Boys basketball

IHSA responds to Class 2A championship drama

2013-03-10T22:15:00Z 2013-03-10T22:37:17Z IHSA responds to Class 2A championship dramaTimes Staff nwitimes.com
March 10, 2013 10:15 pm  • 

Seton Academy and its championship game opponent "crossed the lines of acceptable sportsmanship," the Illinois High School Association said in a release issued late Saturday.

The Sting refused to accept the second-place trophy after losing 50-44 to Harrisburg in Saturday's Class 2A title game. Leading scorer Mark Weems Jr. was ejected in the second quarter of the game.

“I am embarrassed by what took place here tonight,” IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said. “Interscholastic athletics are designed to teach young people important lessons about life. The lessons on display tonight were that respect and sportsmanship are not important, and that is simply not unacceptable.”

Seton coach Brandon Thomas declined to comment when reached by The Times on Sunday.

Seton forfeited the team trophy by refusing to accept it during Saturday night's postgame awards ceremony. It was the first such move in IHSA history.

Seton players and coaches did accept individual medals following the game.

Harrisburg players and fans may have antagonized Seton's side; onlookers seated near the Harrisburg coach's family in that school's cheering section were ejected from the arena.

The IHSA statement emphasized that both teams' actions during and after the game were disappointing and embarrassing.

"While passion and intensity are an integral part of athletic competition, especially at the highest levels, the behaviors of both teams crossed the lines of acceptable sportsmanship," the statement said.

The IHSA said it would review the events and contact the two schools on Monday. It will also contact the schools participating in this week's Class 3A and 4A supersectionals and state finals to "reinforce the expectations of sportsmanship and appropriate behavior in interscholastic contests," the release said.

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