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September 19, 2014

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high school sports:

Altercation at end of Chap, Sunrise Mountain basketball game leads to forfeits

An altercation at the end of last Thursday’s high school basketball game between Chaparral and Sunrise Mountain has resulted in both teams forfeiting two games, said Ray Mathis, the Clark County School District’s executive director for instructional support and student activities.

The incident happened in the final seconds when one team was fouling the other with hopes of extending the game, Mathis said. When the player being fouled thought the foul was too rough, words were exchanged between the two players.

Pushing and shoving quickly followed and players from both benches ran onto the court in support of their teammate, Mathis said. While no punches were thrown, and Mathis credited the officiating crew for helping limit the damage, the fact that players ran onto the floor starting an altercation as defined by the district, is punishable by forfeiting games.

Even though Chaparral beat Sunrise Mountain by six points, the game was scored a double forfeit, Mathis said. Additionally, Chaparral will forfeit its Thursday game against Moapa Valley; Sunrise Mountain is forfeiting its Thursday game against Boulder City.

“It was just a nasty situation,” Mathis said. “Coaches and officials were right there and stepped in to separate them. Any time three or more kids leave the bench area to respond to an altercation, whether or not they hit or push somebody, they have responded to the situation.”

Mathis said the protocol is for an assistant coach to keep the players on the bench while another coach assists in breaking up an altercation or fight on the game floor. In this incident, that protocol wasn’t followed, he said.

Additionally, fans from the bleachers ran onto the court — some trying to help stop the incident but others getting into the altercation.

“If the officials weren’t Johnny on the spot, we would have had some real trouble,” Mathis said.

Marc Ratner, the commissioner of high school officials in Southern Nevada, said an incident of this nature is rare in basketball.

A similar incident occurred last fall during a football game between Spring Valley and Legacy, which ultimately resulted in Spring Valley having to forfeit its next game.

Only a handful of players went onto the field during that incident. They were identified by Ratner off the game field and suspended for the following week. That left Spring Valley without enough players for its next game, leaving the team no choice but to forfeit.

Chaparral and Sunrise Mountain will be forfeiting league games, meaning the altercation could impact qualifying for the playoffs.

“I feel bad we have to lose games because of this, but I’m not going to condone fighting,” Ratner said.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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