The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Shots clocked

Sara Rahman

The shot clock is coming to the high school basketball stage after the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) implemented it for the upcoming 2023-24 season.

After a brief experimental period last season, IHSA applied a 35-second shot clock to any regular season shootouts and regular-season tournaments that wish to use it. The addition of the shot clock came from increased demand for it by coaches in previous seasons,  according to Kurt Gibson,  IHSA executive director in charge of boys’ basketball. 

“We made this change because of the number of coaches that had said it allowed more game flow,” Gibson said.

The addition of the shot clock gives the players something to think about other than the game itself and puts more pressure on them to shoot the ball,  Zach Walker, boys’ varsity basketball assistant coach, said. 

“[The shot clock] benefits us on our defense because we don’t like to give up easy baskets,” Walker said.

Programs like South avoid giving up easy baskets through set plays, strategic, planned out plays with choreographed movements to get a player open to take a shot, Walker said. Adding a shot clock last year forced teams to be more efficient, but for South, it had almost no effect on how they played the game, Phil Ralston, boys varsity basketball head coach, said. 

“[Having a strong] continuity offense [with set plays] helps us to create situations where we can score baskets,” Ralston said. “Criticism might be [thrown at] our program [because] we run longer possessions, but we rarely ever run possessions that go longer than 30 seconds.”

 South’s program excelled with the addition of the shot clock in the previous Season. Last season, South had a 73% win rate, going 25-9, as they won regionals against Evanston but lost to New Trier in the sectional semifinal. The source credits the new clock addition to the team’s success.

“We [are?] really good, so teams tend to run clock against us,” Walker said.“We end up playing defense for long periods without people trying to score. [The shot clock] forces people back into like ‘you got to try to score’ [mindset].” 

Though IHSA officials aren’t prepared to commit to a uniform shot clock for girls’ and boys’ basketball, this technology could ultimately be used in all Illinois high school basketball games, Gibson reported. 

“We hope we see a nice cross-section of boys’ and girls’ events [using it],” Gibson said. “I hope we see a broad use for it across gender, across class, across size, and then we see how things go from there.”

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