Angela Hubbard has been on the other side of the scoreboard.
The 30-year Hume-Fogg (Nashville) girls basketball coach has had her share of lopsided games in the past. This year, though, things have been different for the winless Lady Blue Knights.
“I went back and looked in my score books and saw I beat someone by 65 points,” Hubbard said. “I played everyone. I even took my starters out.
“It just depends on what am I teaching my kids. I’m a teacher first. I’m a coach second. I’m going to be teaching all the time.”
Hubbard had a teachable moment Tuesday night after Hume-Fogg’s 101-8 loss to Pearl-Cohn (Nashville). It was at least the ninth time this season that Hume-Fogg was held to fewer than 10 points and the fourth time an opponent scored more than 80 points.
How bad have things gone this season? There have been times referees have told opposing coaches to stop pressing Hubbard’s young team, which comprises one returner and no one who plays AAU ball during the summer.
But the Lady Firebirds’ 101 points raised eyebrows on what is the proper show of sportsmanship when a high school game gets out of control on the scoreboard.
“What did you accomplish,” said Hubbard, who has coached at the school since 1987 and reached the Class AA state quarterfinals in 2009. “You scored 100 points. What does that mean? Does it really mean anything based on your competition?
“That’s my question, ‘What does it mean?'”
Fair question. And one that should have been addressed long before now.
A month ago, Hume-Fogg fell to Maplewood 85-3.
Now, Nashville Metro Schools athletic director Roosevelt Sanders said sportsmanship will be discussed Saturday when teams from District 10-AA and District 12-AAA meet to discuss next week’s league tournaments and to determine the brackets.
This was not a one-game anomaly on Tuesday night across the Nashville area high school basketball scene. Call it a bad night of high school girls basketball.
While they didn’t score 100 points, there were seven other girls teams around the Nashville area that won their games by 40 or more points — Antioch beat Hillwood 61-14, Community beat White House 79-39, East Nashville beat Stratford 71-31, Franklin Road Academy beat Covenant Christian 59-15, Cane Ridge beat Glencliff 85-14, Harpeth Hall beat Pope John Paul II 70-17 and Riverdale beat La Vergne 81-25.
The TSSAA has a mercy rule in place to help keep games from getting too out of hand. A continuous clock is used in the fourth quarter if a team leads by 35 or more points. TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said both teams also have the right to shorten games when they get out of hand, either by shortening quarters or using a continuous clock for a longer period.
There is a fine line between showing good sportsmanship and making your team better.
“You want to challenge your team,” Pearl-Cohn coach Kandra Bailey said. “The tournament starts next week. You want to challenge your young players that don’t see as many minutes.”
Look, lopsided games are going to happen. For instance, Riverdale’s rout of La Vergne came despite two starters and a key substitute not playing for USA Today’s No. 1-ranked team in the country.
But how do you keep a score from being embarrassing for both programs?
“Everyone is not on the same chapter of their journey,” Riverdale coach Randy Coffman said.
The journey is different. The difficult part is being respectful of where an opponent is on their journey.