Winner apologizes for 100-0 score

A Christian school in Dallas has apologized for a “shameful” 100-0 victory in girls basketball, reports the Houston Chronicle. Covenant School is seeking to forfeit its game against the Dallas Academy, a small school for students with learning problems. In four seasons, the girls’ team hasn’t won a game.

In the statement on the Covenant Web site, (headmaster Kyle) Queal said the game “does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition. We humbly apologize for our actions and seek the forgiveness of Dallas Academy, TAPPS and our community.”

Covenant was up 59-0 at halftime, but continued to score 3-point baskets.

When I did readings from my book,  Our School, I usually read the chapter about “the shortest basketball team in America.”  They learned how to lose — and eventually they learned how to win.

That’s the lesson Dallas Academy’s girls have learned: Don’t quit.

“My girls never quit,” (athletic director Jeremy Civello) said. “They played as hard as they could to the very end. They played with all their hearts at 70-nothing, 80-nothing and 100-nothing. I was really proud of them. That’s what I told them after the game.”

Apparently, Covenant ran up the score till they hit 100 and then eased up for the rest of the game.

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  1. Cardinal Fang says:

    They shouldn’t be ashamed of winning the game, but they are right to be ashamed of running up the score. That’s unsportsmanlike.

  2. Doug Sundseth says:

    I’m not sure I would consider shooting 3-pointers to be “running up the score”, even though that was the result. The probability of success on a given shot is lower than with shorter shots and rebounds are more random (which increases the probability of a successful rebound by the other team).

    I think it’s unreasonable to expect a team in a sports league to stop playing the game entirely when the score gets out of hand. That’s not fair to the better team. If the poorer team is consistently getting badly beaten, the right answer (to my mind) is to find a league more appropriate for the players.

    (None of this is to say that dishonorable conduct is impossible, or even uncommon. I just don’t see a lopsided score to be prima facie evidence of such conduct.)

  3. Mark Roulo says:

    I think it’s unreasonable to expect a team in a sports league to stop playing the game entirely when the score gets out of hand.

    Correct. But you *can* (and should) pull your starters.
    This gives your second string a chance to play (which is good),
    while not piling on the other team.

    Unfortunately, the winning team may have actually put in their
    second string. Notice that if they scored 59 points in the 1st
    half, then they only scored 41 points in the second half.

    Other than putting in your second string and slowing down the game,
    I don’t know what else the winning coach *can* do. It isn’t
    ethical (to either team) to ask your players to stop trying.

    -Mark Roulo

  4. Not enough data in the original story to indicate whether or not the winners put in their second string….but in any event, the fault here lies with administrators who let this matchup exist.

    Given the team records this was predictable.

  5. They were playing a team of girls with learning disorders severe enough to merit attending a separate school. Think about what that means. There was no reason to run up the score like that. What were they trying to prove?

    I’m glad somebody talked some sense enough into that coach to apologize and forfeit.

  6. I would imagine they would have had their third string out there once they had a 20 pt. lead. Third stringers making 3-pointers?

  7. On the other hand, going easy on someone is often just as insulting if not more so. Forfeiting is just patronizing.

  8. Mark Roulo says:

    From the yahoo article on this:

    “I think the bad judgment was in the full-court press and the 3-point shots,” said Renee Peloza, whose daughter plays for Dallas Academy. “At some point, they should have backed off.”

    Dallas Academy coach Jeremy Civello told The Dallas Morning News that the game turned into a “layup drill,” with the opposing team’s guards waiting to steal the ball and drive to the basket.

    So the coach on the 100-point team blew it. You do *NOT* have to run a full-court press with a 40/50/60+ point lead. You do not have to steal on the other team.

    You can put in your second string, slow the game down by not running fast breaks (hell, kill the clock a bit by passing the ball around when you have it … shoot when the shot clock gets close to expiring), tell the kids *not* to steal.

    Keep playing defense, sure. Don’t *hand* the ball to the other team … you can try to score on each possession, but you can also eat up a lot of clock time doing so.

    You can also tell your players to *not* shoot from within the key. Again, good practice for them while keeping the score reasonable and not embarasing either team.


    -Mark Roulo

  9. Sounds like the real embarrassment was the desire to have a 100-point game that the coaches and team knew didn’t mean anything. The apology should be to the community and not the losing team.

  10. Since some schools don’t have much choice in who they play because they are assigned to playing areas by their state athletic associations, some states have “mercy rules” which cut portions of game shot if a certain score in reached.

    Here’s an old article form California:

    While my experience had been that you still end up with some lopsided scores because some coaches are jackasses, it at least places some limitations on the outcome.

  11. Andy Freeman says:

    Why was the game even scheduled?