The fallout from a gigantic mismatch in a girls’ high school basketball game in Southern California has left one coach sitting on the hot seat. On January 5, the Hawks of Arroyo Valley High School’s girls’ team decimated their opponents from Bloomington High School, 161-2.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that the game was a mismatch: the Bruins of Bloomington had reportedly lost a game by 91 points already, while the hawks had won four games by 98, 81, 74 and 73 points, respectively. The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin wrote that Hawks’ coach Michael Anderson has been targeted with “controversy, scrutiny, questioning, character assassination, debate and name-calling.” The Bruins’ Athletic Director, Chris Brickley, said, “they crossed the line, although I don’t think Arroyo Valley agrees with that.” The Hawks AD, Matt Howell, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise, “I have had a conversation with my coach about it, and that kind of thing. It’s not going to happen again.”
Bruins coach Dale Chung kept a stiff upper lip, saying, “People shouldn’t feel sorry for my team. They should feel sorry for his (Anderson’s) team, which isn’t learning the game the right way.” Noting that the Hawks used a full-court press consistently in the first half, which ended 104-1. Chung continued, “We only got the ball past half court maybe four or five times in the first half.” Alerted that Anderson protested to the Press Enterprise that the Hawks didn’t use the full-court press in the second half, Chung responded, “They half-court trapped us, though, so what’s the difference?”
Anderson defended himself by asserting that in the second half, he instructed the hawks to eschew shooting until only seven seconds remained on the clock. He had asked officials to use a running clock starting in the third quarter, but the officials didn’t comply until the last quarter of the game.
He told the San Bernardino Sun, “I didn’t expect them (Bloomington) to be that bad. I’m not trying to embarrass anybody. And I didn’t expect my bench to play that well. I had one (bench) player make eight of nine threes…The game just got away from me.”