After receiving a third seed in the sectional tournament when he felt his team deserved a No. 1 seed, Hanford (Calif.) High girls basketball coach Tom Parrish refused to show up for regionals, so tourney officials left his team out of the postseason competition entirely.
"I'm pissed off," Parrish told The Fresno Bee in the days after his team's 57-39 Division I Central Section semifinal loss to No. 2 West Clovis (Fresno, Calif.) High last week. "I've got cameras stuck in my face and I say, 'I'm not going.'"
Despite the blowout loss, Parrish's Bullpups (23-5) still would have earned an invite to the Southern California Div. I regional tournament, scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
"Absolutely," Central Section Commissioner Jim Crichlow told The Fresno Bee. "And, who knows? Probably as a five, six or seven seed."
In other words, Parrish cost Hanford a home game in the regional tournament, where his team has made an appearance each of the previous seven seasons, according to The Bee.
Several attempts were made to rectify Parrish's mistake. Hanford athletic director Beau Hill offered to coach the team and Parrish then said he would reluctantly do his job, but both proved too late. Under the impression that Parrish and the Bullpups would not show up to play, Crichlow & Co. left them out altogether.
Hill made a last-ditch effort on Monday morning to get Hanford inserted as the No. 16 seed behind the other 15 teams that made up the SoCal bracket, but Crichlow's ensuing call to state officials again came too late, according to The Bee.
Sadly, Parrish's actions effectively ended the career of Gonzaga-bound Bayli McClard and two other seniors on the Bullpups roster. Instead, the No. 29 ranked wing in the nation, according to ESPN HoopGurlz, McClard concluded her career with 1,795 points, which leaves her fourth in school history, section historian Bob Barnett told The Bee.
As for Parrish, who has racked up a record of 197 wins in 244 games at Hanford, he told the paper he probably won't return as coach next season and would decided on his future over the next couple months. "I'm not dealing with it anymore," he said.
Perhaps the same goes for Hill and the rest of the Bullpups girls basketball community.
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