By Josh Verlin
Penn Wood and Academy Park were winding down what had been a back-and-forth, high-intensity game at Penn Wood.
And then all bedlam broke loose.
With just over a minute to play in the fourth quarter, a hard foul in the corner suddenly became a mass of people, as players, coaches and spectators turned what had been a high school basketball game into a massive brawl that spanned the entire court. It took the police and Penn Wood security several minutes to break up what became a torrent of shoving, fistfights and worse, with several people actually picking up chairs and appearing to hit other spectators and even players.
“We got fouled, and then [there was a] melee,” Penn Wood coach Matt Lindeman said. “I just saw, everyone [joined in] from over there” — he gestured towards the bleachers, from where the first group of fans ran onto the floor. “It’s disappointing, it’s really disappointing.”
I’m going to drop my “reporter voice” here for a minute and interject.
Web master’s note: We were not at the game but we support Mr. Verlin’s opinion. We rarely publish negative articles but this is a high school game for young men 14-18 (most haven’t turned 18 yet). Coaching staffs, referees and administrators do a great job in keeping student athletes and their student body’s emotions in check during contests. They can’t control the adults and parents. We can’t allow our support for our kids and our teams to collapse into anger and violence. In our opinion both teams should take the game as a loss and move on.