PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois High School Association's executive director says he's 'embarrassed' by the Class 2A boys basketball title game, which ended with a confrontation between the losing coach and at least one fan.
Harrisburg beat South Holland Seton Academy 50-44 in a hard-fought game Saturday night. Late in the second quarter, Seton Academy's Mark Weems Jr. was ejected from the game after getting a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.
At the end of the game, Seton Academy coach Brandon Thomas had a verbal exchange with a fan, and did not take part in the second-place medal ceremony. The teams were given police escorts to their buses.
'I am embarrassed by what took place here tonight,' IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said in a statement late Saturday. 'Interscholastic athletics are designed to teach young people important lessons about life. The lessons on display tonight were that respect and sportsmanship are not important, and that is simply not unacceptable.'
The association says it is reviewing game and will contact the schools Monday.
Harrisburg, down 23-15 when Weems was tossed, took advantage and made all four technical free throws plus a layup on the inbounds pass to close the gap. They went on to build leads as big as seven points and withstood two Seton Academy runs.
Weems' ejection 'certainly affected them,' Harrisburg's Tyler Smithpeters said after the game. Smithpeters led the Bulldogs (33-1) with 23 points.
'They didn't have many guys that could handle the ball like him, and they didn't have many guys that could shoot like him,' he said of Weems, who finished with 8 points.
Kamal Shasi led the Sting (22-11) with nine points, while Alex Foster and Johnny Patterson each added seven.
The IHSA also said in the statement that it will remind the schools in next week's Class 3A and 4A tournament about 'the expectations of sportsmanship and appropriate behavior in interscholastic contests.'
Moline, IL Details
|(More Print Ads)|