Shot clock will change game down the stretch

The shot clock will be added to high school basketball for the 2019-20 season.

KAUKAUNA (WLUK) -- The shot clock is coming to high school basketball, but not right away.

Last week the WIAA approved a 35-second shot clock to be implemented into high school basketball starting with the 2019-20 season. Area boys coaches seem to like the move as it will allow more chances for kids to make plays.

"I think it allows the kids more touches, more possessions, which good for kids," Kimberly coach Lucky Wurtz said. "For the game it becomes a more strategic game as far as you have to prepare, you have to be organized as a coach.

"You have to know what you're going to do when it runs down to 10 (seconds). It adds a whole other dimension to the game of basketball that I'm excited about."

The biggest impact the shot clock will have in high school basketball will be in end-of-game situations when the team with the lead won't be able to hold the ball, forcing the other team to foul. If a team trails by six points with two minutes to play the team trailing can play defense and not foul.

"I think that will make our game better less than two minutes to go and you're up six or even four," Little Chute coach Mickey Martin said. "Defensively, you don't have to come out and foul; then it's just a parade to the free-throw line down the stretch."

Because the change won't be active for three more seasons, not many current varsity players will play with a shot clock. However, Kimberly sophomore-to-be Jake Buchanan will have a chance to play with the shot clock as a senior.

"I'm excited about the shot clock," Buchanan said. "I think it will help to bring more intensity to the game and create more tempo."

How much impact the shot clock will have is unknown. Wurtz, Martin and Xavier coach Matt Klarner don't think the impact will be too great, at least until the final minutes. Klarner said, for now, he's not concerned about the change.

"Business as usual right now and when we get to two summers from now we'll have to talk about what we'll do a little bit different offensively, defensively, strategy-wise to prepare for it," Klarner said. "I think it's part of the evolution of the game and I don't think anybody really has to change what they do because of it."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay