November 28, 2011
There are routs, there are blowouts, and then there are epic one-sided losses that would make the likes of Woody Hayes blush. The 100-2 victory by Pikeville (Ky.) Independent Middle School against Kimper (Ky.) Elementary and Middle School at the Pike County Preseason Tournament falls squarely in the last category. Now, the school district's superintendent and school board are allegedly considering canceling the team's entire season because of a perceived lack of sportsmanship shown in the 98-point drubbing.
As first reported by ScoutsFocus' Joe Davis, Pikeville raced out to a 70-0 lead in the game by halftime, eventually cruising through a second-half performance in which Pikeville coach Bryan Johnson allegedly told his team to "stop playing defense" in an attempt to let Kimper score. You can see highlights from the mismatch in the first 40 seconds of the video above.
To say that the game was always going to be a mismatch is an understatement. Kimper is a small school of only 180 total students, and features players as young as 11 on its squad. That's a stark contrast to Pikeville, which might indeed boast one of the nation's most talented squads of eighth-graders; the same team which routed Kimper rolled past Virgie (Ky.) Middle School 75-32 in the championship game of the tournament. The Pikeville squad consists of the best members of the school's sixth- and seventh-grade teams from the past two seasons, when Johnson served as the head coach of those squads. He also coached the most select players from those teams on the AAU circuit, giving the team a cohesiveness that stands in stark contrast to the Kimper squad.
As one might expect, the full statistics from such a one-sided romp are even more shocking than Pikeville's 70-point half. Perhaps the most astonishing is the following: Pikeville led 25-0 just 1:48 into the game, when the team dropped its full court press and Johnson removed all five of his team's starters. Do the math, and one quickly realizes that Pikeville essentially scored a bucket every eight seconds when its starters were in the game.
According to Davis, who was informed of the situation by Johnson, that first two-minute span and the continued offensive performance by the Pikeville reserves have been enough to prod the Pikeviile Independent School Board into quietly considering canceling the entire Pikeville basketball season. Whether or not the school district would cancel one of its team's seasons because of a single blowout remains to be seen, but if ever there was a one-sided scoreline that could elicit such a response, the 100-2 rout might be it.
Still, while Johnson may have always been due the largest share of criticism for letting his team rack up a 98-point victory in a preseason tournament against an overmatched foe, the fact that the two teams were even playing in the same bracket deserves further inspection as well. Sure, the two teams play on the same Kentucky middle school circuit, but that hardly justifies setting the two up against one another when such a game isn't absolutely necessary.
Does that mean that the Kimper head coach, Chase Haley, deserves criticism himself? Perhaps, though it's hard to find much fault with a coach looking for somewhere for his young team to play games before the regular season heats up.
In fact, that might be the worst news for Kimper after the game: The team still has Pikeville on its regular-season schedule in mid-December. Of course, that rematch would be contingent on the entire Pikeville season not being canceled first, and that may be less of an eventuality than any of us might imagine at first blush.
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