January 25, 2011

High School Girls Beat Opponent 108-3: In Utah, Christian Heritage High defeated West Ridge Academy 108-3 in a girls basketball game last week. Rob McGill, the coach of the Christian Heritage Crusaders, said it would have been "very insulting" to slow down his team so they'd score less. Jamie Keefer, whose West Ridge Eagles play at a school for at-risk kids, said, "I don't know why the score was that high, or what the point was."

posted by rcade to basketball at 02:30 PM - 30 comments

This will go well.

posted by JJ at 02:10 PM on January 25, 2011

Considering this ground is quite well trod hereabouts, I will spare responders the work of actually formulating a comment and request that they please simply select one or more of the following options:

A) This is awful and very poor sportsmanship, particularly seeing as how the players from the losing team are developmentally disabled/slow/at-risk/in wheelchairs.

B) Poor sportsmanship would actually be the winning team taking its foot off the pedal. Plus, they need to work on their plays and get the bench some minutes in preparation for harder competition ahead.

C) Wow, wfrazerjr, you really are a heartless bastard.

D) Not really new ground, is it, rcade?

posted by holden at 02:14 PM on January 25, 2011

I'm inclined to say "C" for no apparent reason.

Seriously, though, if they're still firing up 3s, playing full-court press, or pushing the fast break with that kind of lead, then shame on them. If they put in the backups, slowed it down and still ran up that sort of score, then so be it.

(I suppose if I could be bothered to read the article, I might know.)

posted by TheQatarian at 02:44 PM on January 25, 2011

That the winning team only had nine players period means that at least one "starter" would have been in no matter what. The real question is whether the rules allow for the game to be called early and for the teams to have some sort of mixed practice so that the players on the winning team can try and help the players on the losing team get better.

Oh and I'm going to pick option D.

posted by oxocerite at 03:00 PM on January 25, 2011

"We're going to sit down with them and make sure they know how we feel," said Christian Heritage head of school Don Hopper. "We didn't mean to do anything to hurt them or upset them. It got away from us, and we're going to do things differently next time."

I'm not sure they need our help with this one. They seem to have it under control.

posted by tron7 at 03:05 PM on January 25, 2011

If this were about pro sports or major college sports, then I say run up the score as that is the objective. Since this is about kids then I think the coach should have put a stop to it for no other reason then it is just cruel at some point. Also what is a school for at risk kids?

Way to go Christian Heritage Crusaders, be true to the name and slaughter the other team just like in history. Got to love the goodwill toward fellow man spirit.

posted by Atheist at 03:10 PM on January 25, 2011

I pick C.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:13 PM on January 25, 2011

My heart says A, but I have a feeling it will be C in a landslide.

posted by graymatters at 03:17 PM on January 25, 2011

What the hell?! Couldn't they at least hold West Ridge Academy to a goose egg? What kind of coaching is that?!

I'll go with C.

posted by BornIcon at 03:57 PM on January 25, 2011

Yep, a pro score like that, you can easily say "it's the job of the other team to stop us if they don't want to lose like that" 99.99% of the time. That rang true with the Jets-Pats last month. Schools, on the other hand, tend to be somewhat mismatched at times due to school attendance levels, funding, and other similar considerations.

Under such logic, I have to go with C.

posted by NerfballPro at 04:37 PM on January 25, 2011

That's pretty bad, I would say if they can't score more than three there are some scheduling/league issues aside from just sportsmanship ones (which, of course there are here too). But I'm equally certain that somehow, someway, life will continue to grind on...

Also C.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:18 PM on January 25, 2011

I feel like I should be walking around the thread, making the championship belt motion and yelling, "HEARTLESS BASTARD!!!"

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:21 PM on January 25, 2011

What I want to know is how West Ridge scored and how many shots they took. The points were apparently a bucket and a free throw.

posted by rcade at 05:25 PM on January 25, 2011

Yeah, the part about West Ridge having a leading scorer was comical.

And C.

posted by bperk at 05:29 PM on January 25, 2011

Seems like it would be almost impossible not to score more than 3 points unless the other team was playing fairly aggressive defense the entire time.

How many shots did West Ridge take? It would seem to me that at some point (oh, let's say when it was 75 to 3) The Christian Heritage's coach might want his players to work on defensive rebounding, and thus instruct his players to play a bit softer to let their opponents get a few shots off. And, Christian's coach saying "it would be insulting to pass the ball around" is a bit weak. They could easily go into a much slower offensive format without making it overly obvious that they were stalling. Hell, they could have fouled a few times just to work on their rebounding after a free throw. 108-3 is just too far out of the realm of acceptable for me, even given the obvious scheduling flaws.

Lastly, C.

posted by dviking at 05:43 PM on January 25, 2011

Doesn't Christian Heritage have any Dean Smith footage? They could have gone Four Corners and won 49-3.

Or studied some 80's Chuck Daly game tapes and won 79-3.

It's worth wondering what the refs' role was in this. In some blowout youth and HS girls hoops games I have seen, there have been times when the refs conducted themselves in a manner that ran completely counter to what you would expect a compassionate, sporting individual to do.

