Two high school basketball teams purposely try to lose game
MURFREESBORO, TN – Two high school girls basketball teams have been disqualified from the Tennessee state playoffs for apparently both trying to lose a game against each other.
Smyrna defeated Riverdale 55-29, and despite the lopsided score, it was apparent to everyone in the audience as well as the officials that both teams were trying to tank the game.
Following the defeat, Riverdale got placed on the opposite side of the regional bracket from Blackman High School, the defending state and national champion.
A Riverdale administrator contended that team head coach Cory Barrett didn’t explicitly instruct his players to lose but rather “talked to them about bracketology” and informed them of how each result would impact their next game.
In his postgame report, the referee who officiated the game felt that the tanking was evident to everybody in attendance, per Kreager:
In the report, the referee noted that Riverdale “missed 12-16 free throws intentionally.” And that Smyrna “wouldn’t get the ball across the half-court line to get a 10-second count or to make us call an over and back violation intentionally.”
The officials cited several other instances during the game, and several videos also popped up on Twitter that illustrated the obvious tanking. With Smyrna and Riverdale disqualified, Tullahoma and Lawrence County advanced to the semifinals.