A benches-clearing brawl between the Maryville and William Blount boys basketball teams overshadowed a 61-49 Rebel win Friday night at William Blount High School.
With Maryville leading by 10 late in the second quarter, play got physical between the two teams in front of the William Blount bench.
Pushing and shoving ensued, before punches were eventually thrown and police got involved.
Officers were still investigating the incident Friday night and did not release any further details. Blount County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant told The Daily Times that additional information would be released as it becomes available.
Maryville’s Tristan Upchurch and William Blount’s Bradley Boling were ejected by game officials. William Blount head coach Kevin Windle benched two more players who admitted at halftime to throwing punches in the brawl as the second quarter ended.
“I just think one of their players and one of my players got tangled up in front of their bench,” Maryville coach Mark Eldridge said. “Looked like they got into the chairs and next thing you know, an intense rivalry game escalated into some fisticuffs.
“I haven’t seen any film, I don’t know anything about it. We’ll go home and watch and see.”
Maryville stretched its lead to 16 at the end of the third quarter, before going on to win by 12. Anytime players are ejected, the TSSAA can get involved to subject the guilty parties to further punishment, including game suspensions.
“That’s an unfortunate event that occurred,” Windle said. “It was a great game, both teams, especially in the first half, playing as hard as they could. Very physical.
“Unfortunately, tempers get flared right at the end (of the first half), and some people threw some punches. That’s something that obviously we don’t allow.”
Police were still investigating the incident Friday night and did not release any further details.
Blount County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant said additional information would be released as it becomes available.