To add a shot clock or not to add a shot clock?

That is a question that rears its head in high school basketball circles from time to time.

The question could certainly be raised following the Kirtland Central at Farmington game last Saturday.

Following a Broncos' turnover, FHS senior Matt Huffhines dribbled off over 50 seconds of game clock before hitting a game-winning shot with 3 seconds left to beat Kirtland 52-50.

Surprisingly, the lack of a shot clock added anticipation to the play. You could feel the tension grow in both fan bases as the seconds slowly ticked away.

A play like Huffhines' wouldn't be possible if high school basketball adopted a shot clock.

Instead, the Scorps would have attacked much sooner, giving the Broncos a lot more time to counter. Eventually, it's likely the game ends up in the same spot — Huffhines attempting a game winner.

The Scorps offense plays at decent pace most of the game and likely would have little trouble adapting if New Mexico high schools adopted a 35-second shot clock like the NCAA has used since 1993, but FHS head coach Paul Corley said he'd rather keep the high school game the way it is.

"I'm not for the shot clock, because it takes the control out of the coach's hands," Corley said.

The Scorps coach said he'd be just as likely to burn time if a shot clock was implemented.

"If we were playing a deeper team, I'd consider running the shot clock down more to limit the possessions," Corley said.

Still, some coaches see the benefit of a shot clock.


Bloomfield head coach Devon Manning is one of the coaches who would like to see a shot clock added to the high school level.

"I think it adds a new strategy and dynamic to the game," Manning said. "It speeds up the game and adds more intensity."

Manning thinks adding the shot clock would benefit high school defenses.

"If you play a hard-nosed defense, eventually you'll be rewarded because they'll be forced to put up a shot," said the first-year Bloomfield head coach.

Manning, who played in college at Fort Lewis, said the high school game would fit better with the NCAA and NBA games by adding a shot clock.

"I always figured they'd add it so it would go along better with the college and the pro game," he said. "I don't know why we don't add it."

Corley doesn't see any disadvantages for high school players who grow accustomed to the lack of a shot clock transitioning to the college game.

"I don't think it really matters much," he said. "They just have to run things a little quicker."

The National Federation of State High School Associations allows each state to decided whether or not to add a shot clock and voted down the proposal of a national shot clock as recently as 2011.

Currently, eight states have decided to add the shot clock for girls basketball and seven have added it to the boys game.