PORTLAND, Ore. – Jefferson High School won a close game over Roosevelt Thursday, but it wasn’t the final score – 31 to 28 – that has the Portland sports scene buzzing.
Instead, it was the way Jefferson won the game and the rule – or lack thereof - that was taken advantage of that led to the bizarre scene and low score.
For a full 14 minutes of the game, at the behest of their coach, players for top-ranked Jefferson simply stood around while a guard either held the ball or dribbled it slowly in place.
They were able to do so within the rules of the game because there is no shot clock rule in Oregon high school basketball.
Jefferson coach Pat Strickland explained the bizarre strategy by saying he was upset with the attitude of some of his players, including star Terrence Jones, so he told them essentially not to play.
Roosevelt players tried to tied up the game and send it into overtime but a 3-point shot at the buzzer rimmed out and the game, sparsely attended, ended.
Roosevelt coach Robert Key said he was actually relieved at the strategy and the close score in light of past games where Jefferson had blown out Roosevelt by as many as 70 points.