Gilmour High School Girls Basketball Coach Bob Beutel was a guest on the Ken Carman Show on 92.3 the Fan Friday morning. He'd been invited to talk about his squad's 108-1 blowout of Northeast Ohio Prep in the OHSAA Div. III sectional tournament.
The story gained traction nationally for the lopsided final, and many outraged onlookers accused Beutel of running up the score.
Beutel maintained that he took reasonable steps to respect the opponents and respect the game — he offered the NEO Prep coach his team's timeouts, he subbed in Freshman players as early as the first quarter, he slowed down the pace of the game and let the other team take shots — but just didn't anticipate that NEO Prep wouldn't make a singe field goal.
NEO Prep was 0-28 from the field and only 1-4 from the free throw line. They scored their single point on a free throw in the second quarter. Beutel said he'd never seen "an 0-fer" in his 30+ years of coaching.
The interview is actually really interesting to listen to, especially given the recent spate of high school blowouts
. Beutel, prompted by Carman and J.G. Spooner, talka about the balancing act in the early rounds of tournaments like these, trying to respect opponents while not making a mockery of the sport.
"In baseball if you've got a 9-0 lead and a guy on first," Beutel said, "you're not gonna steal second, but your're not gonna tell the batter to strike out either."
"These games are not fun for anybody," Beutel admitted. "Not for us, not for them."
Beutel said that he's witnessed a widening gap in the skill level of the region's best and worst high school basketball teams and that though his team made headlines for the rout, Ohio was jam-packed with outrageous point differentials in the tournament's first two rounds.
"In just that one night, there were 43 games that had a difference of 30 points or more," Beutel said. "There were 25 with a 40 point spread."
(Other shocking scores: Twinsburg defeated Garfield Heights, 91-13; Canton McKinley defeated Akron Garfield, 84-6; Youngstown Ursuline defeated East Palestine, 107-30).
"The only difference with the team we played," said Beutel, "is that they couldn't convert."
Listen to the full interview here: