Fight in stands brings premature end to City-Edmondson game

Knights led Red Storm 48-34 with 5:36 remaining when game was called

February 04, 2011|By Jon Meoli, The Baltimore Sun

After an 8-0 run extended No. 9 City's lead over No. 5 Edmondson to 48-34 with 5:36 left to play in the fourth quarter, a fight broke out in the stands at Baltimore City College that caused Friday night's rematch of last season's regional title game to be suspended. The game will be finished at a later date.

"Edmondson is a cross-town rival, but I didn't expect that," said City coach Mike Daniel after the gym had been emptied. "It was shocking."

Edmondson called a timeout after City guard Nick Faust drained a 3 from the top of the key with 5:36 left to play in the game, capping a furious 10-minute run.

City's energetic student body roared throughout the timeout, gesturing to the Edmondson fans at the other end of the court. As play was set to resume, police officers charged across the court and climbed the bleachers to where the altercation broke out.

Several City players headed into the stands, though Daniel said that one of them went to help his little brother, who had fallen down the bleachers when the fight began.

Edmondson coach Darnell Dantzler sent his players straight to the locker room when he saw the commotion in the stands.

"I wanted to make sure none of my kids went up there," he said. "I already know how it was going to be. If their team ran up there and my team ran up there, then it would have been an all-out brawl. I'm glad my kids listened to me."

The officers used mace to gain control of the situation, and the fans from the bleachers spilled onto the court to avoid the gas. School police began to usher the crowd out of the gym, and though they quickly regained control of the situation, the game was suspended because the chemicals in the air were too dangerous for the players to breath.

When Chief Marshall Goodwin of the Baltimore City School Police announced to the remaining fans — many of whom were concerned family members of the players — that the game would be suspended indefinitely, he apologized on behalf of the school system and asked everyone to say a prayer for when the game is resumed.

Before the altercation, City fans had plenty to cheer for. Trailing 27-21 at halftime, the Maryland-bound Faust took the game over for the Knights. He scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the third quarter after not making a field goal in the first half.

"Coach told me I was taking too many jump shots," said Faust, who said he went straight to the locker room when the fracas began in the stands. "I went to attack the rim [in the second half] and after that, everything fell into place."

Senior guard Kavon Pyatt led Edmondson with 10 points, all in what was a sloppy first half for both teams. Brian Ellison added eight points for the Red Storm.

xcxjmeoli@baltsun.com

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