High School Basketball Game Ignites Brawl, Total Chaos (Video)
Hoo boy, when a bench-clearing brawl breaks out in Greenville, South Carolina, the participants go all out. Players taking swings at each other, people from the crowd storming the court and taking part in the melee, the whole nine yards. Complete and utter ultraviolence, man.
After Southside High School beat the previously undefeated Abbeville High 61-55 on Wednesday night in a third round playoff game, a fight broke out between players when the teams lined up to shake hands afterward, once again proving the theory that sportsmanship is for suckers. Once the players started tangling, the bipartisan crowd of 1,500 at Southside (300 fans from Abbeville purchased tickets prior to game time and many more showed up early to secure their spot in the crowd) couldn’t contain their bloodlust and joined the fracas.
Video and photo gallery after the jump.
Police on the scene were shocked by how quickly things got out of hand.
“It just went to total chaos,” said Lt. Tim Ridgeway of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
As fans rushed the court, some joined in the fight while others tried to break it up.
Deputies didn’t make any arrests because they were focused on clearing people out of the building, Ridgeway said. No injuries were reported, and EMS didn’t respond, he said.
The coaches tried to get their players into the locker room as quickly as possible in an attempt to help get the situation under control and deputies closed down a frontage road in front of the school to help expedite the clearing out of the gym.
Southside basketball coach B.J. Jackson described the helter-skelter scene:
“All I can remember is seeing people running from the stands,” Jackson said. “I saw a couple people start swinging. The first thing I tell my kids is I’m gonna protect them at all costs. The main thing is getting the kids off the court. You’ve gotta worry about the safety of the kids in a situation like that.”
He added, “I just told my kids we’ve gotta be better people than that. Walk away. Too many people fought hard for these kids to be in schools like this. We fought hard for this.
Thankfully amid the anarchic descent into total bedlam, at least Coach Jackson was there to put it the whole mess into proper perspective and make sure that, despite what happened, everyone took note of what was really important. No, not that no one was seriously hurt – much more important than that was the fact his team was moving on in the playoffs and Abbeville was not! Take that and go team!
“The thing is Abbeville’s out of the playoffs. We’re still in it,” Jackson said. “There could be some repercussions of our kids being suspended for games.”
Boy, wouldn’t that just be too bad for Southside? Being party to igniting and near riot and then being forced to suffer the ultimate (and unfair) indignity of suffering repercussions for it? The nerve! I believe the below photo illustrates how we should all feel regarding how wrong any suspension would be to the Southside boys high school basketball team.
Yes, very, very sad.
You stay classy, Coach Jackson.
(additional photos from the crazy scene can be found at The Greenville News’ website)
Postgame brawl mars prep playoff hoops game in South Carolina [USA Today]