BIC and Marked Tree game ends before half

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Buffalo Island Central/Marked Tree game on Tuesday night at the Mustangs' home court was called to a halt seconds before halftime due to an altercation. It took less than one minute for police officers that were on hand, school officials, coaches and referees to get the situation under control and the floor cleared.

BIC was leading 47-26 in the second quarter when a foul was called on Marked Tree's Rico Brown. Brown kicked BIC's Brooks Taylor then grabbed him from the back. Other players on the floor and some from the bench got involved and the referees called the game immediately.

The Marked Tree coach, Barbara Wilburn, was not on the court during the episode. She had been ejected during the second quarter after receiving two technical fouls.

Monette chief of police Brian Carmichael, who was one of the officcers at the game, said it was fortunate that no one was hurt.

"In addition to Carmichael, Leachville chief of police Ken Womack, and part-time officer Terry Routon, and Monette officer Steve Lancaster were also in the gymnasium.

"We called officers from Lake City, Caraway and Craighead County," Carmichael said. "The floor was cleared and the players were sent to the dressing room. The Marked Tree players got on the bus safely and we escorted them to the county line. No citations were issued. We did not see any fans come on the floor and in any way try to assault players. We were fortunate with the quick action by the police officers and school officials. School officials and some parents helped in getting the players to the dressing room."

Don Brodell, associate executive director of the Arkansas Activity Association (AAA), made his ruling on Friday after reviewing the video tape of the game. Four Marked Tree players and a manager and two BIC players received suspensions.

Marked Tree's Brown was suspended for two games while teammates Brad Jones, Ray Jones and Jay Williams were all suspended for one game. It was also recommended that a student on the bench that was involved be suspended for the remainder of the season.

BIC's Mark Teguns and L.B. Cole were suspended for one game each.

"As far as we are concerned, this issue is put to bed and we hope that both teams have a good rest of the season," Brodell said.

BIC superintendent George Edd Holland called the incident unfortunate.

"It was unfortunate and I am sorry it happened. I was proud of the way our kids behaved and I was proud of our fans," Holland said. "We are ready to get this behind us and go on with the year."

BIC's Coach Bill Taylor commented that he appreciated everyone that helped get the situation under control so quickly and he is ready to get back to basketball.

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