Playoff basketball game ends early after on-court fight

Playoff basketball game ends early after on-court fight


Playoff basketball game ends early after on-court fight


An Arizona high school basketball game ended prematurely when a fight broke out Friday night.

Gilbert Higley was declared the winner over visiting Scottsdale Saguaro in the boys state tournament play-in game when it was called with 6:48 left.

But Higley Athletic Director Aaron Dille said, “I would argue there were no winners there.”

Higley was leading 63-37 when a fight occurred in front of the Saguaro bench, Dille said.

It was captured on film by AZ Finest Mixtape.

Dille said a Higley and Saguaro player were “jawing with each other.” It escalated to one player shoving the other. Dille said a Saguaro player came off the bench and threw a punch in retaliation.

“Everyone went running onto the court,” Dille said. “There were no punches and fighting after that. Just a lot of people running onto the court, like a major-league baseball brawl. A lot of standing around.

“The only fans involved were trying to break it up.”

Dille, from the officials’ instructions, got on the public-address system and ordered everybody to leave the gym.

At that point, the game was called.

Saguaro coach Bob LaRue said he could not comment on the fight until he clears it with the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Nathan Slater, athletic director of the SUSD, issued a statement Monday:

“I have reviewed the recordings of the incident Friday night between the Saguaro and Higley basketball teams, and I am profoundly disappointed. The entire incident is regrettable, and the behavior of our own players is unacceptable. While we have focused our efforts this year on fostering a culture of Sportsmanship, Respect and Character, it is clear we have more work to do. We have submitted an apology to the AIA and the Higley School District, and will be developing an action plan for further improvement.”

For more, visit the Arizona Republic

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