A heated Friday night boys basketball game between Salisbury and North Rowan in North Carolina was halted following the third quarter because of a benches clearing brawl that even drew in fighting fans from the stands.
The disturbing fight broke out with North Rowan holding a 62-36 lead, when Salisbury sophomore Shaleek Williams confronted North Rowan star Jalen Sanders, who scored a game-high 23 points. Williams struck Sanders in the face with the back of his right hand, an action which sparked the brawl into a spiral out of control. According to the Salisbury Post, Salisbury Police officers and school officials spent five minutes trying to regain order before game officials congregated to determine how to penalize the two teams.
First, Williams was handed a technical and ejection. Every player that left the bench during the skirmish was also automatically ejected, which left North Rowan with just five players eligible to continue and Salisbury with four. Neither team could fairly continue, leading to the forfeiture of the remainder of the game in North Rowan’s favor.
The de-facto win capped a perfect conference campaign for North Rowan, though it could also prove costly; according to the Post, both teams could be barred from the forthcoming Central Carolina Conference (CCC) tournament depending on a penalty ruling from CCC officials.
“It’s truly sad,” North Rowan coach Andrew Mitchell told the Post. “My guys know they’re not supposed to come off the bench. The rule is the rule, but there needed to be some kind of containment of the fans. … All the officials can do is write it up. They can’t make the decision. We’re putting it in someone else’s hands. But everyone who came off the bench is looking at a possible two-game suspension.”