The latest brutally embarrassing girls basketball blowout comes from New York City, where a traditional power, Queens school Francis Lewis High, knocked off cross-borough foe Brooklyn Collegiate in a Public Schools Athletic League playoff game. The final score was an eye-watering 117-8.
Yes, Francis Lewis won a playoff game by 109 points, more than 100 points more than their opponent scored in total. And all of this in a 32-minute game. If it seems like such a princely sum would be difficult to achieve in such a limited timeframe, that’s because it is. Francis Lewis had to work to rack up nearly 120 points in a regulation game.
As noted by the New York Times report on the game, Francis Lewis coach Stephen Tsai had his team full-court press throughout the entire game. According to the New York Daily News’ Nick Forrester, he dropped the full court press after the first quarter, then stepped up his efforts to limit the score in the fourth, when he reportedly instructed his players not to score until after completing a series of consecutive passes, even if they had wide-open layups.
The question is why an aggressive full court press need be used at all, particularly given the previous history between the teams; Francis Lewis also reportedly knocked off Collegiate by 85 points in the first game between the teams in January. Add to that Collegiate’s 1-14 record, and it’s pretty clear that they were little threat for a victory.
Instead of holding back throughout the game, Tsai went full out, then immediately asked for forgiveness after the game from Collegiate head coach Rodney Johnson.
“For me as a coach who’s trying to get prepared for the playoffs it’s a tough call,” Tsai told the Times. “We’re not trying to embarrass anybody out there. At the same time we’re trying to keep the integrity of the game.
“I said I hope it didn’t look like we’re trying to run up the score, and he said no.”
Whether intended or not, it’s hard to argue that the final score ran up pretty high. Francis Lewis should just hope that such a score would come back with poor karma later in the playoffs.