New Jersey Coach Suspended for Running up Score

This item made news. And not just local as it turned out. Immaculate Conception High School (Montclair, NJ) girls team defeated Caldwell 104-30 in the season opener. Lopsided scores in high school games are not a rare occurrence. We strive for an even playing field but that is not the case. This one however caught attention and came with repercussions. In the aftermath of this one-sided affair, Immaculate coach Jimmy Kreie was suspended four games. That’s right, the coach is sitting out four games.

Yours truly did not see the game. If Kreie utilizes full court pressure and transition that’s his game plan. If he used both systems of play for a half and backed off the final two periods, no issue. If he full court pressured and pushed the ball on offense for 32 minutes we have an issue. But a four game suspension?

In the aftermath of such a situation it would be wise to sit Kreie down and explain the merits, or lack of, regarding what he did. How running up a score in that manner attracts attention to your team, but in a negative vein. How sportsmanship is an issue and not just for high school girls, all levels should abide by it. You do not to demoralize the opposition. Again, a four game suspension seemed questionable.

Kreie reached out to Caldwell High school with an apology. That was definitely warranted and the right thing to do. As mentioned, if you are facing an overmatched opponent and pressing is your game, do it for a half at most. Also, be sure to get your bench appreciable minutes and stay away from shooting threes once the lead is into double digits. If the second or third unit is scoring you can’t blame them. They put the practice time and want their day in the sun so to speak.

One week into the season in Northern New Jersey, newspapers are showing a number of box scores where girls varsity teams fail to score 20 points in a game, some not even hitting double digits in some cases. The gap between haves and have nots is significant. Granted we need no 104-30 games but my take remains on a four game suspension being a bit harsh.

Teams that do run it up purposely, and they exist, remind me of the words of the late Al McGuire who said, "never run it up on your fellow coach, he is a fellow member of your profession and someday you may march to the beat of his drummer."