High School Sports

Alton cancels game as school officials continue investigation into tournament brawl

A frame taken from video of the fight between players on the Alton and Riverview Gardens basketball teams shows some of the players in the stands fighting with fans.
A frame taken from video of the fight between players on the Alton and Riverview Gardens basketball teams shows some of the players in the stands fighting with fans.

Due to the continuing investigation into the brawl that resulted in the cancellation of the final three games of the Alton Tip-Off basketball tournament, Alton High School officials announced Monday that the game with Jersey Community has been canceled.

Alton High School Athletic Director Jeff Alderman made the announcement that the game, scheduled for Friday at Alton, will not be played as school and law enforcement officials continue their investigation of a fight that broke out late in the third quarter of the tournament game between Alton and Riverview Gardens, Mo.

With Alton in firm control and holding a 21-point lead, players from both teams began shoving and throwing punches on the court. 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 Jersey. Alton Superintendent Mark Cappel did issue the following statement about the situation.

“This is without question an unfortunate and embarrassing incident that is very serious,” Cappel said, “We are continuing to work with law enforcement to investigate and identify all parties involved. Due to student involvement, I can not comment any further at this time.”

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