Al­ton board de­cides to let hoops con­tinue af­ter brawl

Belleville News-Democrat - - Sports - BY DEAN CRID­DLE dcrid­[email protected]

The Al­ton Red­birds are headed back to the bas­ket­ball court.

At a spe­cial Al­ton District 11 Board of Ed­u­ca­tion meet­ing Wed­nes­day it was de­cided that the Al­ton High School boys bas­ket­ball sea­son will re­sume fol­low­ing an al­ter­ca­tion late in the Al­ton-Riverview Gar­dens game Fri­day at the Al­ton TipOff Clas­sic.

With a large crowd gath­ered on Wed­nes­day, Al­ton su­per­in­ten­dent Mark Cap­pel and board mem­bers met in closed ses­sion be­fore re­turn­ing with the de­ci­sion that Al­ton’s sea­son will re­sume on Thurs­day with a prac­tice ses­sion..

Any dis­ci­plinary ac­tion that was, or will be, taken against the Al­ton play­ers in­volved was not made pub­lic.

Cap­pel is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment re­gard­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

“We have thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated the in­ci­dent that oc­curred at last Fri­day’s bas­ket­ball game. Be­cause of stu­dent con­fi­den­tial­ity, we will not be shar­ing any in­for­ma­tion on dis­ci­plinary ac­tions or re­lated con­se­quences as­so­ci­ated with the in­ci­dent. I want to share that, while it is ex­tremely re­gret­table that this oc­curred, it is an iso­lated event that should in no way serve as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of our ath­letic pro­grams or the char­ac­ter of our ath­letes. The Al­ton School District’s Ath­letic Pro­grams have es­tab­lished and main­tained a rich his­tory of sports­man­ship, honor and ex­cel­lence. We will con­tinue in striv­ing to en­sure that an in­ci­dent like this does not hap­pen again in the fu­ture and that our stu­dents and stu­dent-ath­letes are equipped and em­pow­ered to make good choices at all times.”

Ex­pected to be one of the top Class 4A teams in south­ern Illi­nois, Al­ton had been im­pres­sive in win­ning its first two games at the Tip-Off Clas­sic and held a 21-point lead late in the third quar­ter against the Rams when the al­ter­ca­tion took place.

Play­ers from both teams be­gan shov­ing, punches were thrown As the fight es­ca­lated and moved to­ward the bleach­ers at Al­ton High School, some play­ers en­tered the stands and en­gaged in fights with fans.

Af­ter or­der was re­stored, of­fi­cials made the de­ci­sion to end the game and clear the gym­na­sium. Tour­na­ment of­fi­cials then de­cided to can­cel all three games Satur­day between O’Fal­lon and Althoff, Al­ton and. Rite­nour, and Car­bon­dale and Riverview Gar­dens.

Al­ton and Riverview Gar­dens for­feited their games on Satur­day, giv­ing Rite­nour, Mo. and Car­bon­dale au­to­matic wins.

On Mon­day, with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion on­go­ing, the de­ci­sion was made to can­cel the Red­birds’ home game with Jerseyville.

Al­ton (2-3) will re­turn to the court on Tues­day when it opens South­west­ern Con­fer­ence play at O’Fal­lon.

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