The final score was 106-11.
That’s not a misprint or a typo. The Verona girls basketball team beat Janesville Parker by 95 points in a Big Eight Conference game last week.
Even with a running clock the final nine minutes of the game and a 57-3 halftime lead, the Wildcats kept piling up the points against a depleted and defeated team.
Am I surprised? No. Current Verona head coach Angie Murphy was on the bench in the same capacity during the 2015-16 season when Verona beat Beloit Memorial 111-22.
Am I appalled? Absolutely! A 95-point win serves zero purpose.
I realize you can’t tell kids to quit playing or quit trying, but you can show some compassion for the opponent, especially during a time when the number of girls playing basketball at all levels is declining. The goal is to encourage girls to play, not discourage.
I was not at the game, but I’ve got excellent resources that were. A number of things that did or didn’t happen bother me.
Murphy said she called off the full-court press the second half. And that her team only pressed the first half on made baskets.
So what you’re telling me is that ahead 40-2 in the first half, you still felt the need to press? You didn’t think it had been effective enough to that point? And if you’re working on it because you’ll need it down the road, Parker is not the kind of team you’re going to play deep into the postseason. You had made your point. Move on!
What else bothers me? The fact that numerous times I’ve watched Verona, like a lot of teams, take a minute or so off the clock to end the half or a game to get the final shot. You can’t utilize that same strategy when it’s 80-5?
I realize the object of the game is to score. But high school sports is also about sportsmanship and showing the game in a positive light. There’s nothing positive about 106-11.
The majority of area coaches that I’ve talked to—all of them with no allegiance to Parker or Verona—agreed that 106-11 was not a good look and that it should’ve never gotten to that point. You don’t steal a base in the bottom of the fourth inning up 15-0. You don’t throw a pass in the second half up 55-0, and goals are few and far between in a soccer game when the other team has a 10-0 halftime lead.
It’s called a “mercy rule” for a reason. Most teams abide by it. Verona chose not to. Shame on them.
Here’s a look at three area games on tap the next two nights.
Janesville Craig (3-2, 3-1) at Middleton (5-0, 5-0), boys, Big Eight, 7:15 p.m., Thursday, at Middleton High School—The Cardinals came into the season as the preseason conference favorite, while the upstart Cougars have been the feel-good story early on.
Middleton has manhandled its opponents in jumping off to the fast start. The Cardinals won by 14 points or more in four of five games and have only been tested in a 64-59 win over Madison East.
Gavyn Hurley is the catalyst for the Cards. The 6-foot-5 junior forward is averaging 22.2 points a game and scored a league-high 31 in a win over Verona.
Craig suffered its first conference loss of the season Tuesday at Janesville Parker. The Cougars made 13 3s but but went cold from the field late in the game. Carson McCormick continues to be dialed in from long distance. The sophomore sharpshooter made seven 3s against Parker and is averaging a team-high 17 points a game off the bench.
Best guess: Middleton 74, Craig 62.
Middleton (4-2, 4-1) at Janesville Craig (4-1, 4-4), girls, Big Eight, 7:15 p.m., Friday, at Craig High School—With currently a four-way tie for first place in the conference, there’s a lot riding on the outcome of this one.
Middleton is coming off a 27-point loss to Verona and struggled in Big Eight wins over Madison West and Madison Memorial. The Cardinals are led by Audrey Deptula and McKenna Monogue, who are averaging a combined 28 points a game.
Craig stubbed its toe in a 68-67 nonconference loss to Kenosha Bradford on Tuesday. The Cougars had won four straight since IUPUI recruit Ellie Magestro-Kennedy returned to the lineup.
Senior Kate Huml leads the Cougars in scoring at 17.2 points a game, with Magestro-Kennedy at 14.0.
Best guess: Craig 68, Middleton 55.
Walworth Big Foot (5-1, 4-0) at McFarland (3-1, 3-1), boys, Rock Valley, 7:15 p.m., Friday, at McFarland High School—The surprising Chiefs are in sole possession of first place, while the Spartans have won three straight conference games after losing the opener at Brodhead.
Led by Dadon Gillen at 20.0 points per game, McFarland has three players averaging in double figures. The Spartans are averaging a robust 72.4 points per game.
Big Foot has impressed thus far. The Chiefs have won five straight since a season-opening loss to Oregon.
Gus Foster has been the best player in the conference early on. The 6-3 senior is third in the conference in scoring at 22.7 points a game and leads the Rock Valley in rebounding with 12.8 a game.
Best guess: McFarland 71, Big Foot 64.