The vast American high school basketball landscape is littered with talent disparities. There are countless stories of running clocks, of games ending at halftime, of astounding triple-digit point totals and similarly astounding single-digit ones. But 100-plus points and a shutout?
Not completely unprecedented. But close to unheard of.
That’s what happened in northeast Montana last Friday. The Froid-Medicine Lake Redhawks beat the Brockton High Warriors 102-0. Yes, 102-0.
So how did this happen?
Brockton’s roster was whittled down to five players by sickness and other absences. According to Johnson, the five players were an eighth-grader, a freshman who had “never really played ball until this year,” a sophomore who hadn’t played since sixth grade and two other sophomores. None were above 5-foot-7.
Froid-Medicine Lake, meanwhile, had three players taller than 6 feet.
Brockton went from a full starting five down to four players early in the second half due to an ankle injury. It trailed 59-0 at halftime, and not even a second-half running clock could prevent Froid-Medicine Lake from getting to triple digits.
“I’m not sure if we even hit double-figures in field goal attempts,” Johnson said of his Brockton team.
Still, there’s the question of why the game was allowed to get this out of hand. Why the refs didn’t stop it. Johnson told the Great Falls Tribune that he and his players weren’t unhappy with their opponents. But something probably should have been done.
Froid-Medicine Lake coach Lance Brekke, speaking to the Tribune, seemed to agree. “This will never happen again, that’s for sure,” he said. “The integrity of the game just went out the window.”
The shutout was originally believed to be the first in Montana high school basketball history, but the Tribune uncovered a 57-0 girls game two years ago.
However, shutouts in basketball are incredibly rare, and are sometimes controversial. One infamous instance, in 2009 in Dallas, saw a girls high school game end 100-0. Afterward, the winning coach was fired.
But there doesn’t seem to be any ill will after the 102-0 Montana game. Johnson didn’t seem to be blaming anybody. And he certainly wasn’t unhappy with his own players.
“They did nothing wrong,” he told the Tribune. “At the end of the day, they all went home and asked: ‘What’s for dinner, Mom?’”
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