Monday, January 11, 2010

Giving coaches a silly reason to run up the score

In Houston last week, a high school basketball game ended with this score: 170-35. At halftime, things were almost as lopsided: 100-12.

The victors were the Yates High School Lions, for whom trouncing opponents comes easily and often. The Houston Chronicle reported that Yates is 14-0 this season and on a 39-game winning streak. The Chronicle also noted that this was the eighth time during the season that Yates had scored more than 100 points and the sixth time its victory margin exceeded 60.

This game also featured a fight, which can happen sometimes when, as the Lee High School squad was, you're down by 77 or 78. No one was ejected, but the teams "finished the second half with five players each, and the other players were asked to sit in the stands."

No doubt, the Yates coach has done a great job assembling an unstoppable team. But why make a habit of pummeling high school opponents?

No mystery, really. Check out the latest Fab 50 rankings at ESPNRise where, last I checked (Week 3), Yates was fifth in the country. No doubt, the Lions are hoping to be fourth next week, riding the notoriety of a 135-point blowout.

These national rankings for high school sports are fabulous for ESPN, USAToday and other media giants, who use them to attract millions of eyeballs to their prep Web sites. Anyone want to make the argument that they're healthy for kids?

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