Fair play or bad sportsmanship?

January 6, 2010 4:46:32 PM PST
Was it fair play or bad sportsmanship? We're talking about Tuesday night's basketball game between Yates and Lee High Schools. Yates beat Lee by a score of 170-35. Before the game, Yates players say they had hoped to score 200 points. And now, some are calling for limits to prevent such overwhelming losses. Yates averages 115 points per game, but was it fair for them to push the score up to win by 135?

As Yates High School scored basket after basket Tuesday night, one Yates player told us they were shooting for 200 points. They didn't quite make that, but did rack up a new state scoring record in the rout.

"The game was magnificent," said Yates senior Reggie Perry. "They did everything they were supposed to."

"They work very hard in practice so they deserve to blow them out," said another Yates senior.

Outside Lee high Tuesday, one woman called the loss "pathetic".

"They're doing their best," said Deborah Jackson, who was disappointed with the game. "They're not a strong team like Yates."

All fifteen players were rotated in beginning in the first half. The starters weren't playing every minute. As Yates' score grew, so did emotions on the court. Benches cleared in the third period after an intentional foul was called on a Lee player.

Referees and coaches agreed they'd then continue with just five players each. The rest sat in the stands.

After the game, Lee's coach said he felt disrespected because Yates continued to run up the score. On Wednesday, Coach Jacques Armant told me he is still upset that the team is demoralized. He says they did nothing wrong, that they didn't start a fight. But contrary to some reports, he says he never planned to forfeit the game. He says they weren't going to quit because of the score.

"We didn't care about the score," he said.

"These kids are dominating," said scout Jim Hicks. "It's hard for them to put on brakes. The brakes are broke."

Hicks is a respected scout and boys high school basketball recruiting analyst in Houston. He says the kids had vowed to play this season in honor of one of Yates' coaches, a former assistant who died of cancer last fall. Many were close to him.

This Yates team has had a number of one-sided wins this season. They're ranked fifth in the country by ESPN.


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