Nick Stevens

Leesville Road's controversial free throws: The ref got it right

Posted March 5

— Controversy erupted in Capel Arena on Saturday afternoon and on social media after an official called a foul on South Central with less than one second left in the 4A boys basketball eastern regional championship.

Leesville Road and South Central were tied at 43-43 with 11 seconds left when Pride coach Russ Frazier called a timeout. Out of the timeout, the ball went to senior guard Alex Hunter on the right wing. He dribbled to the middle and pulled up for a 3-pointer. The shot didn't hit the rim, but the official along the near sideline called a foul.

Hunter went to the free throw line to shoot three free throws. He made 1-of-3, but it was enough to give Leesville Road the 44-43 win and send the 17th-seeded Pride to the state championship game.

South Central fans were unhappy. And in live action, it did appear to be a bad call. At first glance, even the video appears to show no contact. But over the last 24 hours we have been breaking down the video frame by frame, and when you use some editing tools, increase the contrast, and slow it down, it becomes clear the official did see contact on the elbow of Hunter.

Here's the video raw video in real time:

If you're like most people who saw the video shortly after the game went final, you probably think it looks like the South Central defender just flew by Hunter, but a careful analysis of the video suggests otherwise.

Take a look at this still image from the video. You will see contact is made at the elbow of Hunter.

Alex Hunter fouled by South Central at buzzer

We went through the video and made some edits to help clear it up. Watch the video below and you'll be able to see the video zoomed in and enhanced to make it clearer.

Was it a close call? Yes. But was it the correct call? It looks like a foul to me after seeing the video.

Follow Nick Stevens on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT

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