Strange But True: Double Disaster

Virginia College is a small junior college located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It has about one hundred students. Once it was part of a league and played a regular basketball schedule, but money was tight and the school had to drop out of the league. However, just to keep the students interested and active in athletics, Virginia scheduled two games with Beckley College.

Beckley is also a junior college, with an enrollment of about a thousand students. It plays basketball against regular four-year colleges in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Beckley’s coach, Joe Cook, knew nothing about Virginia College when he agreed to two games during the 1975-76 season. He was surprised when Virginia’s twelve-man squad showed up with a student coach. Right after the opening center jump, coach Cook new that the game was a ghastly mistake.

Beckley scored so often that the team became bewildered. It wasn’t even a good workout. Beckley won by the outlandish score of 132-43.

Cook tried to call off the second game, but the Virginia team insisted on playing. Maybe the players wanted to prove that they were not as bad as the terrible score suggested. Reluctantly, Cook agreed to play a rematch.

It too was a disaster. With about four or five minutes left to play, the Beckley manager said to coach Cook, “Look, we’re leading by 130 points!”

As Cook said later, it isn’t often that a coach has a chance to hear those words. The final score was 166-30. The Virginia College team went home determined to stick to studies–and maybe to an occasional pick-up game.

From The Giant Book of Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

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