Sports

Wild Melee Gets Both Teams Booted from Playoffs After Fans, Coaches Storm Court

Combined Shape

Farragut Career Academy, on the West Side of Chicago, gave the basketball world Kevin Garnett nearly a quarter-century ago.

North Lawndale, a school from one of Chicago’s most rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, sought to dethrone the Cradle of KG in the Illinois state 3A high school basketball tournament Friday night.

Between them, the two schools represented nearly one-seventh of the top 15 schools in the state, according to MaxPreps.

The stage was set for a Windy City showdown for the ages at North Lawndale.

Unfortunately, tempers flared, fists flew and what started with the promise of a competitive game turned into that rarest of rarities, a double forfeit, as both teams were disqualified from the tournament for their role in the melee.

Trending:
Trump Launches New Website to Replace Deleted Social Accounts, Mobilizes Fans to Retake Twitter

NBC Sports Chicago reported that Donovan Jones of Farragut went up for a dunk, and on his way down, a North Lawndale player appeared to undercut him, sending Jones sprawling to the floor.

One of Jones’ teammates took umbrage, shoving the offending player, and a brawl ensued.

Farragut led 54-50 at the time of the fight with just a minute left in the game, but the game was called. The Illinois High School Association issued a statement meting out the fate to both squads.

Should the teams have been allowed to resume play once order was restored?

“The conclusion of tonight’s IHSA Class 3A Boys Basketball Sectional Final at North Lawndale High School in Chicago between North Lawndale High School and Farragut Career Academy was marred by a fourth quarter fight involving players and fans from both schools,” the organization said. “The game was postponed while the gym was cleared of all spectators, and the teams were sent to their respective locker rooms. After speaking to game management and the game officials, the IHSA ruled the contest a double-forfeit and it was never concluded.

“No team will advance to Tuesday’s Super-Sectional game, and DePaul College Prep will advance to the Class 3A State Final field. These are never easy decisions to make, but we believe it is the correct one. It is vital that we continue to send the message that incidents like this at high school contests will not be tolerated. They are unacceptable in society, no less a high school sporting event.”

And while DePaul College Prep fans and boosters are certainly not going to complain about a free playoff bye, they were deprived of a chance to earn their way forward in honest competition.

Meanwhile, the incident touched off a bit of controversy on Twitter in Chicago. Some accused the IHSA of acting too hastily and without due consideration …

Related:
Watch: The Fastest Pit Stop of All Time Just Occurred

… while others praised the organization for moving decisively to send a message that violence on the court will not be tolerated.

This is just the latest in what seems to be a rash of incidents at high school games across America.

It also comes as tempers are flaring at the NBA level in both Cleveland (where Serge Ibaka of the Raptors choked and punched the Cavaliers’ Marquese Chriss) and Salt Lake City (where Russell Westbrook of the Thunder threatened a Jazz fan and his wife for making what Westbrook said were racist comments during the game).

Whether fans believe the IHSA acted too hastily or whether the organization simply did what was necessary to punish a breakdown in civility at a basketball game, DePaul Prep is now just two games away from a state championship rather than three.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , ,
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




Conversation