Friday was fight night for Memphis high school basketball.
The state’s high school athletic association is working with six Memphis high schools involved in three separate brawls on Friday night.
Those three fights left one entire girls varsity team suspended for two games due to ejections with the other girls team down to three players.
The fights involved Sheffield and Overton girls, Wooddale and Melrose boys and Fairley and Westwood boys teams (all in Memphis, Tenn.)
TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said the high school association has not ruled on any punishments. The association is giving the schools time to do their own investigations and submit their self-imposed punishments.
The TSSAA will then accept those punishments or perhaps add to it.
“The District is reviewing the situations that occurred during Friday’s basketball games,” said a statement from Shelby County Schools to the Commercial Appeal. “The security department will be meeting with district officials in athletics, policy and other departments to discuss ways to prevent disruptions like this in the future and ensure the safety of all athletes and visitors in attendance at sporting events.”
The USA Today Network – Tennessee obtained officials reports for all three fights as well as video from two of the three from the TSSAA. Athletes’ names were omitted from each report.
Overton vs Sheffield
Overton’s girls led Sheffield 56-39 with 4:20 left when a fight broke out, the report stated. The game was not resumed due to lack of players remaining after ejections.
“… it quickly turns into a fist fight between all 10 players legally in the game.”
All seven of Sheffield’s reserves left the bench and participated in the fight while all three of Overton’s players on the bench remained on the bench and did not participate in the fight, the report said. Sheffield’s head coach was ejected for having seven players come off the bench.
The report said at least five spectators came onto the court from the stands and an official witnessed a female fan grab a Sheffield player by her hair and pull her off the court to the stands while hitting the athlete.
Wooddale vs Melrose
According to the officials report, the fight involving Wooddale and Melrose came with 1:13 left after a Wooddale player tossed the ball behind him to a player from Melrose, who threw it back at the Wooddale player and hit him in the head. A Wooddale teammate then grabbed the ball and hit the Melrose player with the ball.
The report stated the Melrose and Wooddale players then got involved in a fist fight. Fans stormed the court from both sides and at least one Melrose player ran onto the court from the bench.
Wooddale is ranked third in the state in Class AA.
The game was not resumed after order was restored due to multiple Melrose players having mace in their eyes.
Westwood vs Fairley
The Westwood-Fairley fight happened after the game ended. A Fairley player and Westwood player exchanged words while the teams were coming together to shake hands and began to square up to fight, the report said.
Coaches from Fairley and Westwood, which is ranked seventh in the state in Class A, jumped in to separate the two. Fans came down from the bleachers onto the floor and benches cleared, the report said.
Coaches from both schools along with administrators, the school security team and parents all helped end the brawl.
The fight happened at different areas on the court and security officers were being hit as well, the report said.
Additionally, four people were arrested after police responded to a call about 300 to 400 people fighting in the parking lot, according to a Memphis police report.
Another report from the state’s high school athletic association said the fight occurred at a basketball game between Westwood and Fairley High School.