SPORTS DAILY: ‘Mercy rule’ needed after 107-point blowout

Mismatches are common in early-round high school basketball tournament games, but this is ridiculous.

On Wednesday night in Cleveland, Gilmour High School beat Northeast Ohio College Prep 108-1 in a Division III girls sectional semifinal.

There are ways to prevent this, of course. As the margin grows, a coach could tell his players to walk the ball up the floor, then pass several times before firing up a shot. Or just hold the ball if you’re up by 70.

All of these options apparently were rejected by Gilmour coach Bob Beutel, who decided that embarrassing the opponent was preferable.

At least it got him his five minutes of fame on ESPN, which picked up the story.

There ought to be a mercy rule in these situations. Up by 50 in the second half, call it off. Does that seem fair enough? Or a running clock could be used, much like what happens in football blowouts.

So nobody beats anybody by 107 points again. Ever.

To say the losers had a tough shooting night would be like saying Donald Trump is a little bombastic. They went 0-for-28 from the field and 1-for-4 from the free-throw line.

It was 78-1 at halftime. That would have been a good time to halt the proceedings. Did anyone benefit from 16 more minutes of basketball?

Beutel’s lame defense included this: “Our intent was to not run anything up, and we took steps to not disrespect our opponent.”

Not enough steps, obviously.

Northeast Ohio College Prep took the classy way out and said it was “extremely proud of the camaraderie and sportsmanship that our team displayed during and after the game.”

And, in a bizarre twist, guess what the school’s higher-ups also did after being so thoroughly embarrassed.

They did the only thing that made sense, of course.

They fired the athletic director.