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CELINA -- Celina basketball coach Jordan Davis recalls the surreal scene after the game was over. She ran after the officials who had just exited the court, yelling, 'Are you kidding me?'

Davis said she just reacted, and that four word reaction summed up the sentiment of everyone from Celina watching. Confusion, frustration, and irritation followed the strange ending to the 3A Girls' Region II final.

'There were a lot of upset fans,' said Celina principal Bill Hemby, who was there, 'no clarity whatsoever to what took place.'

Celina trailed Argyle by 1 point with 4.8 second left in double-overtime. Kynese Davis raced up court, trying one last shot from behind the three-point line that was followed by a whistle.

'When the whistle was blown, there wasn't a doubt in my mind there was a foul,' said Celina head coach Jordan Davis.

Judging by their reaction, players from both teams and just about everyone in the gym agreed.

Argyle players dropped their heads, certain defeat was soon to follow. Davis went to the foul line, where her sister, Chris, told her to relax and she'd be fine.

One big issue though: The refs saw things differently.

After a momentary huddle they left the court, and with one final whistle, signaled the game was over.

'Somebody was like, 'It's over, it's over!'' Davis said. 'I was like, 'What?' And I was just shocked.'

Hemby tried to get an explanation, asking tournament officials to ask the refs to come back on the floor. A tournament representative went to the refs to ask for an explanation, and they said they had no comment.

So, the Celina Ladycats went from thinking they were a couple of free throws away from advancing to Austin and the state tournament, to dealing with the shocking realization that they had just lost in double overtime 51-50 to Argyle.

Coach Davis said the hardest part was not knowing what to tell her team because the refs failed to make clear what they decided. She walked into a locker room full of red faces and sobs.

'To walk into that locker room and not be able to give them an explanation of what happened and some type of closure,' Davis said, 'that's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done.'

Game tape from Celina clearly shows the ref put his arm up to call a foul. Footage from a WFAA photographer shows there was time left on the clock.

School officials protested to the UIL.

'We would like the opportunity to shoot those three free throws at the end of the game and maybe change the outcome,' said Celina Superintendent Donny O'Dell.

But the UIL said the refs made a judgment call that time had run out before the foul.

On Monday, the UIL released a statement, saying 'Once the game is over, UIL rules do not allow any type of protest based on an official's judgment or decision.'

Despite the denial of their protest, O'Dell said he owes it to the girls and to this community to make sure this doesn't end here. And he said although the deck is stacked against him, he'll continue this fight.

Argyle head coach Skip Townsend said he feels for Celina, but he thinks Davis traveled before the foul was called. Townsend said his team is focused on moving ahead to state.

With one point separating them in double overtime, both of these teams showed they would have been great representatives of the region in Austin, there's no debating that. But the call that wasn't will talked about in Celina for quite some time.

And as for the Celina girls, they're getting over it.

'Obviously, we're still hurting,' said senior guard Sarah Cantu. 'It's not going to happen anytime soon, but time.'

And in Celina, they're convinced it's time the UIL makes changes to avoid a repeat of this, and at the very least, require officials to explain what they've called before leaving the floor.

'Just prevent this from happening to anybody's baby's again - period; end of sentence,' Hemby said.

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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