Two Girls HS Teams Suspended for Purposely Trying to Lose Game

In your bizarre news of the week, two girl’s basketball teams in Tennessee purposely tried to lose a game against each other last Saturday to avoid having to face a national powerhouse in the regional playoffs. Now, both won’t be facing anyone in the playoffs, as they’ve been suspended from the tournament as a result. Additionally, according to the Daily News Journal, each school was fined $1,500.

More from USA Today:

In one of the strangest basketball games ever played, both Riverdale High School and Smyrna High School (Tenn.) girls teams tried to lose the District 7-AAA consolation game on Saturday night. You’re probably asking why.


Well, due to the way the regional tournament was seeded, the loser of the consolation game would be placed on the other side of the regional tournament bracket as national powerhouse Blackman High School. Both Riverdale and Smyrna had already lost to Blackman earlier this season, and it appears both thought if they lost the game they would have a better chance to make it to the Region 4-AAA finals.


So the game got ridiculous. Both teams intentionally missed free throws. Numerous 10-second and halfcourt violations occurred.


From The Daily News Journal:


The referee said “one time a Riverdale girl looked at one of the officials and gave the official a 3-second signal wanting him to call three seconds on her. Smyrna stood in the lane as well to have us call three seconds on them.”


The referee wrote that he finally called the coaches together for a meeting after “a Smyrna player was about to attempt a shot at the wrong basket (but there was a 10-second violation call before they attempted the shot) on purpose.


“That was when I called both coaches together and told them we are not going to make a travesty or mockery of the game. WE ARE NOT GOING TO START TRYING TO SHOOT AND SCORE FOR THE OTHER TEAM.”


Eventually a school administrator from Smyrna approached head coach Shawn Middleton and demanded to know why the starters weren’t in the game.


“We were told the (administrator) went up to him and said, ‘What are you doing,” [Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association executive director Bernard] Childress said. “They told them, ‘You need to play to win the ball game and stop this.’ That’s when he put his starters back in.”