Fight mars basketball game between Springfield and Catholic Central

The Catholic Central at Springfield High School boys basketball game was suspended on Saturday night due to multiple players being ejected for fighting and leaving the bench. The Irish led 52-40 when the game was stopped with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. Nearly 1,500 fans were in attendance. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

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The Catholic Central at Springfield High School boys basketball game was suspended on Saturday night due to multiple players being ejected for fighting and leaving the bench. The Irish led 52-40 when the game was stopped with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. Nearly 1,500 fans were in attendance. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

SPRINGFIELD — The Catholic Central at Springfield High School boys basketball game was suspended on Saturday night after an incident saw multiple players ejected for fighting and leaving the bench.

With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter, two Springfield players and a Catholic Central player dove after a ball, causing a scrum on the floor. Punches were thrown, causing both benches to clear. Fans and coaches also ran onto the court to help break up the fight.

Several players were ejected for fighting and leaving the bench area. The game was suspended a few minutes later as a precaution due to other unrelated incidents taking place in the parking lot at the high school. The Springfield Police Division was present at the game and responded to the scene.

“The SCSD is investigating the situation and has no further comment at this time,” Springfield City School District’s Director of Communications Cherie Moore said in a statement.

Catholic Central led 52-40 when the game was suspended. It’s unclear whether the game was final or will be ruled a no contest. The video of the fight will likely be reviewed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Players who are ejected from games are suspended for the next two games, according to the OHSAA’s 2021-22 sports regulations.

Catholic Central assistant coach Matt Mullen, who was filling in for Irish head coach John Detling, called it an “unfortunate” situation.

“Both teams were playing super hard,” Mullen said. “They got tangled up. At that point they were so competitive and whatever happened happened.”

The game was being played cleanly and competitively between both teams until the scrum happened, Mullen said. Several of Springfield and Catholic Central’s players worked out together in the summer and have great relationships, he said.

“I felt great about the aggressiveness on both teams,” he said. “Sometimes when these things happen, it’s a build up and I didn’t feel like it was a build up at all. I felt like it was an unfortunate situation where a couple guys got tangled up and things happened.”

The highly-anticipated game between city schools saw nearly 1,500 fans in attendance at Springfield High. Catholic Central entered the game 10-0 and are currently ranked 10th in Division IV.

Springfield led 20-15 midway through the second quarter, but the Irish went on a 21-3 run to take a 36-23 halftime lead.

Catholic Central extended the lead to 17 points early in the third quarter. The Wildcats fought back, cutting the lead to 11 points at one point until the game was suspended.

Springfield (2-3) is scheduled to host defending state champion Centerville at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Catholic Central is scheduled to host Triad on Tuesday.

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