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HS Game Suspended Due to Bench-Clearing Brawl

A bench-clearing brawl in a high school boys game ends in suspension A bench-clearing brawl in a high school boys game ends in suspension

Originally Published: Jan 15, 2011 1:20 PM CDT

Layna Dewell
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

TECUMSEH, Oklahoma – A fight broke out Friday night during a high school boys basketball game in Tecumseh as the Tecumseh Savages took on the Riverside Braves.

In a game that was physical from the get-go, the second half of play became what is described as a more of a hockey match than a basketball game.

“In the second half it seemed to become more of a pushing and shoving match and it just got worse and worse,” said Danny Chambers, a spectator at the game and writer for the Tecumseh Countywide News and Shawnee Sun.

With 5:14 left in the game, after foul was called on the Tecumseh end of the floor and during the stoppage of play, one player from Tecumseh and one player from Riverside exchanged words then bumped chests and pushing and shoving ensued.

Other players in the game from both teams tried to break up the two players involved but as they tried to break up the altercation, the group migrated into one corner of the court.

“At that time it became pretty involved with both teams on the court,” said Chambers who was seated at mid-court. “I looked up and a Riverside kid came off the bench and then the whole Riverside bench emptied.”

According to Chambers, at that point the fight moved deeper into the corner and coaches and administrators from both teams stepped in to break up the fight.

After the teams were separated, the coaches from both teams talked with game officials and suspended play.

Tecumseh was winning 67-40 in the fourth quarter when the game was called due to the fight and after an announcement was made to spectators, the gym then began to be cleared.

“State Troopers, Tecumseh police and county deputies arrived pretty quickly, and cleared the gum out so there would be no further altercation.” said Chambers.

By that time Chambers said both teams were already in their locker rooms.

An original account of the incident said police officers came in to break up the fight and pointed a taser at one player and handcuffed another but that no players were taken into custody and the handcuffed player was later released.

“The troopers didn’t have to break anything up, they were just there for crowd control basically and to clear the gym,” said Chambers who did not leave until the players were released to their parents. Furthermore he says he never saw anyone ushered out, handcuffed or any kind of taser used on anyone.

“What actually happened down in the corner, I don’t know, but I don’t think it could have been too much because usually when those things happen it’s just like a baseball fight where people are just holding each other and pushing and shoving,” said Chambers.

Chambers also said that during the first half he mentioned to someone sitting near him that he thought something was going to happen if the officials didn’t get the game more under control.

“They’re kids, they push and shove and if the officials let them get away with it, it’s going to get worse, they’re not going to be pushing and shoving each other very long before something is going to happen,” said Chambers.

It is reported that the game film was given to officials to see if any type of ejections or suspensions could be made.

Chambers says he is not sure that anything could be seen from the cameras view because the fight moved so deep into the corner and the student section spectators stood up making it hard for even him to see, let alone from the camera at the top of the bleachers behind everyone.

At this time no suspensions or ejections have been made, but Oklahoma Sports will keep you up to date with any developments.

Tecumseh (11-1) takes the court again Saturday against Prague while Riverside (5-5) will play again Tuesday, Jan. 18 at Christian Heritage.

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