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High school Spygate or a drastic overreaction?

Cameron Smith
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It's not unusual for video cameras to be present at high school basketball games. After all, prep players need video highlights to help their recruiting search, and high school sports haven't yet reached the level of "Spygate" and the like. Try telling that to the New York City girls basketball program at Manhattan Center (N.Y.) High School, which booted Murry Bergtraum (N.Y.) High's videographer from the gym during a recent game.

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According to the New York Daily News, the move was the latest salvo in an increasingly bad-tempered battle between the two competitive girls basketball programs. During the team's most recent game on Wednesday night, the principal for Manhattan Center, Jose Jimenez, approached longtime Murry Bergtraum coach Ed Grezinsky during the game, asking him if anyone had authorized Bergtraum videographer Derrick Henry to tape the game.

Considering the fact that Jimenez demanded to know whether Henry had been officially credentialed while action was unfolding on the court, it's perhaps not surprising that Grezinsky's response was suitably gruff and brief, with the coach waiving off the principal to continue coaching.

That's when Henry was sent packing, with Manhattan Center confiscating his taped footage from the first half before he left.

"It was very unprofessional of them to do that," Grezinsky told the Daily News. "In all my years of coaching basketball and football - 25 years - I've never seen something like that. By not letting him film, he was denying my kids a chance of getting into college."

That's saying something coming from a coach like Grezinsky, who has helped mold collegiate stars like Epiphanny Price.

While Grezinsky -- whose team rolled to an 80-55 rout of the Rams -- may have seemed to be in the right at first glance, the backstory behind this particular encounter creates a bit of a gray area. According to the Daily News, both schools had already ejected assistant coaches from the other program from games or scrimmages earlier this year.

The tit-for-tat spat started with Grezinsky ejecting a Manhattan Center assistant who arrived unannounced to watch a scrimmage between Murry Bergtraum and Mary Louis (N.Y.) High.

That was followed up by a similar move from Manhattan Center coach Jaywanna Bradley, who ejected Bergtraum assistant Bruce Campbell from a game between Manhattan Center and Kennedy (N.Y.) High in December.

"If you kick my assistant out, then you're going to be kicked out of my gym," Bradley told the Daily News. "He's not allowed to watch games in this gym."

While the bad blood may continue for some time, the two programs will get a reprieve from each other for awhile. Wednesday's victory finished the school's home-and-home slate against each other for the 2010-11 season, with Bergtraum winning both match ups.

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