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Indiana High School Basketball Blowout: Who is to Blame? Stuck
Posted on December 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM.

It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. That is, assuming you don't win by a score of 107-2.

An Indiana girl's high school basketball game resulted in just that as Bloomington South demoralized Arlington High School, prompting plenty of emotional responses.

Naturally, plenty of fans and parents were enraged, but Ebony Jackson, the coach of the losing team had a barb for the Bloomington South head coach Larry Winters, stating, "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."

Winters stated that he played all nine of his players throughout the game -- not just starters -- and decided to allow his players to compete as usual because backing off would be more embarrassing for Arlington High's players.

From personal experience, I can recall playing in a freshman level baseball game where the score was 21-0 after two innings. Our coach instructed us to bat from our non-dominant side from that point on until the game was stopped after three innings due to the mercy rule. I have no idea if it was more embarrassing to the opposing team that we did this, but the mercy rule put an end to the charade fairly quickly.

Unfortunately, in this instance that wouldn't have helped. There is no mercy rule in Indiana for high school basketball that would stop a game early due to a blowout.

So should we just chalk it up to a rare occurrance between two athletically disparate squads? Or should heads roll? And if so, is the coach more at fault or is the state athletic association to blame for not protecting teams and players with a mercy rule?


Sound Off: Have you had a similar experience as a player or coach? How would you react from either side of the situation? Who is most at fault, if anyone?



Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. Follow him on Twitter: @long_snapper
Comments
# 1 Eski33 @ Dec 12
If the coach played all his players what else could he have done? Why is it his responsibility to call off the dogs? Varsity sports aren't summer leagues. It isn't a time to give people "I Tried" ribbons. If you cannot put a competitive team on the floor this is what happens.

Everybody wants to point the finger on coaches whose teams put up big numbers. I feel that telling kids not to shoot, or to stop playing the game as it is intended to be played is more a slap in the face to those kids on the losing team than the score.

I have played on some awful teams and it pissed me off when guys would bat opposite their strength as it was telling me we were beneath them.

Play the game the right way. If a coach is on the losing end of a lopsided score cannot handle it, quit.
 
# 2 onac22 @ Dec 12
The only solution to this is one I have seen used in an in-house hockey league or two is to stop putting the score on the scoreboard after a certain gap in the score. In hockey it was an 8 lead then the scoreboard would quit showing the score until the other team could get back within 8 or the game ended.

This still won't make the actual loss better but I guess it at least lowers the public humiliation factor. But then again this is part of the teachings of sport. If you don't want to lose that bad work harder I guess.
 
# 3 koolbob1872 @ Dec 12
I agree that it would be worse if they tried to let up. It would be obvious if they had done that. Never let up, they just proved that they were 105 points better.
 
# 4 kackle85 @ Dec 12
What were they supposed to do? Intentionally miss shots? Dont play defense? It is not the job of the winning team to have mercy on the losing team. The object of the game is to defeat your opponent. That being said if this was a football game and the winning team was continuing to throw deep that would be a different story but in basketball there isnt much you can do other than quit playing all together.
 
# 5 speels @ Dec 12
First off, if your coach isn't embarasses by being beat that bad......it's time for a new coach becasue they are obviously not making you kids any better!!! As long as the winning team wasn't fast breaking and taking quick shots, with by the score it would suggest they did, then I am fine with this.

Growing up playing both basketball and baseball, there were plenty of opportunities to run up the score as the leagues we played in had some schools that had 2000 students to some that had 80. The thing was is that we never let up on scoring. You go to bat and try the hit the ball. Sure you quit stealing and taking extra bases, but you still worked on the fundamentals. In basketball, we ran something similar to the Mike D'Antoni offense where 12 seconds was as long as you held the ball and you full court pressed all game, however, when we played the teams that we beat quite handily, we worked on the half court offense and stopped pressing, working more on zone defense and such.

You can't have your players stop competing because next game they could be playing the best team in the league and by having them miss shots or hit from the opposite side of the plate, they may not be able to rebound and play like they can, and in school sports, 1 loss can mean making playoffs or not.
 
# 6 IowaAJ @ Dec 12
You should have a rule for non stop clock once the score gets out of hand in Iowa it is 35 points but this is the 1st year they put it in girls High School Basketball. We had a 61 to 10 game on my station but because of the 35 point rule it didn't get as far out of hand as it could have. Also if the coach is putting in his backups and not pressing than there isn't much he can do about it.
 
