🏀The State Superior Court’s Appellate Division turned down an emergency injunction

🏀Lawyers will not take it any further legally

🏀Manasquan's girls team goes for a championship Saturday afternoon


An appellate judge ended the Manasquan Warriors boys basketball team's season Friday night by rejecting an application for an emergency injunction to stop the championship game.

The State Superior Court’s Appellate Division upheld the NJSIAA's bylaws which prohibit the review or appeal of a bad call once a game is complete. There is no provision for use of video or audio as there is at the college and pro levels.

"Accepting Manasquan's claim that the game officials called the game for Camden because of interference by a coach or an NJSIAA representative as true, the final call was still made by a game official. The NJSIAA regulations do not allow appeals under the circumstances presented," the Appellate Division wrote.

Attorney Gerald Clark, whose firm handled the case for Mansquan pro bono, and Manasquan Board of Education attorney Michael Gross in its appeal, said the NJSIAA's official at the game prompted the review of Manasquan's buzzer-beater by referees.

"We disagree with the decision of the Court and maintain under these unusual circumstances, NJSIAA violated its own rules in not advancing the actual winning team to the finals. However, we fully respect the decision," Clark said in a statement. "Judge Marczyk who issued the opinion is an excellent and fair jurist. Manasquan is one of the top districts in the state and its superintendent and board members are a class act. It has been a pleasure advocating for their kids."

SEE ALSO: Top NJ education official rules on bad call by ref in semifinal

Manasquan boy's varsity basketball team at Bubbakoo's Burritos 3/7/24
Manasquan boy's varsity basketball team at Bubbakoo's Burritos 3/7/24 (Bubbakoo's Burritos via Facebook)

NJSIAA apology for bad call

Clark said he and Gross will not take the case to the state Supreme Court. That paves the way for Camden and Newark Arts High School to play for the state Division 2 championship at noon on Saturday at Jersey Mike's Arena at Rutgers University's Piscataway campus.

The Manasquan girls basketball team will play for a championship Saturday afternoon at Rutgers.

The court wound up with the case after acting Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer Friday turned down an appeal to delay the championship game and said the referee's bad call was not reviewable under NJSIAA rules.

The NJSIAA Wednesday issued an apology Wednesday about the referee's call and admitted the call was wrong but said under its rules there was nothing else it could do. The organization has remained publicly silent since.

SEE ALSO: Bridge in Belmar, NJ will be closed indefinitely starting Monday

Statement about the State Superior Court’s Appellate Division rejection of emergency injunction
Statement about the State Superior Court’s Appellate Division rejection of emergency injunction (@ManasquanBOE via X)

Future of replay and review

Is there a future for replays in NJSIAA basketball games? Matt Manley of the Shore Sports Network expects it will be discussed but said the organziation traditionally moves slowly on such changes.

"This may be enough to move them. I think they're certainly going to discuss it, whether or not they can get anything done or get done for this year. We'll just have to wait and see," Manley told New Jersey 101.5.

Assemblyman Sean Kean, R-Monmouth, plans to introduce legislation that would provide game clock and video review in certain high stakes high school games including championship basketball games. He says it seems "outdated" to not allow video to review the clock or challenge a referee's decision.

“Further, the NJSIAA made a statement that the game officials were in error but would take no action to rectify it. To prevent such a circumstance from happening again, let’s allow video to be reviewed and provide coaches with game clock review in certain instances," Kean said in a statement.

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