One of the top basketball players in the state of Georgia helped his team advance to the state semifinals while also seeing his own season come to a premature end on Saturday.
While that might seem impossible (at least short of an injury), it wasn't for Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton High point guard Charles Mann, who helped lead the Eagles to the Georgia Final Four for a fourth consecutive season but was banned from the semifinals and finals for being ejected in his team's quarterfinal victory. Mann, who will play at Georgia come fall 2012, was booted from his team's 80-58 win against North Gwinnett (Ga.) High after receiving a second technical foul in the third quarter.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mann was issued his second technical for taunting a North Gwinnett player after a dunk. The larger question that was quickly raised after the game was whether Mann had actually done anything to taunt his opponent; his coach, David Boyd, said all Mann did was look at his foe after he came down from the rim.
You can see Mann's dunk and the subsequent technical call below. Judge for yourself if you think his post-dunk gestures crossed the line or not.
"He didn't point a finger, he didn't jaw at him, he just looked at him," Boyd told the Journal-Constitution. "I don't understand. If you're yelling at somebody, I get it, but [a technical for] looking at a player seems awfully harsh. It's excessive. In the elite eight, that's a tough call."
Incredibly, even the first technical assessed to Mann appears to have been a questionable call. On that incident, Mann and North Gwinnett player Kamaran Calhoun were fighting for position on an inbounds play, with the duo eventually locked together by their arms.
A whistle was blown and most assumed that a double foul had been called, which would have been a rather traditional call given the circumstance. Instead, a referee called a double technical.
Naturally, that double technical didn't appear to be particularly significant until the second technical against Mann was called, dealing a major dent to Milton's hopes of regaining a state title in the process because of a state policy that calls for all who are ejected from a game to sit out their subsequent two games.
"I was proud of the way we responded," Boyd told the Gwinnett Daily Post."Everyone stepped up and played a little harder. Basketball is a team game. But to have a player ejected for that just isn't right."
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- North Gwinnett