This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Franklin girls are left to wonder, what if?

The final score from Super Tuesday in girls basketball:

Middleton 61

Franklin 59

Franklin misses out on a chance to go to the state semifinals by just one game.

Heartbreak Hotel.

(From left) Franklin’s Katie Nord, Cassidy Mihalko, Alicia Dentici and Niki Quirk leave the court following the Sabers’ 61-59 season-ending loss to Middleton on Tuesday night in Whitewater. MyCommunityNOW photo: Peter Zuzga

It seems the Journal Sentinel's Rob Reischel was the only one to catch a major error in Tuesday night's game:

"Middleton was clinging to its 61-59 lead and inbounded from under its own basket with 15.8 seconds left. Cardinals forward Kasey Williams passed the ball behind the line to teammate Kirsten Gunderson - a legal play - then took off and caught a return pass from Gunderson.

The clock should not have started until Williams caught Gunderson's pass. Instead, it started on the first pass - a play that cost the Sabers 2.1 seconds."

This is huge because, as Reischel reports:

"Franklin's girls basketball team displayed poise, heart and toughness throughout its Super Tuesday battle at UW-Whitewater on Tuesday. In the end, though, the gutty Sabers fell just short of slaying No. 1 Middleton.

Franklin senior guard Mariah Hill had the ball 30 feet from the basket with her Sabers trailing by two points in the waning seconds. But Middleton didn't allow Hill to get off a shot, the clock expired and the Cardinals escaped with a 61-59 victory and state tournament berth."

Hill never got a shot off because the clock expired.....2.1 seconds earlier than it should have.

"You are kidding me," Franklin coach Guy Balistreri said. "That is unbelievable. What I wouldn't give for 2 more seconds."

The mistake by the game timer is inexcusable. Any good responsible timer knows the rule and doesn't screw up. Quite frankly, the timer should never be allowed to work a WIAA playoff game ever again.

Who knows what could have/would have happened if Hill and Franklin had another 2.1 seconds remaining on the game clock. Franklin might have gotten off a shot and missed, or they might have made it. We'll never know. They were robbed of 2.1 seconds of play. March Madness tells us that's a lot of time.

Every year, I read and hear stories about major mistakes made by the official timer at high school basketball games.

For the past 25 years, I have belonged to the Wisconsin Scorers and Timers Association (WISTA). Our members, male and female do the scoring and timing for all MPS boys and girls varsity and junior varsity and some freshman basketball games. Some of our members also do college games (including Marquette and UWM) and some have worked the scorer's table at Milwaukee Bucks games. Our president rates the officials at Marquette University women's games for the Big East Conference.

Dear WIAA, none of WISTA's members would have messed up like the timer did Tuesday night at the Franklin-Middleton game. Please, if you want to avoid this kind of bugle in the future, contact WISTA, and we'd be glad to do your ballgames in our area. Just toss in mileage.

That is, if you want to get the job done right.

Franklin girls, congratulations on a fine season that ended just a bit too short.

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