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Sports

A pair of Rutherford County schools banned from postseason basketball

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A pair of Tennessee girls basketball high school teams have been pulled from the postseason for trying to lose a game to avoid the top-ranked team and improve their chances of advancing to the state tournament.

The programs at Riverdale (22-8), a state champion in 2013, and Smyrna also were fined $500 Monday and placed on probation for a year by the Tennessee Secondary School athletic Association.

TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress wrote Monday in letters to the schools' principals that the teams "made a mockery" with intentional turnovers off various violations and missed free throws. The referee also reported he stopped play ordering the coaches not to make a travesty of the game with a Smyrna player about to shoot at the wrong basket.

Smyrna (21-8) won 55-29 Saturday.