Something needs to be done about lopsided scores

Jim Benton
Posted 1/31/17

Vista PEAK's girls basketball team hopefully got the attention of the Colorado High School Activities Association's basketball committee.

The Aurora school whipped Aurora Central 90-4 on Jan. 20, …

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Something needs to be done about lopsided scores

Posted

Vista PEAK's girls basketball team hopefully got the attention of the Colorado High School Activities Association's basketball committee.

The Aurora school whipped Aurora Central 90-4 on Jan. 20, which brought further attention to the possibility of a mercy rule in high school basketball.

The 86-point win didn't do either team any good, especially for a winless Aurora Central squad that has been beaten by an average of 51.3 points a game this season.

Numerous coaches and administrators do not want a mercy rule instituted, but there are people lined up to support the introduction of one. Basketball is the only team sport that doesn't have one.

I subscribe to arguments on both sides, so maybe some kind of comprise can be reached. For instance, ask coaches to agree to use the mercy rule when a 40-point differential is reached in the final quarter. Even better, if just one of the coaches in a lopsided game agrees to implement the mercy rule, let the running clock begin.

In October, CHSAA's board of directors passed off to the basketball committee a proposal to adopt a mercy rule for the current season. Schools and leagues wanted to have an input in the decision either via the basketball committee or the legislative council, which has to approve basketball committee reports. So the basketball committee is scheduled to meet Feb. 2 and the mercy rule is on the agenda.

The proposed mercy rule would have produced a running clock with a 40-point lead in the fourth quarter.

This season, there have been many lopsided scores around the state, with several involving area teams. Some of the area blowout boys scores included Jefferson's 65-point loss and a 61-point Lutheran win. Cherry Creek's girls rolled to a 63-point conquest and Arapahoe recorded a 62-point victory.

Other uneven boys scores from the area include ThunderRidge's 105-46 romp over Castle View, Kennedy's 82-27 win over Arvada and Standley Lake's 99-43 win over Thornton.

Ralston Valley downed Arvada West 84-23 in girls action and Highlands Ranch rolled to an 86-27 victory over Heritage.

Shortage of officials

On Saturday, Jan. 28, all boys and girls basketball teams played rescheduled games in the Continental League.

That departed from the usual Tuesday and Friday games. League teams have and will play Wednesday games.

CHSAA asked schools to alter schedules in order to spread games out between Monday and Saturday in order to help ease the burden of finding officials to call games.

Centennial League, Jefferson County and Adams 5 schools have also spread out games during the week.

Help wanted

Help-wanted signs for coaches are showing up at schools around the state.

Brian Lamb has stepped down as Rock Canyon's football coach. He wants to take time off from football coaching although he is currently having fun as the Jaguars' sophomore boys basketball coach.

In four seasons as Rock Canyon's head football coach, the Jaguars compiled a 15-25-0 record with Lamb at the helm.

Castle View is looking for a girls softball coach to replace Cory Williams, who compiled a 16-24-1 record in two seasons. Williams has moved across town to be an assistant Douglas County softball coach.

Streak ends

Ponderosa's wrestling team had not lost a league dual match since 1994, but the streak came to an end Jan. 26 when Castle View forfeited two matches but had six pins to post a 42-33 victory over the Mustangs.

That ended an estimated streak of 159 consecutive league dual meet victories for the Mustangs, who have won 22 straight Continental League titles. Castle View, however, could claim this season's league title with a win in one of its final two league dual meets against Legend and Highlands Ranch.

"Everybody has been telling me that it was a big win," Castle View coach Ike Anderson said. "When I forfeited two matches and had a freshman wrestling in another, I knew our light weights were pretty strong and said we have to get as many points as we can in those matches."

Pair honored

CHSAA Associate Commissioner Tom Robinson and longtime basketball coach Dick Katte, now a liaison between CHSAA and the coaches association, will be honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

The awards will be presented July 1 at the NFHS summer meetings in Providence, Rhode Island. A NFHS citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

Jim Benton

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Thursty

I can tell you what my late father would have done if he was in charge. He'd invoke a mercy rule that coaches could agree on but stop the game at whatever point the coaches agreed, it goes in the record books as a win for the team ahead, and then mix up the teams with an equal number players from each team and continue playing. They can use the mesh jerseys from PE class to differentiate the teams. Each coach would need to be adult enough to coach their team so that all the players get a chance to play. They officials (referees, scorekeepers etc.) would keep officiating as usual. They would play as if they were playing out the rest of the game. I might want to make the change of adopting the FIBA rule of no live ball time outs but otherwise play it out as if you were playing the same game; just the players on the teams have changed. That could be a very good lesson in sportsmanship and could turn a miserable night into a fun night for the players.

Tuesday, January 31