Region boys basketball fans have excitedly looked forward to Tuesday's Griffith game at Hammond.

Larry Moore Jr.'s Wildcats and Grayling Gordon's Panthers are two of the hottest teams in Class 3A in the area.

But The Times confirmed on Sunday afternoon that the game originally scheduled at Hammond has been cancelled, and all regular-season matchups in all other sports have also been taken off the books.

Due to sportsmanship issues in games between the two schools, administrators have decided the Panthers and Wildcats will no longer compete in regular-season contests.

"Our administration has decided that we're not going to play them anymore," Gordon said on Sunday.

"Both schools mutually decided we're not going to play anymore," Griffith athletic director Stacy Adams said. "It was after the thing that happened in the freshmen game."

In December, Hammond's freshmen boys basketball team was playing at Griffith when a fight broke out in the stands that spilled onto the court with 6.3 seconds left in the game.

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A Hammond High coach, Robert Pogue, 29, of Hammond, was charged with disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor, according to Griffith Police Cmdr. Keith Martin.

The sportsmanship issues stem from the fight that broke out in a varsity game between Hammond at Griffith in 2015, when a foul was followed by punches thrown all over the court.

IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox, like much of America, saw the video of the fight and suspended both teams from postseason play. At the time, both Hammond and Griffith took the matter to court and were allowed to play in the postseason and the Panthers eventually reached the Class 3A state championship game.

The IHSAA continued its push for sportsmanship thereafter, and Griffith had one of the best scorecards last school year in terms of playing the games with high sportsmanship.

Hammond athletic director Larry Moore Sr. said that he received a memo from the IHSAA confirming that all contests between the two schools have been terminated, including Tuesday's boys hoops game.

When asked for comment, Moore Sr. said, "You'll have to ask Stacy (Adams)."

Both teams compete in the Class 3A sectional at the Hammond Civic Center, so there is a chance the two could play in the postseason.

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Sports Reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.