Unlike the professional rank and even the collegiate to a degree, high school sports often pits two teams against each other that really shouldn't be playing on the same court. Usually these matchups end with a very one-sided win, followed by almost countless cries of shock and dismay over the final.
Such was the case on Tuesday night after a girls high school basketball game between Bloomington South of Indiana versus Arlington ended in a 107-2 rout won by Bloomington.
Heading into the 'game', Bloomington South was 7-1 while Arlington was riding a 0-5 and riding a 23 game losing streak. 107 points later for Bloomington South, to two free throws for Arlington and the outrage began to flow, starting with the head coach of the losing squad.
“No it’s not OK but (Bloomington South coach Larry Winters) will have to live with that,” Said first year Arlington head coach Ebony Jackson. “If that’s how they want to carry themselves, that’s fine. I’m focused on me and mine and we’ll just keep going.”
The outrage felt by Jackson was soon echoed across the twitterverse as people across the country got wind of the final score in this game. Here are a few examples of what people felt of the 107-2 beat-down.
“(Bloomington South) coaching staff should be ashamed of themselves. Players, too.”
“This is disgraceful & a blow 2the integrity of (Indiana high school basketball).”
“This should never happen.”
Though he understands the reasoning behind the public outcry, Winters insists that his team did not purposely embarrass Arlington or run up the score. He said that due to a tournament played over the weekend by his junior varsity players, Winters had only nine players to work with and that he substituted new players in every four minutes.
“I didn’t tell my girls to stop shooting because that would have been more embarrassing (to Arlington),” Winters said, noting Arlington was playing an aggressive 2-3 zone. “We were not trying to embarrass them or run up the score.”
A score differential like the one in this game ultimately brings up the aged old argument that high school sports should include a 'merci' rule. This rule is one that would automatically end a game early when one team has a presumably unbeatable lead. When asked about it, Winters was in favor of one while Jackson firmly responded that she was not.
“It’s basketball,” said Jackson, who said she didn’t confront Winters after the game because she didn’t think it would be respectful and was only concerned about her team. “You see where you are and go out there and play. I’m not mad. (Winters) is running a great program. We’ll go back to the drawing board and I’ll nurture my players."
“It’s been a trying season, a tough season (but) we’ll continue to get better and better. We’re about growth and improvement. That’s where the rewards come. You’ve got to start somewhere and I’m blessed.”
The two teams are one game into a two game contract. It is unlikely that the second game will be played.
“It’s not a situation that’s any good for either team,” said Winters, who praised the Arlington players for continuing to play hard despite the score.
“Neither team benefits.”
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty