MURGREESBORO, Tenn. – Two high school girls basketball teams in Tennessee were suspended after they tried to lose the same game on purpose.
According to USA Today, the Riverdale High School and Smyrna High School girls teams tried to lose the game so that they wouldn’t have to play against national powerhouse Blackman High School. If they lost, they would continue in the regional tournament on the other side of the bracket.
Both teams thought they would have a better chance to make it to the finals if they didn’t have to play Blackman High School.
However, their efforts were not successful.
According to the Daily News Journal, the two teams were removed from the postseason after a referee claimed that the teams “played to lose the game.”
The referee said Riverdale “missed 12-16 free throws intentionally.” Smyrna, “wouldn’t get the ball across the half-court line to get a 10-second count.”
At one point, the referee said “a Riverdale girl looked at one of the officials and gave the officials 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 had finally had enough after one of their players attempted to shoot at the wrong basket 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.”
Riverdale principal Tom Nolan was not happy with his team.
“It’s a total embarrassment,” Nolan said. “In my 35 years at Riverdale I’ve never had that happen. It sends a bad message to everyone. Bottom line is you play the game to win.”
Both schools were removed from the tournament and were fined $1,500 after the bizarre game.