BILLINGS - One of Montana's most talked about high school sports additions in decades is steadily showing progress.
Billings Central is among schools already installing basketball shot clocks which are scheduled to start ticking next season in boys and girls games.
"It took us about five hours (to install)," said Rams' principal Shel Hanser. "If I were to do it again it would take about two hours. It was a little bit of a learning curve."
Three school officials installed both shot clocks on Friday.
"Myself, (A.D.) Mike Ryan and our custodian Brian Johnson did all the work," Hanser said. "It took a lift, some electrical, but for the most part, pretty easy."
MTN Sports reported in January how the Montana High School Association overwhelmingly voted to approve the new 35-second countdowns. The proposal was issued by Great Falls CMR.
"When the clock is running, you're running the shot clock at the same time," Hanser said while demonstrating a show and tell. "There are two resets here; one goes back to 35 (seconds), two goes back to 20 (seconds). That's for a kicked ball and a couple other things. I don't neccsarily know all the rules yet but that will be figured out."
Hanser said the Rams ordered their shot clocks a day after the MHSA vote was approved to avoid a possible back order on the products and for more of a buffer to become familiar with the new clocks.
"A challenge a lot of the schools talked about was finding one more person to do this. I think we're going to maybe start with some high school kids and work through that," Hanser said.
A majority of statewide schools are hoping to have the new clocks up and running in time for summer camps to help with the learning curve and work out any kinks that may show up between now and the start of next season.