The spring baseball season has served up quartet of nasty blowouts, adding to an already lengthy legacy of one-sided prep losses that is either disturbing or a sigh of significant reform that is needed in mercy rules across the country.
Most recently, Seattle squad Garfield routed Washington rival Ranier Beach by a lopsided 42-0 final score. The whitewash was notable both for a 21-run first inning and 17 in the third, with Garfield doing its level best to mitigate the rising score, using 21 total players, 18 of which earned a hit, according to MaxPreps.
And MaxPreps data and reporting shows that Garfield is hardly the only school to reach such a lofty run total this year; Ovulla Christian in Texas routed Heritage 42-0, Norfolk power Maury defeated Washington by a similar score and Mississippi squad East Webster knocked off O’Bannon by an even more eye-searing 45-0, as we noted here at USA TODAY High School Sports.
Similarly, much was made of the 161-2 girls basketball rout that San Bernadino squad Arroyo Valley put on fellow Southern California school Bloomington in early January 2015. Yes, the scoreline was ugly, embarrassing and probably unsportsmanlike (how can you score 160 points in a game without some questionable sportsmanship?).
Sadly, it was hardly the first foray into disturbing blowout losses in high school sports.
More followed this winter, with Clovis West knocking off Rivera-Los Angeles 114-9 and Gilmour Academy demolishing Northeast Ohio Prep 108-1 in February. That loss led to the firing of the Northeast Ohio Prep athletic director.
If you’re looking for the original high school blowout look no further than Reggie Miller. Well, not quite Reggie; his sister Cheryl was the one who authored a master class in high school scoring at the expense of an unassuming foe. Miller, a Hall of Fame women’s basketball player, coach and broadcaster (turned coach again), scored 105 points by herself in a 1982 rout of Riverside Norte Vista. The final score was 179-15. Miller was the star of a talented Riverside Poly squad, and she didn’t even know that she had been so prolific until someone told her after the game.
As she leaned back in her seat, a fan tapped her shoulder to give her the news.
“He said, ‘Dude, you scored 105 points!’ ” Miller says. “I was like, ‘What?’ “
Surpassing the Wilt Chamberlain mark without even realizing it? That’s cold blooded.
— More recently, a girls basketball blowout in Dallas actually cost a coach a job, something that has been mulled by some for Arroyo Valley head man Michael Anderson. The victim of his team’s success in 2009 was Micah Grimes, the head coach of Covenant School, which routed an overmatched Dallas Academy team 100-0. The even scoreline may have provided ideal headline fodder for the press, but that was actually the worst thing that could have happened to Grimes, who was constantly assailed in the media in the weeks following the blowout.
Even the head of Covenant School was embarrassed by the blowout:
“It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened,”Kyle Queal, the head of Covenant school, said in a statement at the time to The Associated Press, adding the forfeit was requested because “a victory without honor is a great loss.”
— Those prior examples are the most glaring blowouts in girls basketball, but they’re hardly the only ones in prep sports. In 2011, also in Dallas, Lake Highlands High routed the Samuell baseball team by a final score of 54-0. Or 57-0, depending on whether you believe the official box score or the one prepared by Lake Highlands coach Jay Higgins. According to Higgins, his team brought in substitutes very early in the game and only went station to station on the base paths. It didn’t matter. Unlike most other high school blowouts, this one at least had a silver lining: When the teams met later in the 2011 season, the scoreline was a bit closer, in part because the blowout inspired the teams’ district to change it’s mercy rules less than a month after the initial matchup.
— It wouldn’t be a true compilation of prep blowouts unless it included the ones that people most often associate with: Big, old fashioned football routs. The most recent controversial ugly scoreboard also came in Texas, where the 2013 Aledo football squad rolled over a team from Ft. Worth, Western Hills High. The final score was 91-0, which inspired one parent to file an official “bullying report.” That report forced the Aledo principal to launch a full investigation and issue a written report about the bullying incident, no small bit insulting to Aledo, particularly because the team’s coach was the first to admit that his team’s blowouts, which he claimed he tried valiantly to control, were a major source of embarrassment for his school. At least his heart was in the right place.