Tuesday night’s high school boys basketball game between Holt and Everett was delayed for about an hour before being completed without fans in the gym, officials confirmed Wednesday.
The incident began with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter, when two players, one from Holt and one from Everett, got into an altercation, Lansing School District Deputy Superintendent Mark Coscarella told the State Journal.
The initial incident lasted “maybe 30 seconds,” according to Coscarella, but spectators stepped onto the floor at Everett High School and caused the situation to escalate. Four additional players, two from each team, were eventually involved in the incident.
The game was delayed while game officials and administrators tried to sort out the next steps, Coscarella said. All of the fans were asked to leave the gym while the two CAAC Blue programs finished the final few minutes of the contest. Holt won the game, 65-56.
Coscarella said there were no physical altercations with fans.
Before play resumed, three players from each school were ejected from the game and, per Michigan High School Athletic Association rules, will be suspended for the next game.
“Both schools, Holt and Everett, are investigating the situation,” Coscarella said. “We’re looking into the matter to see our next course of action.
Holt Athletic Director Renee Sadler confirmed the district is investigating the incident. Once that is complete, “…then we’ll make a determination,” she said.
Everett Athletic Director Chad Foster referred questions to Coscarella.
“It was disappointing to have fans from the stands enter the playing surface. The administration, coaches and supervisors had the situation quickly under control, but it became disappointing when fans decided to enter the playing surface. It could potentially be an unsafe situation,” Coscarella said.
“We were thankful both schools responded so quickly. They acted very swiftly to restore order and keep our kids safe.”
He complimented the officials and administrators on how they handled the situation.
“The administration, including the officials, who did a nice job of officiating the game and quickly restoring order, wanted to make sure that if the game continued, it would continue under the right circumstances. Like keeping all of our student-athletes safe,” he added.
Coscarella said the district is working to identify fans who entered the court.
“We are fully looking into the rest of the matter, including who entered the court and what sanctions might be imposed upon folks who entered the playing court during the brief altercation.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.