Brawl at ESJH delays release of boys playoff brackets

Published 11:27 am Tuesday, February 21, 2017

RESERVE — Monday’s anticipated release of the boys basketball playoff brackets were delayed, possibly until today or Wednesday, because of a last-minute sportsmanship hearing involving East St. John High School and Central Lafourche High School.

According to reports, players from East St. John and Central Lafourche were involved in a physical altercation during halftime of Friday night’s District 7-5A basketball game at East St. John.

Citing safety concerns, game officials ended the contest with Central Lafourche leading 45-25.

Athletic director Aldon Foster said the dustup took place in a small hallway that leads to the locker rooms for both teams.

“There was some jawing back and forth,” Foster said. “We ended it quick, before it got too big.”

On Monday, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association ruled both teams would forfeit the game and all players listed in the scorebook — along with all coaches — would have to sit out the next game, which would be both teams’ first playoff game.

Both teams were qualified to make the Class 5A playoffs. Central Lafourche was listed as No. 13 in the power rankings, and East St. John was at No. 28 as of Monday.

“We have some kids who weren’t dressed out for the game who would have to play,” Foster said.

The LHSAA postponed the release of the brackets to allow for the two teams involved to appeal the decision and for a sportsmanship hearing to be scheduled.

Central Lafourche notified the LHSAA on Monday that it would appeal the decision at a hearing scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

East St. John had not appealed the ruling.

Wildcats coach Yussef Jasmine could not be reached for comment.