01STOCK_BASKETBALL

The National Basketball Association started using a shot clock in 1954.

The NCAA implemented a 45-second shot clock in 1985 and later reduced it to 35 seconds in 1994.

Currently, eight states use a shot clock at the high school level.

Wisconsin, at one point, was supposed to join the list starting with the 2019-20 season. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Board of Control approved a statewide plan on June 1, 2017, for the use of a 35-second shot clock.

Six months later, however, the WIAA board voted 7-3 to overturn the decision based on criticism and cost concerns from district administrators.

“I wouldn’t say the matter is dead in the water, but right now the shot clock is not something that is at the forefront of any discussions,” WIAA assistant director Kate Peterson said. “And if it were brought back to the table, I think we’d have to gauge the interest of the administrators first.

“I know the majority of coaches in the state favored implementing a shot clock, but the initial purchase and mounting costs were prohibitive to some.”

In other words, wanting a shot clock and administrating it are two different things.

Shot clocks range from $2,000 for a basic model mounted to the backboards to $5,000 for one attached to scoreboards. Wireless capability would add another roughly $1,000. Paying $20 for someone to run the clock would add up to $440 a year for 11 boys and 11 girls home games.

Washington, California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts currently use a shot clock at the high school level.

Supporters believe a shot clock leads to a cleaner, better version of the game. Games with a shot clock in use tend to come down to strategy at the end rather than a free-throwing shooting contest, since the team behind is forced to foul. Stalling tactics are limited, as teams can’t run what many call the four-corners offense, which is basically a game of keepaway. And the shot clock rewards teams that play tough defense by forcing a low-percentage shot instead of letting an opponent wait for a layup.

“We know that there is interest in bringing back discussion on adding the shot clock,” Peterson said. “I’ve seen that from coaches while sitting in on coaches’ advisory meetings.

“But the interest has to come from all of our membership. That means not only coaches, but principals and administrators, too. Someone has to come up with a proposal that everyone can jump on board with and run with it.”

Here’s a look at four area games on tap as we head into the homestretch of the regular season:

Orfordville Parkview (11-5, 6-1) at Deerfield (5-9, 3-3), boys, Trailways South, 7:15 p.m., today, Deerfield High School—The second-place Vikings look to stay on the heels of first-place Palmyra-Eagle with the road win.

Deerfield has lost three straight and is coming off a 17-point loss to Palmyra-Eagle in a game that was tied 22-22 at half.

Wills Manning leads the Trailways South in scoring at 20.5 points per game and is one of three Demons averaging in double figures.

Eli Hoscheit, Justin Balch and Aydon Campbell are all averaging more than 15 points a game for Parkview. The Vikings are averaging 67.2 points a game and had won five straight and seven of their last eight games before falling, 88-86, at Marshall in double-overtime on Tuesday night.

Best guess: Parkview 74, Deerfield 67

East Troy (14-5, 11-4) at Evansville (11-8, 10-5), girls, Rock Valley, 7:15 p.m., today, Evansville High School—A Blue Devils win assures first-place McFarland of at least a share of the Rock Valley title.

East Troy has won five straight and is looking to avenge an earlier 14-point loss to Evansville.

Grace Lomen leads the way for a Trojans offense averaging 54.5 points per game. The freshman is fourth in the conference in scoring at 15.4 points and third in rebounding at 7.9 per game, according to statistics uploaded to wissports.net.

Evansville has won four of its last five games. Junior point guard Paige Banks is third in the Rock Valley in scoring at 16.3 points a game.

Best guess: Evansville 58, East Troy 51

Middleton (12-5, 11-2) at Janesville Craig (9-9, 5-9), girls, Big Eight, 7:15 p.m., Friday, Craig High School—The Cardinals look for the season sweep after beating the Cougars by six in the first meeting.

Middleton has won five of its last six games and is allowing only 44 points per game. Sitori Tanin leads the team in scoring at 13.6 points per game and is one of three players averaging in double figures.

Craig has lost three of its last four, including three straight conference games.

Sophomore Claudia Fieiras leads Craig in scoring at 15.6 points per game, while senior point guard Emily Pierson is averaging 11.6.

Best guess: Middleton 57, Craig 47

Middleton (12-6, 9-5) at Janesville Craig (9-10, 6-9), boys, 7:15 p.m., Saturday, Craig High School—The Cardinals will be looking for their fourth straight win and a season sweep of the Cougars.

Sam Close and Jake Klubertanz are averaging a combined 22 points a game for Middleton. The Cardinals have six players averaging at least five points a game.

Craig stunned state-ranked Madison La Follette last Saturday and are also set to play at second-ranked Madison East tonight.

Senior sharpshooter Jack Huml leads the Cougars in scoring at 17 points a game, while senior Aaron Leverson is averaging 13.5.

Best guess: Craig 64, Middleton 59

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