The JT broke a story yesterday saying the undefeated, No. 1 ranked Park High boys basketball team may be in trouble because of unspecified discipline issues. The grandmother of one of the players said it had to to with truancies, but an administrator said it was a record-keeping issue.
I happened to be at Park's game Friday night against Kenosha Tremper. Two key players on the Panthers were held out of the game in street clothes for an unstated reason. Josh Beaton and JD McGruder, each starters, did not play in the blowout 75-41 win over Tremper.
But even without the starters, Park looked great. Led by the stellar guard play of Tre Edwards, they blew out Tremper from the opening minutes.
The only question came toward the end of the game when backup forward James Orth dropped in a layup in the final seconds. Orth came into the game with five minutes left and the crowd had been cheering loudly for Orth to make a basket. To his credit, Orth played team basketball despite the crowd's cheers, and an inside rebound allowed him to score at the buzzer.
The basket sent the crowd into an uproar and a student and two cheerleaders hugged Orth after the game as the team celebrated the 34-point win, moving their record to 20-0, 12-0 in the SEC Conference.
At least one statewide poll has Park ranked No. 1.