Players for the West Coast Christian College of Fresno basketball team should sleep better tonight knowing that they weren't the only ones who experienced nightmares over a 115-18 loss to The Master's on Tuesday.
Master's Coach Mel Hankinson awoke from a turbulent slumber at 3 a.m. Wednesday unable to shake the demons after his team had bolted to a 61-5 halftime lead and cruised to the NAIA District 3 victory.
"It was a situation where I felt like I was being called to the principal's office for doing something wrong and I knew I hadn't done anything," Hankinson said.
Fearing that his team might play to the level of a substantially weaker opponent, Hankinson instructed his players to play "against our system" rather than West Coast Christian. "We talked about executing perfectly on defense and thought about being the first team to shut out another team," Hankinson said. "But as the game wore on, I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, this might happen.' "
Hankinson was involved in a similar game in 1970 as an assistant at Slippery Rock (Pa.). Only that time he was on the other end of the rout.
Coach Bill Musselman of Ashland College, upset that Slippery Rock's freshman team had just beaten Ashland's previously undefeated JV squad, ordered his varsity to try for a shutout.
Ashland held Slippery Rock scoreless for 18 minutes before a Slippery Rock player "banked in a shot from the corner," Hankinson said. "Musselman called time out and berated one of his players for giving up the points before taking him out."