The NCHSAA boys basketball playoffs are weeks away, but already four teams know they won't be participating.
Andrews, Robbinsville, South Granville (Creedmoor) and Warren County (Warrenton) have all been disqualified because of fighting ejections, according to an eye-opening report by Tim Stevens in the Raleigh News & Observer.
Teams are ineligible if more than six players in a season, or three players in a game, are ejected for fighting. And punches don't even need to be thrown — an NCHSAA rule states that a player who leaves the bench area is automatically ejected for fighting.
Five different schools were forced to miss the 2010 football playoffs because of fighting ejections.
"I thought that with the number of teams that were ineligible in football, we would not have this type of problem the rest of the year," NCHSAA associate commissioner Rick Strunk told the paper. "Frankly, I'm puzzled. Our coaches should be aware of the rule. They may need to practice responding the correct way if there is an altercation."
The fighting isn't just happening on the court. The Charlotte Observer reported that Friday night's basketball game between West Mecklenburg (Charlotte) and Harding University (Charlotte) was canceled after a fight broke out in the stands just after tipoff. None of the five people arrested were students.REAGAN, PAGE WIN TOURNAMENTS
Two of the state's biggest venues hosted tournaments during the break.
At the Joel Coliseum, Reagan (Pfafftown)
beat Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem) 58-52 in a battle of unbeatens at the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic. Braeshaun Dozier
had 24 points and five rebounds to lead the Raiders, who won the Pepsi Bracket despite graduating nine seniors from last year.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Mount Tabor led just once, at 43-42 one minute into the fourth quarter. But sophomore Matt Madigan
hit a go-ahead layup 18 seconds later and then made two 3-pointers to keep Reagan in front. Tyler Jones
had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Mount Tabor.
At the Greensboro Coliseum, Page (Greensboro)
defeated Northern Guilford (Greensboro) 76-54 to win the Pizza Hut Invitational for the first time in 21 years. While Page shot 55 percent from the field, according to the Greensboro News-Record, Northern Guilford was held to just 31 percent, including an abysmal 2 of 27 from behind the 3-point arc.
Tournament MVP Frank Eaves
had 19 points and Jackson Kent
scored 23 for Page, which led by 14 at the half and by as many as 28 in the fourth quarter.LEADING SCORER
There's fast starters and then there's Franklin
junior Lindsay Simpson
, who scored 27 points in the first five and a
half minutes of her game against Swain County (Bryson City).
coach made sure there wouldn't be another Wilt Chamberlain-like
performance, but Simpson ended up with 41 points in the 80-36 win. She
is now averaging 29.3 points, which the Asheville Citizen-Times reports
is best in the state and 12th in the nation.
"Individually, I try to never be satisfied," Simpson told the paper. "I can always do something better."
The 5-foot-7 junior, who averaged 23.1 points last season, has already received offers from Western Carolina and Davidson. CHRISTIAN FAITH TO BATTLE NATIONAL NO. 1
A local school will get its chance to knock off the top team in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25
when Christian Faith Center Academy (Creedmoor)
visits Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) on Wednesday. Christian Faith is 7-11 this year against a very difficult schedule — it's already played four games against Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem), which is ranked 16th in the country by MaxPreps. Harold Gutmann covers the state of North Carolina for MaxPreps.com. He lives in Durham and can be reached at email@example.com.