Darrell Moody: Sportsmanship 101: Don’t run up the score
February 23, 2016
Sportsmanship 101. It's a class the NIAA should offer to all high school coaches. One of the topics should be how to win with class. It's something I feel was lacking at times at Bishop Manogue and Reno high schools this year with regards to girls basketball.
Both schools have great programs, but both have a bad habit of playing regulars even when a game is well in hand, and running up the score against defenseless opponents.
Manogue won games against Northern Nevada opponents by an average of 35.7 points per game, including seven wins by 40 points or more. Reno won games by an average of 43.2.
It doesn't start and end in Reno. There was a game in the Midwest which ended 108-1. Seriously?
Girls basketball was weak this year in Northern Nevada. There were only two good teams this year — Reno and Manogue. Reed had a young team and slipped a little. North Valleys and Damonte Ranch were improved this year, but neither was in the same class as Manogue and Reno.
Two Reno wins come to mind. The Huskies beat Hug 66-6 and then earlier this week pounded Carson, 74-11, in a first-round playoff game. I admit I don't know the particulars on the Hug game. I do know Reno could have played its second string and still won easily against the Hawks.
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I've known Shane Foster the Reno coach for a long time, and I do respect him. I told him after the Carson game this week I felt he ran up the score. Reno led 28-4 at the quarter and 49-4 at the half. He went with his starters to begin the second half, and his team went on a quick 11-2 surge to make it 60-6.
Are you kidding me?
There's no way any starter should have been on the floor in the second half, especially with a running clock. Heck, I would have yanked my starters after the first quarter. Coaches forget you don't get style points for beating up bad teams by 40 or 50 points. They also forget their seasons could be affected if a starter goes down with an injury. A running clock only stops for timeouts, and officials aren't in a great hurry administering free throws or handing the ball to inbounders. In reality, you get maybe nine minutes instead of 16.
If Reno had won 74-11 with it's second and third-string on the floor the entire second half, I would have had no problem with that. You can't ask subs not to score. There's no need, however, to keep starters in.
Foster claims he takes flack from parents when kids get pulled (early).
Really? Maybe the parents need to attend Sportsmanship 101. Parents have this misguided notion the more points the kids score the better chance they have at a scholarship. Part of that's true, but it's not the whole story. There are other attributes college coaches are looking for.
In the second Manogue-Carson girls game this year, the Miners went on a 22-0 run to start the game, and led 44-15 at the half. It was 68-37 after three. Running time hit with 6:29 left in the game and Manogue's three best players, were all in the game at that point. Manogue continued to pressure and trap much of the game. Again, that wasn't needed. This was first-year coach Carlnel Wiley at the helm and not Craig Holt, but the attitude was still the same. Wiley barked at the Carson bench at one point, feeling the Senators were too physical. The final three players on Manogue's roster only played two minutes that night against Carson. If I'm the parents of those three players I'd be really ticked.
Coaches believe because they play everybody that absolves them from any wrongdoing. Think again. There's no need to embarrass teams, and I feel like Reno and Manogue have done it plenty of times over the past several years. I also point the fingers at administrators. They should be watching this stuff and dealing with it.
There's some rumbling several juniors from this year's girls basketball team may not come out for next year's team.
That would be a shame, and I'm sure it's over lack of playing time. It's the problem with having too big of a roster. Before parents and players blame the coach, they need to look in the mirror. Parents, especially, look at things through rose-colored glasses. They have trouble being realistic about their child's abilities or lack thereof.
Carson had its struggles this year, chalking up just eight wins under first-year head coach Melissa Larsen.
It was a team that didn't have great basketball IQ, and that showed time and again. You can't succeed in a sport unless you put some time into it. Girls at Carson need to get stronger physically and they need to pick up the ball even when the sport isn't in season. If they don't, the results are going to continue to be the same.