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Great Falls basketball teams adjusting to first season of shot clock

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Posted at 6:10 PM, Dec 15, 2022

GREAT FALLS — After having all summer to prepare for the inaugural season with the shot clock, Montana high schools don’t seem to be having an issue with it.

A few games into the season, teams are not experiencing a large number of shot clock violations. Part of the reason for that is the style these teams use, which tends to be fast paced. Teams may have adjusted to it quite nicely, but it is still a new feature and it may get forgotten in the heat of the moment.

“When I have noticed it, it’s out of timeouts,” said Great Falls CMR girls coach Haley Vining. “We forget that it’s there and it’s already seconds off the shot clock.”

With the addition of the shot clock, teams are no longer able to hold the ball and stall during their offensive possession. The shot clock may not be forcing a ton of teams into violations, but it has still found a way to make it more interesting to watch.

“I think it’s better for the game,” said Great Falls High coach Jerry Schmitz. “Nobody comes to watch people take two minutes off the clock.”

The part where it mostly affects the game is during late game situations when teams are strategizing whether or not to foul so they can get the ball back.

The Bison were in a situation like that on Tuesday night against Big Sky. Great Falls trailed by three with just over a minute to play and they forced a shot clock violation, regaining possession with an opportunity to tie or cut it to one.