teams compete Feb. 22 during a Class A North semifinal basketball game at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — Upon further review, video replay could be coming to Maine high school basketball. 

On Tuesday, the Basketball Committee of the Maine Principals’ Association is expected to discuss the possibility of adding limited video replay during the high school basketball tournament. High school basketball officials are also slated to discuss the topic Monday at a Maine Basketball Commission meeting.

The MPA announced the decision to take up consideration of video replay during its Interscholastic Management Committee meeting Thursday morning. 

“There was obviously a situation in the game and we need to talk about it,” Michael Burnham, executive director of the MPA’s Interscholastic Division, said. “It makes sense.”

Cony High School Athletic Director T.J. Maines, a new member on the Basketball Committee, said Thursday he was unaware of any meeting next week, but added he supports the addition of video replay in the sport.

“I didn’t even know there was a meeting, but I will be psyched to be a part of it,” he said.  “This is common sense. Let’s use it.”


Bonny Eagle Athletic Director Eric Curtis, who is also on the Basketball Committee, said: “No, I haven’t been aware of the meeting. I knew it was going to be discussed, but didn’t know it would be on the agenda next week. It’s probably time. “

Video reviews would be used only to confirm potential game-winning baskets made at the final buzzer. 

Also Thursday, the Management Committee unanimously approved a plan to keep Class AA — the state’s largest enrollment class — divided into North and South regions. 

The Classification Committee had advanced the proposal last week. There is still one more step to go, as it has to pass a vote of the general MPA membership at its April 27 meeting at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.

The decision to take up video replay comes after yet another controversial ending in a high school basketball tournament game sparked calls for change. 

Thornton Academy edged Bonny Eagle 52-51 in the Class AA South semifinal in Portland on Feb. 25 after Will Davies buried a shot at the buzzer. However, some videos and still photographs that circulated on social media after the game showed the shot might not have beaten the buzzer. 


Bonny Eagle boys’ basketball coach John Trull said Thursday he would welcome the addition of video replay in the tournament.

“I think it’s good for everybody,” he said. “It’s good for the players, the officials and the fans. All the people want is for the correct call. Replay would eliminate that grey area. No more ‘it should have counted’ or ‘it shouldn’t have counted.’ If we are the last team to get hurt by a last-second shot without replay, then so be it. Hopefully, this will bring change. ”

Members of the MPA Management Committee also cited the 2020 Class C North boys basketball final, which Dexter won 50-48 over Central Aroostook of Mars Hill thanks to a Parker Ponte 3-pointer as time expired. Videos and photos of that shot seemed to show that it, too, did not beat the buzzer. 

“I’m 100% for it so long if its scope is for the end of game on a shot that can decide a game,” said Maines, the Cony athletic director.  “We don’t need it to see if there was a charge or anything like that, but I think it’s a great move for the end of the game.”

Lawrence girls’ basketball coach Greg Chesley, whose team won the Class A title this season, said he, too, supports video replay — but in a limited capacity.

“I’m all for replay for end-of-game situations, buzzer-beater situations,” he said. “I just hope it doesn’t open up that box where we have to start looking at other things. I don’t want to be reviewing Flagrant 1s and Flagrant 2s like they do in college, or out-of-bounds plays in the last couple minutes. I really truly do think that our officials — I give them a hard time — but I think they do a pretty good job. I’m pretty content to leave most of it in their hands.”


Implementing video replay would come with some logistical issues.

The Cony and Skowhegan girls basketball teams compete Feb. 17 during a Class A North quarterfinal game at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

For example, the backboards at the state tournament venues in Bangor and Portland both light up red at the buzzer. However, the backboards at the Augusta Civic Center do not, which could complicate replay reviews.

Furthermore, state tournament preliminary round games are played at campus sites, which can present some challenges, Curtis said.

“The AA tournament games are played on school sites,” he said. “That’s a concern. I worry about some schools and places having the technology. What happened to us was frustrating. I am not a huge fan of video. I don’t want it to slow down the high school game. I think it’s great for end-of-game situations, but there’s a lot to discuss.”

Burnham of the MPA said at the meeting Thursday that video from WHOU and Maine Public Broadcasting Network could be used in replays. WHOU carried the regional semifinal games this tournament, while MPBN aired the state finals.

“There are a lot of questions and things to work out,” Trull said, “but this would be good for the game.”

Added Thornton Academy boys basketball coach Bob Davies, whose team prevailed in a controversial buzzer-beater in the AA South semifinal: “I think it’s something (the MPA) will have to meet on and decide. Whatever rules they say we should play by, then we will play by.” 

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