Basket "brawl": AHSAA eliminates Valley High from tournament

By Chris Vessell bio | email

VALLEY, AL (WTVM) - Chambers County school officials and the Alabama High School Athletic Association are taking disciplinary actions against the Valley High Basketball team.

Tuesday afternoon, the team was involved in a brawl that broke out during a basketball tournament in Montgomery.

Carver High School in Montgomery was winning over Valley High School, 52-37 at the Central Region Basketball Tournament in Montgomery when the fight started. "One of our players and a Carver player went up to retrieve a rebound and a foul took place. After the foul one of our players was struck," said George McCulloh, Assistant School Superintendent.

Punches were thrown by both players and fans--resulting in the arrests of 11 juveniles.
Four of the students detained were from Valley.  

Bradley Bonner, a father of one the Valley High fans said his son was in the stands.  "I asked him if he got involved in throwing any punches or anything like that because I was concerned as far as him getting hurt, he said there were so many people passing licks, I didn't know who to hit dad. I said well I'm glad you weren't involved in it," remarked Bonner.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association has already taken actions to eliminate Carver High School and Valley High School from the basketball tournament. Both teams are now on restrictive probation The AHSAA is calling it a "double forfeit".

The Chambers Assistant Superintendent says school officials have disciplined the basketball team, and officials plan to discipline other students who fought in the stands. "Disciplinary actions will take place anywhere from suspensions to alternative school placements depending upon the severity of their involvement," said McCulloh.

Some parents are questioning the tournament's security, but local law enforcement say authorities at the game handled the fight well. "To deal with that many people you would have to have 40 or 50 officers, and you're not prepared to send 40 officers to every football or basketball game," Sid Lockhart, Chambers County Sheriff said. "You just can't be prepared for something like that to happen at any given time," Lockhart added.

Chambers County school officials say they will continue to meet with Alabama High School Athletic Association Thursday.