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Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 03:30pm
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While this doesn't have any issue with the officials, who did what they were asked - grant a time out, it is quite a story.

I feel for both the players and the coach.

Published: Sunday, March 13, 2005
By Bob Hunter
Cherise Daniel made the shot. She really did.

She dribbled across the center line, realized Eastmoor Academy's world was only three seconds from Judgment Day and launched a three-pointer that would either tie the score at 43 or leave her feeling as if she had fallen from the top of 40-story building.

She made the shot. It was a beautiful shot, the shot of her young life, the shot that might have made her a hero as long as her teammates and classmates are around to take a breath.

Then she realized there had been a whistle. Her coach had called timeout.

"I was trying to go out and get the official,'' Eastmoor coach Jim Miranda said. "The official was running toward me, and I started calling 'timeout, timeout' and then she came and hit the shot. I'll tell you, it's a coach's nightmare.''

You didn't have to ask Miranda how he felt about it. You could tell by his vacant expression. You just knew.

In front of the Eastmoor bench, there were a few seconds of senseless shuffling, of emotional devastation, of hopeless resignation, and then Miranda pulled the Warriors together and spoke to them as if it never happened.

What can you say after that?

"We can make it again,'' he said. "I told them: 'We can make it again.' ''

Only they didn't. They got the ball in, got it to Daniel and she was actually able to get up a decent 25-foot shot in the 3.1 seconds that was left. Only this time, it hit the back of the rim and Daniel ended up writhing in agony, face down on the floor.

She wasn't the hero. She wasn't a state champion. Walsh Jesuit was a 43-40 winner, and Daniel had just gained a new lifelong companion: the shot that really counted. The one that didn't go in.

"It will be in my head forever,'' she said.

It shouldn't be. There are lots of good things to remember about this Eastmoor team, things that should make the school's first trip to the state final even more special than it is for many teams.

This program isn't a machine that was created by a good recruiter. It isn't a creation of the City League's open enrollment policy, as are so many of the Columbus city powers.

Eastmoor is a college prep school. Students must win a lottery to gain admission there, so a good player from the other side of the city can't wake up one morning during her junior year and decide she wants to win at Eastmoor as a senior instead of playing for her old school.

She might be able to win the lottery and get in there, but that's not why most of these kids went to Eastmoor. Most go to Eastmoor for academics. Athletic success is a bonus.

"Athletics are great, but it's a strong academic school,'' Miranda said. "It's a safe school. You don't have a lot of the stuff that goes on at other schools. It's primarily about academics; that's why I'm sending my daughter there. I put my daughter in the lottery, and luckily, she got in. We wanted her there, not for athletics but the academic environment and all the good things that are going on there.''

And hey, the athletics aren't so bad. The school qualified for the state football playoffs last fall. The girls won the state track championship. And yesterday, Eastmoor came within a shot, or a timeout, of overtime in the Division II state basketball final, and if that had happened, who knows?

That doesn't make any of this easier, though. Miranda called a timeout he said he would always call to try to get Daniel a good three-point attempt, and that doesn't make it easier.

"Yeah, you would try to set it up in a scatter situation,'' he said. "But I wish I wouldn't have done that one. I wish I wouldn't have done that one.''

He let out a deep sigh.

"I mean, I know why I did it,'' he said. "I wanted to make sure that we got a good look, but . . . I didn't even see her take the shot. I'm over there calling time and then I see the ball going to the net, and boom. You want to kick yourself.''

It's funny how something that takes only a second of one important basketball game can stay with you the rest of your life.

I remember Newt Oliver, coach of those legendary Rio Grande College teams that featured Bevo Francis, once telling me about a championship his team had lost because of bad call. He was just working himself into a good fit of pique when his wife interrupted him.

"Let it go, Newt,'' she said. "That was over 50 years ago. Let it go.''

If Daniel and Miranda don't know, they will soon find out.

It's hard to let it go.

Bob Hunter is a sports columnist for The Dispatch.

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Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 03:54pm
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Was the timeout granted before the shot?
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Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 08:29pm
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Originally posted by Almost Always Right
Was the timeout granted before the shot?
What's that got to do with it?
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Old Thu Mar 17, 2005, 02:04pm
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Originally posted by Bush in 2004
Originally posted by BktBallRef
Originally posted by Almost Always Right
Was the timeout granted before the shot?
What's that got to do with it?
Everything. A coach can REQUEST a timeout all he wants, but if the official hasn't GRANTED it before the release of the shot, then so be it.
Why? If the coach requests the TO and the official grants it, he grants it because there was player control, when the request was made. Why would the shot count?

Why is it different than a player who saves the ball from going OOB but requests TO before landing OOB? Is the TO granted if the official doesn't blow his whistle until after the player lands? Of course it is.
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