Watch: Disgusting Brawl Erupts in Basketball Game, Overwhelmed Refs Can Only Look On

November 28, 2018 in News by RBN


Source: Western Journal

High school basketball is, for the likes of legends like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, a steppingstone on the path to the NBA.

What happened in Alton, Illinois, at the Redbird Tipoff Classic, had some echoes of the NBA as well.

Trouble was, it wasn’t LeBron and Kobe’s NBA. It was Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson’s NBA, as an on-court brawl Friday spilled into the stands in something more akin to the infamous “Malice in the Palace.”

See for yourself, thanks to St. Louis sports reporter John Hough, who captured video and shared it to Twitter.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that tempers initially flared in the first half of the game between Alton High School and visiting Riverview Gardens of St. Louis. Some hard fouls were committed and both teams went to the locker room angry, but coaches and officials hoped the downtime would settle the hot tempers.

Late in the third quarter, however, all hell broke loose.

Alton had the game well in hand on its home floor. Its 42-23 halftime lead was powered by a 17-0 run, and even though Riverview Gardens cut the deficit to single digits in the third, Alton took control of the game and looked ready to win in a walk.

Instead, referees called the game on account of the brawl while Madison County police and Alton school security restored order.

Both teams were given forfeit losses on the official record.

Furthermore, since this was a tournament, the next games were called as well. Alton got a forfeit loss to Ritenour on its schedule, while Carbondale received a free win at the expense of Riverview Gardens.

Riverview Gardens coach Milton Stith tried to make sense of the melee.

“I don’t know to what extent words were spoken,” Stith said. “I know it got physical and we lost control of the bench. Tempers flared and punches were thrown, and subsequently this is what we have.”

After the game, he was also apologetic for the role his team played in the debacle.

“It was a heated competition and tempers flared,” Stith said. “What I will say is that the Alton program is first class, their athletic director is first class and they have my apology if anything happened that we could have prevented, and I take full blame for it.”

The brawl itself might lead to further repercussions, as one player attacked a referee and another player was jumped by a pack of boys trying to tear him apart; it’s possible criminal charges could be filed.

Likewise, the Missouri and Illinois high school sports governing bodies may consider further forfeitures and/or declaring some of the kids involved ineligible for all or part of the rest of the season.

And ultimately, the question left for everyone to answer won’t be whether something like this will happen again, but when and where.