|Thursday, November 21
Losing side in girls prep game wants answers
DETROIT -- Walkerville 115, Lakeshore 2.
And it could have been worse. A lot worse.
"What do you tell our girls? Not to play?" Walkerville High athletics director Ron Stoneman said Wednesday, a day after his state-ranked school stomped winless Hart Lakeshore Public Academy in a girls basketball playoff game.
"It had the potential to be really, really bad."
The blowout left Lakeshore academics director Steve Hamilton seething about a lack of sportsmanship.
"To me, if you run up the score like that, you have to answer for yourself," Hamilton said. "I have my doubts about a school that would go and run up a school by 100 points."
Walkerville coach Steve Kirwin said he doesn't schedule teams like Lakeshore, which has a student body of 50 in grades nine through 12, during the regular season. But during the playoffs, "You play who they tell you to play."
Kirwin said he promoted girls from the junior varsity and freshmen teams, and did not use his normal pressure defense against overmatched Lakeshore.
By halftime, Kirwin said, three girls hadn't scored. So he said only they could shoot. But after they scored, then what?
"I'm not going to tell my kids to not continue to play," Kirwin said. "It's not that we wanted to score a ton of points."
Both Walkerville and Lakeshore noted that the Michigan High School Athletic Association did away with a differential rule during the offseason. Under the old rule, the clock ran continuously if a team built a 40-point lead in the second half and maintained at least a 30-point advantage.
MHSAA assistant director Nate Hampton said the association dropped the rule to meet guidelines set by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Hampton said the rule helped spare teams from embarrassment or humiliation but added that "coaching tactics or strategies" can be used instead.
A 115-2 score "is what we've been guarding against the last several years," Hampton said.