Chumming it up with the dominating hotshots, impatiently belittling or chastising the kids getting whomped for their low skill level and/or lack of knowledge of the game, not using teaching moments to maybe help the downtrodden gain some positives out of the experience.

posted by beaverboard at 07:23 PM on January 25, 2011

I'm not taking any chances: "all of the above."

posted by outonleave at 07:52 PM on January 25, 2011

Here's a link to a different look at the game, oddly the Christian Heritage coach appears to be heavily involved in the comment section attached to the article. Not sure if it is really him, or just someone claiming to be.

A few major points from this article: West Ridge has been blown out of other games this year, also losing 70 to 0. Christian Heritage had several younger JV players not available due to missing a practice early in the week. West Ridge played all of their varsity players in the JV game, and thus had no fresh players for the varsity game.

So, maybe one can take it easier on the winning coach. Then again, we're talking 8 minute quarters, so they had to score on a pretty fast pace throughout the game to get to that score. No time was spent deliberately dribbling up the back court, setting up a play, passing a minimum of three times prior to shooting.

posted by dviking at 08:13 PM on January 25, 2011

103 points in four 8-minute quarters? How is that even possible?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:39 PM on January 25, 2011

No time was spent deliberately dribbling up the back court, setting up a play, passing a minimum of three times prior to shooting.

So you're saying no time was wasted?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:40 PM on January 25, 2011

103 points in four 8-minute quarters? How is that even possible?

At school we once beat another team 110-6, over two 20 minute halves. This was also back in the days without 3 point shots and no clock other than that worn on the teacher/referees'wrists. So no stoppages except for official time outs. Did I mention that it was played outside on a bitumen surfaced court?

At the time, I had no problem with this, as the other school had a reputation for violence. As a result, we always tried to move the ball quickly and thus avoid a hurting. Which was a better lesson in tactics than most coaching sessions, I guess.

Oh, and (c).

posted by owlhouse at 10:49 PM on January 25, 2011

So you're saying no time was wasted?

What I'm saying is that the CH players didn't try to slow the game down a bit. They had to be gunning for the 100 point mark. The coach tries to make is seem like he did what he could to contain the score, but I don't buy it.

There is plenty that a good coach can do to avoid this type of a situation. That's why we don't see it too often. There are plenty of completely mismatched games, but coaches usually find a way to control it. I've seen 50-0 football games where the winning team was running all plays up the middle, and I've seen 50-0 games where the winning team was throwing passes 20 yards downfield...this basketball coach was throwing passes.

posted by dviking at 11:14 PM on January 25, 2011

Doesn't wfrazerjr picking C himself show he has some compassion therefore showing C to be a poor choice for the rest of us. Hence I choose D and an aspirin.

posted by Ricardo at 11:17 PM on January 25, 2011

The two teams shouldn't have played each other. To me, that's the end of it.

posted by bobfoot at 12:41 AM on January 26, 2011

I'm all about the A in stories like this unless there's evidence the winning team did things to slow down the massacre. How hard is it to tell your team to pass the ball 5 times before taking each shot and move your players out of position? Put your worst ball-handlers at guard for the second half so they can develop their skills.

posted by rcade at 08:44 AM on January 26, 2011

I won't rehash all of this again, but to me, game time in a situation such as this is too valuable to waste on practicing things your team is never going to do again -- passing three times, trying to make guards out of players that aren't guards, etc. Especially in small-school situations where they may not even have enough to scrimmage fully in practice, you use this time to run plays, work on defenses and get better for when you play an opponent that can hold your jock.

I also don't believe playing badly on purpose is good sportsmanship. I think it's condescending to your opponent. You might as well hand them diapers and lollipops. And is your opponent going to improve at all with your team wasting game time? Is it fair to them to deprive them of the chance to get better at defending? Why is it the better team's time to waste?

Finally, I generally find the kids in these situations are pretty accepting of the outcome. They know they suck, and they handle it one of two ways -- they quit (which is not the problem of the better team, because they are not responsible for the suckage), or they get better over time. It's generally parents and people who end up wringing their hands about it whether anyone on the team asked them to do so or not.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:44 AM on January 26, 2011

Everybody needs to handle the basketball and learn how to pass, C.

posted by rcade at 10:49 AM on January 26, 2011

Finally, I generally find the kids in these situations are pretty accepting of the outcome.

Gotta agree with that. They don't necessarily like it, but they do seem free of the delusion that somehow things ought to be different.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:55 AM on January 26, 2011

Everybody needs to handle the basketball and learn how to pass, C.

Not nearly as much as you need to improve the guard play of the players you identify as your guards, A. If that weren't true, you'd have Shaquille O'Neal out running the point in Celtic blowouts.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:17 PM on January 26, 2011

Not nearly as much as you need to improve the guard play of the players you identify as your guards

What? Guards don't need to know how to pass?

I'm not saying the CH guards should have played badly on purpose, just played a bit slower. If you do the math, they scored on a pretty intense level thoughout the game. Just slowing down by 5 seconds on their offensive possessions would have taken at least 5 minutes off the clock (hard to determine exactly as I know how many baskets they scored, not number of possessions). For the coach to act like he had no control over the score is humorous. C.

posted by dviking at 08:17 PM on January 26, 2011

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