Early-season high school games tend to be subject to blowouts, but suffice it to say, we've never before seen one quite like this.
Little Rock's Hall High School in Arkansas shut out J.A. Fair by a comically lopsided score of 88-0 in the varsity girl's basketball team's season opener on Monday. The game was over almost as soon as it started, with the Lady Warriors leading 58-0 at the half.
As embarrassing as that sounds, however, it seems the drubbing could have been even worse. According to Little Rock's CBS affiliate KTHV, Hall head coach Selita Farr refrained from using both a full-court press and a pressure defense in a show of sportsmanship.
At Tuesday's practice, players insisted that despite the scoreboard's crooked number, they weren't actively trying to run up the score.
"We just go out and try to play hard, and the scoreboard, that's just how it ends up," senior Tyler Scaife told KTHV.
Farr also pulled her starters just four minutes into the first half with the Lady Warriors already leading 28-0 -- though, as Prep Rally points out, this often results in the opposite of the desired effect, with bench players taking advantage of the rare opportunity to fully showcase their own talents.
Though no one could have expected such a drastic final score, the mismatch between the team's rosters would logically give way to a blowout. According to the Associated Press, Fair's team consists of four freshmen and just one senior, while Hall boasts eight seniors, two of which are being recruited by NCAA Division I schools.
For its part, Fair's team seems to have shaken off the loss, managing to score three points in its game against Malvern Wednesday night.
Arkansas high school athletics employ an inconsistent and complicated implementation of the mercy rule, but after losing the first two games of the season 88-0 and 78-3, Fair might want to lead the charge in petitioning Little Rock high schools to simplify their sportsmanship code.