I've said it before, and I'll say it again: high school basketball needs a shot clock.
So many times I've seen basketball teams lull their opponents - and fans - to sleep by rotating the ball around and around and around.
Coaches will say it's because they are looking for the perfect shot, the right opportunity. After all, the bottom line is winning, not looking flashy. Just ask Rams head coach Tony Harper, whose disciplined approach took them to the Elite 8 last year.
But wait a minute. Isn't high school basketball supposed to be FUN to watch?
I would argue that last night's Hanks-Montwood boys hoops game was anything but highlight reel material (OK, it did have its moments), as the Knights won a sluggish, defensive struggle 39-35 at Montwood.
Hanks normally is not known for playing conservatively, but the Knights were forced into it by Montwood's ball-control, defensive style of play.
Sure the adaptation pulled out that all-important 'W,' but fans need a game in which they can achieve that end result while also enjoying it.
Basketball is about oooohs and ahhhhs, not zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Now, not all teams play boring basketball. Cathedral, Andress and Chapin are just a few who love to run-and-gun.
I believe that a shot clock surely would speed up the pace, thereby limiting teams' keep-away tactics while keeping fans' eyes fixed on the game rather than the insides of their eyelids.
And you still can effectively control a game with a shot clock (e.g. the San Antonio Spurs).
The lack of a shot clock is magnified in close games, and it can get downright ridiculous in the playoffs.
Some teams hold the ball with two and, sometimes, as much as three minutes remaining. Just ask the 2004 Riverside girls team, which played a Wolfforth Frenship team tough in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals but literally had to watch as the Tigers ate away the clock with the delay game.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that the University Interscholastic League ever will institute a shot clock for high school basketball, which likely is because it would be too much of a hastle and, most important, expensive.
But bottom line, officials for both the UIL and the National Federation of State High School Associations should stop looking numbers and start thinking of the fans.
After all, what would the games be without them?