Marissa Thrower, coach of the girls team at Cass Tech in Detroit, tried whatever she could to avoid running up the score, but that wasn't enough to prevent a basketball rarity: The shutout.
Cass Tech defeated Osborn 80-0 on Wednesday in a Detroit Public School League playoff game. The second half was played with a running clock as a way to keep the margin of victory from being even bigger, but Osborn was still unable to register a point.
"It was Senior Night, our last home game," Thrower told the Detroit Free Press "Don't make me out to be a bad guy. We did not press Osborn. My starters ... they played about 6 minutes the entire game. I don't know what to do in a situation like that."
GIRLS FINAL: Cass Tech 80-Osborn 0. Lady Technicians advance in PSL playoffs. pic.twitter.com/QMb5hw4hb9
— Branden Hunter (@JustCallmeBHunt) January 28, 2015
"My starters only played 6 minutes in the first quarter, then I put the seniors back in for literally 2 seconds, just so they could get a standing ovation when I took them out because it was Senior Night," Thrower said.
Two weeks ago, the coach for Arroyo Valley High's girls team was suspended two games after a 161-2 win. In that game, Arroyo applied a high-pressure full-court trap throughout the first half, and by halftime, the score was 104-1.
The coach's suspension triggered debate about whether such a lopsided win was bad sportsmanship or a good lesson for the opposing team that life isn't always sunshine and lemonade.
By not pressing and pulling the starters early, Thrower took the empathetic approach.
"You hear about stuff like this," she told the Freep. "You want it to be a competitive game. It was just a bad situation. A mismatch."