Avalon's 150-18 victory ties Texas record
Jan. 23, 1997
With a couple of players out with the flu and another ineligible because he played in a junior varsity game, Avalon High basketball coach Bobby Carpenter had only six players for a Class 1A game against Penelope.
The shorthanded Eagles romped past Penelope 150-18 on Tuesday night, tying the worst whipping in Texas high school history with the 132-point margin of victory. Aspermont beat Mason 143-11 in 1963.
``I knew they were bad, but it wasn't what I anticipated happening,'' Carpenter said Wednesday. ``It just so happened that the six players who could play were basically my best six.
``It wouldn't have happened if I'd have had guys on the bench. I usually suit up eight or nine guys, but I just couldn't.''
The defending district champions from Avalon improved to 18-6, 4-0 in district. Penelope fell to 1-17, 0-4.
``I think they took advantage of us,'' Penelope coach Ronald Jones said. ``I think they showed poor sportsmanship. I don't think the game is played to beat someone like that.
``He should've pulled his players back. They could've run their offense for 35 or 40 seconds before shooting. ... When we tried to slow the ball down, they'd come out and put a double team on us. Does that sound like they pulled off?''
Avalon began the game using its usual full-court press defense and trying to push the ball on offense. After the first eight-minute quarter, the Eagles led 57-2.
Avalon went to a 2-3 zone defense and increased its lead to 95-8 at the half. Penelope didn't score a field goal in the third quarter and fell behind 118-9.
With three minutes left in the game, Penelope still hadn't made a second-half field goal. The drought ended with three 3-pointers, doubling Penelope's point total and avoiding the worst loss in state history.
``My concern in the first quarter was to go out and play with high intensity, work up a good sweat, then get the game over with,'' Carpenter said.
``When we went to the zone, the Penelope kids shot quite a bit against it. That led to us getting rebounds. Well, we'd push the ball up the floor and Penelope wasn't running back, so we were shooting layups.''
Five of Avalon's six players outscored Penelope as the Eagles rang up the 10th-most points in state history, easily setting a school record.
``I never even thought about it being a record,'' Carpenter said. ``I thought this might happen at least once a year around the state.''
Jones said he's never seen anything like it in his 36 years of coaching high school basketball.
``I've had the power just like he had, but I had the honor to pull out and save face,'' said Jones, who has been Penelope's boys and girls coach for four years.
The schools are 25 miles apart in the area south of Dallas and north of Waco. Carpenter usually calls his scores in to both papers, but he instead decided to only tell the folks at the Corsicana Daily Sun.
``I would probably prefer it not to be a big deal,'' Carpenter said. ``Right now, it probably seems like a big deal to the kids, but I doubt they'll remember it later on.''
Carpenter said such a lopsided victory often hurts more than it helps.
``It gives us maybe a false sense of security,'' he said. ``Maybe we think we ought to be able to do that every time we play. Maybe we think we're better than we really are.
``It may motivate other teams, too. I can hear another coach telling his team to show us we shouldn't be doing that.''
Jones will get his chance to send that message Feb. 7, when the teams meet again _ in Penelope.