# 7 Simple Mathematics @ Dec 12
Here's a simple solution- the other team could just not suck so badly.
 
# 8 eaterofworlds888 @ Dec 12
If you suck, you suck. Suck it up and go on with life. It's just a basketball game.
 
# 9 Gotmadskillzson @ Dec 12
I blame the losing coach for having such a terrible team. They should have just left the building at halftime.
 
# 10 Retropyro @ Dec 12
What is the winning coach suppose to do? "Ok boys, everyone just sit on the court until they get within in ten, then start playing again"?
Maybe the losing coach should step up his game or just step down period.
 
# 11 Bolt957 @ Dec 12
Its the losing team's fault. If your team can only put up 2 points from ONLY free throws, then there is something wrong with YOUR team. The other team had everybody to play and they still put up 107. No one to blame but the losing team. Don't want to be embarrassed, then adjust how you do things, otherwise forfeit your season. No need to be pitied.
 
# 12 thescoop @ Dec 12
It's hard to place blame not having seen the game. He the winning coach was pressing the whole game, then I think he's an ***. But if he was just running plays and using it as a glorified practice and still ran up the score then you blame the losing side for not being good enough.

Basketball isn't as easy a game to just "call off the dogs" as other sports might be. Like I said, not seeing the game I can't place the blame. We need more fact than the little that is present here.
 
# 13 Jimbo614 @ Dec 12
I'm looking at the scoreboard...Why did the losing team take at least 4 timeouts?
2nd; The winning team committed 4 fouls... With the score like that, why are they still playing defense?
Thirdly, they scored 107 points. You have to take a lot of shots to score 107 points in a High School Game. Didnt it occur to the winning coach to at least use up some shot clock? Doesn't look like it..
In Indiana, they can have situations where a school of 5000 students might play a school of less than 100. This looks like one of those cases.
The state of Indiana is most to blame for allowing such a scheduling mismatch to occur in the first place.
 
# 14 NDirishMV @ Dec 12
Score should never get this high. High School games are only 8 minute quarters. A coach can easily have his players still play the game correctly and not put up massive numbers.

*Play a soft zone that does not jump passing lanes. Get the rebound and slowly bring it up the court.

*Instruct the team to make at least 5 passes before they can shoot. This can be done easily without it looking like your are just messing with the other team.

*Guarantee this team was pushing the pace still late. I was part of a winless girls basketball team (coaching) last season and there was a huge difference when some of the really talented teams would run up the score and others would "call off the dogs". A 40-4 point game at half would end 55 - 12 because the other coach was not an a@@ and had his players do some of these things above. It did not make us or our players feel worse. Other teams needed to build their ego and continue to go for steals and push the ball up court immediately and that was a whole heck of a lot worse feeling for the players.

*I hope this coach got a talking to. Thats BS. Like Ive said I have had multiple experiences with games this lopsided and it is very easy for a coach/team to slow it down in a non embarrassing way.
 
# 15 Bunselpower32 @ Dec 12
NDirish, you are absolutely correct. This coach was no doubt pressing the whole game, running down the court, and just keeping his foot on the gas. It is not embarrassing to have a better team slow the pace. You don't have to fast break, you don't have to fight guys for rebounds quite as hard, it is not necessary and it is really immature.

To all those who think that he used plays, here's a little math. If the team scored 107, a third being threes, and shooting 50% (which is really good), that's 96 shots. For arguments sake, they get the ball for half of the time, 16 minutes. One shot per 10 seconds. That should be how long it takes them to bring it up the floor. There isn't a shot clock, but if there was a college shot clock, they should have gotten 27 shots.

My dad had a solution that I thought was brilliant and I will use if this ever happens to me. I went to a small rural grade school and this sort of thing happened, where a coach kept pressing. He said after the end of the first after he pushed the lead out he would take out all of his eighth graders stop pressing and fast breaking. He didn't, and my dad (the coach) just sat patiently until the half, calmly walked over to the other coach and asked him what that was all about. Claiming he wanted his younger kids to learn the press, my dad relented and walked back to the locker room until the game started back up.

The opposing coach put his eighth graders back in for the third and we just thought that was the ritual, you know, starting five back in. We inbounded the ball, and before our ballhandler could turn around in the backcourt, the opposing team jumped him, stole the ball, and hit a layup, then proceeded to set up the press yet again. My dad, seeing that this guy was in it to humiliate us, called a timeout, gathered up his materials, told the bench players to get the water and practice balls, and told us we were leaving and that we were not to shake anyone's hands. I had never seen anything like that before. We got a standing ovation from our fans that had come out to watch, and to this day, those parents involved said it was the best thing they had ever seen.
 

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