Sports

Pikeville school's basketball season will not be canceled after 100-2 game

Pike County has been abuzz for the past few days over a middle school basketball game that has generated online comment far beyond Kentucky.

The game, played Nov. 5, was between Pikeville Middle School — part of the Pikeville Independent School District — and Kimper Elementary of the Pike County public school district. Kimper has grades K-8.

Pikeville Middle routed Kimper, 100-2.

News of the game apparently went viral online after accounts appeared on sports blogs and Web sites, reaching YahooSports and Forbes.com among others. Readers apparently were miffed by a report that the Pikeville Board of Education and Superintendent Jerry T. Green were considering canceling the rest of Pikeville Middle School's season because of the lopsided score.

Video of the Pikeville-Kimper game posted by lukasburchett on YouTube

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But Green, who said he has been fielding calls and emails about the game, insisted Wednesday that there is no cancellation plan.

"Great liberties were taken with the word 'allegedly,' because the reporter who wrote the original story never contacted a board member or myself," Green said. "Neither the board nor I have considered or discussed canceling the season.

"The last thing I would want to do is punish kids. They will continue to play."

The game was part of the Pike County Preseason Tournament. According to published reports, Pikeville Middle rushed to a 70-0 halftime lead over Kimper. Pikeville Middle Coach Bryan Johnson reportedly pulled his starters a few minutes into the game and told his players to "stop playing defense" so that Kimper could score.

Online comments about the game were mixed, but many readers seemed most upset by the idea that Pikeville Middle might be punished.

"Basically, I've been blasted by emails on both sides," Green said Wednesday. "One condemned the fact that the coach pulled his players and had them stop shooting. I've had it on the other side, too.

"But the main issue with people was whether or not we were canceling the season and punishing students on a winning team. Once I explained that wasn't the case, they seemed to feel better."

Kimper can find some solace from its huge defeat in the fact that it has been one of the state's hottest academic performers on the Kentucky Core Content Test for two years running. One hundred percent of Kimper's students were proficient or distinguished in reading and science this year.

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