BROOKLYN, ILL. • A heated game between two boys basketball rivals got out of hand Thursday when a fight broke out midway through the fourth quarter at Lovejoy High School.
The game between Madison (5-4) and Lovejoy (6-5) subsequently was halted because of the altercation on the court between players of each team.
"Each team was playing hard, it was a good game up to that point, it was unfortunate that it had to end that way," Lovejoy coach Kim Haywood said.
Fouls mounted throughout the game as officials tried to rein in the emotions of the rivalry game in front of a packed house.
A technical foul midway through the fourth quarter on a Madison player seemed to cause the tension between the teams to overflow.
"We were going into the fourth quarter and the kids probably got tired of it," Madison coach Maurice Baker said. "It had been chippy all game. Sometimes the kids' emotions took over."
As the players' emotions took over, officials, the coaching staffs on both teams and police officers jumped in between the two sides and their fans to prevent the altercation from escalating.
Both coaches were unsure what would come from the game and said they were waiting to hear from the Illinois High School Association for what the official result will be. Madison led Lovejoy 71-61 midway through the fourth quarter.
A similar circumstance occurred Nov. 23 between Alton and Riverview Gardens. That game was declared a double forfeit after an altercation between the teams forced the game to be called.
Baker and Haywood both said they were unsure of what further consequences await. The teams, which both don't belong to a conference, are scheduled to play again Feb. 1 at Madison.