A postgame handshake is meant to be civil, a simple and quick time to tell the other team “good game,” even if they didn’t play one. More often than not, everything happens without a hiccup, but there are times it turns downright ugly.
What happened at the Phoenix Union High School District Coyote Classic last Saturday night is the perfect example of when keeping it real goes wrong. Mesa Skyline High School had just pulled off the upset over Laveen Cesar Chavez High School — Arizona’s top-ranked team — and the end of the tournament championship high school basketball game suddenly became one massive brawl.
As the two teams went to shake hands, words were exchanged. Then, the first punch was the thrown. The next thing you know, an altercation broke out at Phoenix Central High School’s gymnasium that involved players and fans.
A terrible scene. A bad look. Call it whatever you want, but the PUHSD basketball tournament ended in unfortunate fashion. It really doesn’t matter if a Skyline or a Cesar Chavez player started it. What matters is it got completely out of control for both basketball teams.
Skyline coach James Capriotti said the atmosphere was “very volatile” during the game, according to the Arizona Republic. Phoenix police were even called to the scene. Luckily, no injuries were reported, but, needless to say, Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) executive director David Hines was not happy.
High School Basketball Game Brawl
“I was really disappointed when I saw the video,” he said. “The fact that we had the game completed, and we are in the handshake line, that’s a point we want to respect the game.”
For the brawl, the PUHSD has handed out some punishments, according to 12 News:
— Cesar Chavez will forfeit its next game against Tolleson High School
— All players involved will be punished according to the code of conduct and receive a minimum of a three-game suspension
— The Cesar Chavez basketball team will issue a formal apology to Skyline High School and Central High School, which hosted the tournament.Advertisement
More punishments could be handed out in the next few days, but this certainly got out of control.