POLL: Are Blowouts an Issue in Maine High School Sports?
A team on the Mid-coast is making waves with the scores they're turning in on the basketball court this winter.
The Oceanside Mariners boys basketball team, of Rockland's Oceanside High School, is off to one of the most dominant 11-game starts to a season you will ever see at the high school level in Maine.
The Mariners are averaging 94.6 points per game, an outrageous number in context of Maine high school basketball, which I'll remind you plays eight minute quarters. The Oceanside boys have topped 100 points on four occasions this season, including a season-high 126 points in their last game, a 126-38 victory over winless Belfast.
Let's be clear about one thing. Using Oceanside as today's example is in no way an indictment on the way the Mariners have been playing basketball this year.
That being said, Oceanside's 42.1-point average margin of victory has sparked a conversation about whether it's necessary to keep one's foot on the gas until the final whistle of games that have long been decided.
It's no new debate in terms of Maine high school sports. Our own Ernie Clark wrote about the subject in 2017 when he was on the local sports beat at the Bangor Daily News.
As was the case then and still is now, while the idea of running up the score may anger some, there's nothing in place saying it's wrong or in any way a violation. While other high school sports in the state have mercy rules - a second half running clock in football games with a 35+ point margin, an 8-goal mercy rule within the final 20 minutes of a soccer match, and a 10-run rule in baseball and softball - basketball goes the full 32 minutes no matter the score.
Do you have an issue with team's playing to their full potential? Or should scoring be throttled when necessary out of respect for the opposition?