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High School Basketball Teams Busted for Trying to Lose the Same Game

“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” This quote, often attributed to Vince Lombardi, has fallen on deaf ears among two high school girls basketball teams.

Smyrna High School and Riverdale High School squared off last weekend in a playoff game, with both teams trying to lose. Why? They each felt losing would be the better option because it would put them in an easier bracket in the upcoming regional playoffs.

Both Smyrna and Riverdale essentially tried to throw the game, with the referee piling up ample evidence, according to the Daily News Journal:

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 referee said ‘one time a Riverdale girl looked at one of the officials and gave the official 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 wrote that he finally called the coaches together for a meeting after ‘a Smyrna player was about to attempt a shot at the wrong basket (but there was a 10-second violation call before they attempted the shot) 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.”

Both Smyrna and Riverdale were placed on probation and fined $1,500. The plan to throw the game backfired, since both teams were banned from this year’s playoffs.

Riverdale’s principal may have summed it best when he said, “It’s a total embarrassment…It sends a bad message to everyone. Bottom line is you play the game to win.”

You can check out some of the plays below:

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