Senior night game results in KSHAA investigation

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Kati Blaylock

Senior Alex Krogmeier dribbles the ball while playing offense against Salina South during his senior night basketball game.

From freshmen year, senior night is a night many student athletes look forward to. However, on Feb. 25, the boys basketball team ended their senior night in a frustrating loss to Salina Central. The team started the game strong, leading the Mustangs 10-8 after the first quarter.
“I felt good going into the game,I felt like it was going to be a fun night, senior night of course, I wanted to do something cool for the fans.” Senior Alex Krogmeier said.
During the fourth minute of the second quarter, Newton received its first technical foul due to a miscommunication between the refs and head coach Andrew Preston.
“I was trying to stop the game so we could shoot free throws for the bonus because we were in the one and one and they had seven team fouls, nobody even told me that. I wasn’t trying to get a technical but just trying to give us the shots we had.” Preston said.
Due to a Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) rule, once a coach has received a technical foul, they have to remain sitting for the entirety of the game, excluding timeouts. If a coach stands up after they have one technical, they can get another. Once a player or coach has two technical fouls, they are ejected from the game. Because of this rule, when Preston stood up, he was ejected.
“I just let the team down it was stupid of me when I stood up,” Preston said. “I’m good friends with the coaching staff over there at Salina Central too, so I just went to tell them good game and good luck with the rest of the year. I didn’t want to be a poor sport about everything that happened.”
Over the course of the game, the team received six technical fouls. Due to these calls, many fans and students were upset with the officials and because of the overwhelming environment, athletic director Brian Becker talked to the officials during the game.
“I went to make sure that the officials were okay with continuing the game, given the current situation of what was going on at the time,” Becker said. “Also we were communicating with both coaches to make sure they were okay with continuing the game or if it was a situation where we needed to address something or do something with the fans.”
Because of the situation and the opinions fans felt, one referee left the premises and did not come back to officiating the game.
“I don’t know why the referee left, but the only thing I can say is if you were there, you probably heard some of the things that were being yelled and screamed and shouted. Refs are human too, everybody has a breaking point so I can imagine the stress and the pressure that person may have been under at that point.” Becker said.
After the events that took place at this game, a report has been filed for KSHSAA concerning how the situation was dealt with and how it should be handled in the future.
“Hopefully something good comes from all this adversity that’s what I always look at, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully we see that light soon.” Preston said.

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