There are bad weeks, and then there are weeks like the one just endured by the Sacramento (Calif.) Hiram Johnson High girls basketball team. In the span of just six days, the Warriors lost two games to regional foes by a combined score of 176-5.
As documented by the Sacramento Bee, Johnson's rough stretch started with an astonishing 105-2 loss to regionally ranked Sacramento (Calif.) Florin High. The setback was the team's 46th straight in league play, with little chance of improvement on Tuesday when Johnson was scheduled to visit fellow regional contender Sacramento (Calif.) High.
Unfortunately for Johnson, the Tuesday face off went almost exactly as one might have predicted, with the Dragons jumping out to a big early lead and never looking back, holding the Warriors to just three points in a 71-3 victory.
Two games, an average of 88 points allowed and only two baskets made. Ouch.
"We'll definitely run the shot clock down, take outside shots, and we won't score on fastbreak layups," Sacramento girls basketball coach Michele Massari told the Bee before her team's big victory. "We'll get a maximum offensive effort by passing the ball. We'll play hard but it will be modified and it won't be insulting to Johnson."
Considering the fact that Sacramento still won by a whopping 68 points, it's terrifying to think how bad the game could have gotten if the Dragons were pushing the tempo.
In addition to general tenets of good sportsmanship, a large motivation for Sacramento's modified game plan against Johnson came from the respect Massari said she had for Johnson and the program's second-year head coach. So far, Jeanie Huizar has yet to lead Johnson to a win in 2011-12, though that is hardly an insult considering the program's 1-63 record over the past four seasons.
"[I] Told her that she [is] affecting lives with her effort and attitude more than she can imagine, the lessons she teaches go beyond anything on the floor," Massari told the Bee. "I know I've been blessed with great coaches here and great talent, but what she's doing is just as important."
Indeed, Massari practically gave Huizar the greatest possible compliment in that conversation: She said that the current Johnson coach could join the Sacramento staff whenever she wanted. In a testament to the precise qualities Massari lauded in those earlier statements, Huizar politely declined.
"Coach Massari said if I ever wanted to join her staff, I could," Huizar said. "That's so nice. But I can't leave these girls. We're going to learn and get better."
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