I spoke to Yates coach Greg Wise about this general topic (their high scores and the backlash that could follow) recently before the Lions went on their trip to Alabama for the T-Mobile Invitational. Wise is content to take the heat that comes with the eye-popping scores that Yates has and will continue to put up this year. It doesn't bother him because he's thinking big picture: he's trying to lead Yates to a state championship and the No. 1 ranking in the nation. Also, Wise often references the Lions 78-76 loss to Elsik last season (which was their only loss of the year) when discussing this topic. Wise said that he took the foot off the gas in that game and it ended up backfiring. Since then, Wise made the conscious decision that the Lions aren't going to back off on anyone at any time. The Lions intend to press and run and stay up-tempo for 32 minutes.
The score your looking at is not a typographical error; it's an actual box score. Yes, a high school basketball team in Houston really ran up 170 points on another poor, hapless team. Yates HS was up 100-12 at halftime, and probably would have rolled up 200 by game's end if they hadn't emptied their bench. Then again, Yates is one of the best high school basketball teams in the country, so even the #15 player on the end of their bench is probably talented enough to start for most other schools.
What amazes me about this score is that high school games are only 32 minutes long- four eight-minute quarters. This means that Yates scored 5+ points every minute, or a two-point basket every 24 seconds. Let's assume conservatively that Lee had possession for 1/3 of the game. That means that Yates scored two points every 16 seconds of game time. The more I think about it, the more my head spins.
The biggest point to be debated, of course, is whether or not Yates should have kept the pedal to the metal. When you're up by 88 points at halftime, is there really a need to continue a full-court press? Is it really necessary to continue treating the game as if the outcome is in doubt? At what point do you as a coach recognize that victory is one thing, but thoroughly embarrassing an opponent is something entirely different?
In a sense, this debate is not altogether different from the one that took place last season when Dallas Covenant's girls basketball team beat Dallas Academy 100-0. How much is enough? When does/should a coach call off the dogs? When a game has been decided save for the (wide) final margin of victory, is playing hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer the right thing to do? When should a coach tell his charges to back off...or is the job of a coach to get his players to play hard and keep pushing no matter the size of the lead they enjoy?
There will be as many opinions on this question as there will be people who answer it, and there really is no right answer. From where I sit, though, if you're up by 88 points at halftime, do you really need to demonstrate your clear superiority by keeping your boot heel on their throat? Is it really necessary to thoroughly embarrass your opponents in order to prove that you're a better team?
More importantly, what's the lesson that children are being taught? That victory is good, but domination and humiliation are even better? Is this the sort of thing we want to teach children to be proud of? If the answer is "yes"...well, that doesn't really say much about us, does it?