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Basketball: local coaches sound off on GHSA vote to add shot clock
Tigers basketball Feb. 15, 2020
In a tense, edge of the seat game against the Cedar Grove Saints, the Dawson County Tigers were eliminated from the state tournament on Saturday night. - photo by Ben Hendren

Last week, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) voted to add 30-second shot clocks into basketball games in three phases during the next three seasons. 

A shot clock, which gives the offensive team a set amount of time to shoot the basketball and hit the rim, would eliminate any strategy of holding onto the ball to slow down a fast-paced opponent or to try to lose time off of the clock when winning late in a game. 

“The shot clock definitely ushers in a new era into high school basketball in Georgia,” new Dawson County Tigers Head Basketball Todd Cottrell said this week. “I do think it will affect some game strategy, especially in late clock and late-game situations.” 

Starting in the 2020-2021 season, the shot clock will not be used in region or postseason play, but will only be used in approved Holiday tournaments and separate showcase games. 

By the 2021-2022 season, separate regions will be given the chance to decide on shot clock usage and all tournaments will use shot clocks. In the 2022-2023 season, all GHSA games will be required to use the shot clock. 

“Until we have actually played games with it, it will be hard to tell how much of an effect it will really have,” Cottrell said. “Hopefully, it will help to improve the overall quality of play.”

Though the voting motion within the GHSA passed 53-10, not everybody is for the ruling, including Lady Tigers Head Coach Eric Herrick, who said he personally doesn’t believe the change is important for high school basketball. 

“However, I’m excited about the new strategies it will afford coaches,” Herrick said. “I’m all for growing the game so I’ll give it a chance. If it improves the game I’ll be the first to admit it.”