Saw a story on Yahoo! about a small middle-school in eastern Kentucky that beat an even smaller school 100-2 in the county pre-season basketball tournament. (The story caught my eye because Thing 1 plays middle-school basketball and I’m originally from eastern Kentucky.)
Pikeville Independent, which is considered one of the best middle-school teams in the country, was up 25-0 only 1:48 into the game and led Kimper Elementary and Middle School (total enrollment: 180) by 70-0 at the half.
ScoutFocus.com quoted the Pikeville coach as saying there were rumors the superintendent and school board were on the verge of cancelling the rest of the season because of the team’s supposed bad sportsmanship, but a blogger at Forbes.com talked to the superintendent, who said there were no plans to punish the team or fire the coach.
Superintendent Jerry Green said school officials were satisfied that the Pikeville coach hadn’t intentionally run up the score. Coach Bryan Johnson told ScoutFocus he pulled his starters at the 1:48 mark and told the players to stop playing defense and to try to let Kimper score, but Kimper couldn’t sink a basket.
Pikeville and Kimper are scheduled to play again in the regular season. Coach Johnson says he’ll bench his 8th graders and play his 6th and 7th graders instead.
In the end, I believe that winning or losing doesn’t matter, that what matters is how you play the game, that what matters is that you did the best you could do.
Some teams are better than others, and some are worse, and when they’re in the same region, they end up playing each other, but, still, should there be an exception when the teams are so obviously mismatched?
I appreciate the Pikeville coach telling his team to give Kimper a chance to score, but should Pikeville have stopped trying to score, too? What’s the most graceful way to win such a lopsided?
If you were the Kimper coach, would you have stopped the game? Should there the rules be changed to stop a game if one team is ahead by, say, 70 points at halftime? Should the team that’s down always be given a chance to make a comeback?
As a parent, I’ve been on both sides of some pretty lopsided games, and win or lose, it’s never comfortable, but if you’re child’s team is down by 70, could you accept the decision to stop the game, or would you want your child to be given the chance to play to the end and maybe score a basket?