Girls basketball score of 108-1 draws attention, criticism

Publish date:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) A first-round sectional tournament girls basketball game between two Ohio schools wasn't expected to be much of a contest, but the final score of 108-1 has brought debate on whether the winning team did enough to keep the score down.

The Division III game Wednesday had Gates Mill Gilmour Academy facing Northeast Ohio College Prep. Gilmour (18-5) has been the district runner-up the past four seasons and boasts a strong tradition for its athletic programs. Northeast is a 400-student public charter school with a team that entered the game with a 1-11 record.

Predictably, Gilmour won. But many of the more than 30 comments on the site where the game story was posted derided Gilmour for piling on. Others, though, defended the Lancers and criticized Northeast for putting a team on the court that could score only one point.

Gilmour athletic director Jeff Walrich in an email to The Associated Press on Friday said the game was difficult for both teams.

''There is no real winner in a matchup like that,'' he wrote. ''In these early rounds of the playoffs, it is hard when you have a (hash)1 seed playing a (hash)13 seed.''

Walrich said Gilmour coach Bob Beutel realized early in the first quarter that the score could get out of hand.

''He substituted younger players, switched to a zone defense, offered to call timeouts for NEO Prep if they used all of theirs, told his players to let NEO Prep shoot the ball, and moved players from their normal positions,'' he said. ''He even asked the refs if there was anything else he could.''

Northeast missed all 28 field-goal attempts with its only point coming from the free-throw line on four attempts.

The Gilmour Twitter timeline on Wednesday posted that the Lancers were up 20-0 but later updates left the score out, ending with, ''Gilmour Academy defeats NE Ohio College Prep in the 1st round of sectionals. The Lancers play Saturday!''

Northeast athletic director Justin Shullick did not respond to a request for an interview, but the school on Thursday issued a statement that in part applauded its players for their sportsmanship.

''At Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School, our scholars are taught to embody respect, responsibility, and relentlessness. All three characteristics were on display yesterday. We faced an incredibly talented team, and we congratulate Gilmour Academy on their victory and pursuit of a championship.''

Walrich said in his email, ''We are extremely proud of the sportsmanship and poise displayed by both teams.''