LOUISIANA, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Parents and students are talking about the display of sportsmanship at a girls high school basketball game on Monday.

It was a game between the Silex High School Lady Owls and the Louisiana High School Lady Bulldogs.

"Success isn't always defined by how many wins and losses you have. It's the kind of person you are 20 years from now," said Silex coach, Sabrina O'Heron.

All season Louisiana High School has struggled to have enough players to field a team.

"Well we've had small participation numbers to begin with. And then we've had some injuries and then some kind of sickness," said Louisiana R-2 School District athletic director, Ryan Griffin.

O'Heron knew that her opponent for Monday's game could find itself with only four players if some of the Lady Bulldogs fouled out. So, she told her team before the game that she planned to pull one of her players if that happened, in order for the teams to be evenly matched with 4 against 4.

"I was a little nervous. I know it was their senior night and there would be a lot of people there watching," said Silex senior, Chloee Kinion.

Louisiana High School started with seven players but one sat right after the tipoff because of illness. Then at the end of the 3rd quarter another left because of injury and then a player fouled out, leaving the Lady Bulldogs with just four players. O'Heron followed her plan and pulled one of her players. The act of sportsmanship was appreciated.

"I think it just kind of reassures your faith it's not such a bad world when it comes down to it you know," said Griffin.

But with just three minutes to go in the game, another player for Louisiana High School fouled out, leaving just three players to finish the game. Again, O'Heron took one of her players out of the game and the last minutes of the game were played with 3 on 3.

"I was kind of in shock because I wasn't expecting that at all. Yeah, it was super nice of her," said Mechia Campbell, a player on the Lady Bulldogs team.

O'Heron had talked to her principal before the game and told him of her plan. Principal Rod Hamlett supported his coach's plan and agreed it could be an opportunity to teach students life lessons about sportsmanship and character.

"We want to win and we want to be successful but there are bigger things, there's more important things," said Hamlett.

Coach O'Heron knows what it's like to have a team with too few players. At a previous coaching job, she said there was a game where she was down to just four players and her opponent chose to play them with 5 against 4 and ran up the score. She vowed never to do that to one of her opponents.

"Basketball provides a good opportunity to teach kids about life lessons. And I think that was a good opportunity for them to learn," said O'Heron.

In the end, the Lady Owls outscored the Lady Bulldogs and the Silex team won the game. But it was a win they felt they earned, fair and square.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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