Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau
Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau

Even if you have little or no interest in high school sports there’s a pretty good chance you are aware with what happened Tuesday night at Central Regional High School.  That’s because the bizarre ending of a basketball game has gone viral and not just on social media but network television and just about everywhere.

For those that don’t know Manasquan appeared to pull off a shocking upset when Grffin Linstra scored a basket just before the buzzer went off to stun Camden.  Whether there was 0.3 or 0.6 on the clock when the ball left his hand there is no doubt the basket was good and it resulted in a wild celebration from fans of the Warriors who stormed the court.  There were tears from jubilant Manasquan players and it lasted for about…60 seconds or so.

That’s when the 3-man officiating crew discussed the matter and ruled that the basket came after the buzzer and those happy tears turned very sad very quickly. By now we know the basket was good and the officials made an egregious error that cost Manasquan the victory.  The governing body of high school sports in New Jersey turned down a protest and while admitting and apologizing for the mistake basically said there is nothing they can do.

One person has emerged as the voice of reason in all of this and that is Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau who I have always admired but his actions this week have taken that to a new level.  Bilodeau has made it clear his team got screwed but has gone out of his way to praise and show sympathy for the Camden team.  Why you ask?  Because he knows this tainted victory will follow them and believes they deserve better.

He is also teaching his own team a valuable lesson.  Life is not fair but it’s how you deal with the adversity that really defines you as an athlete and young man.  Hopefully when they tell their own kids one day about what happened to them it will be with a smile on their face….after all they did win the game.

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