An ongoing investigation is in process after an incident broke out following a game at the Region XIV Basketball Tournament March 9.
The Tyler Junior College – Lamar State-PA basketball game did not end the way coaches on either team wanted, but with failures would give both teams a learning experience.
The intensity started thirty minutes before the game as the players warmed up with a focused look on their faces knowing that match would be a win or go home type game . As starters on both sides got ready for tip off, they meet half court face to face with the glare to ensure the opponent that the competition would be a 40 minute battle.
After TJC came short by four points to a win, Lamar State’s Head Coach Matt Cross made his way to TJC’s bench and confronted Head Coach Mike Marquis. A TJC player reacted to the confrontation by aggressively shoving Cross away. Lamar State player, Lakeem Duncantried retaliated by picking up a metal chair from the sideline. Lamar State’s team manager struggled to retrieve the chair from Duncantried’s possession but succeeded. She broke her hand in the process.
The event was unfortunate but TJC Head Coach Mike Marquis was not surprised of the outcome due to the previous matchup the teams had before the Region XIV tournament. Previous games entailed arguments from both teams.
“It goes back to the Saturday before the tournament in which it was a highly contested game such as the recent one we played with them,” Marquis said. “The conference tournament has a lot on the line and during this time players play with a lot of emotion. Unfortunately, emotion got the best of the players this time.”
TJC Chief Director of Campus Safety Randy Melton believed that if Lamar State’s team manager hadn’t retrieved the chair from Duncantried, a more serious outcome would of occurred.
“I got a call from the other security in the gym of the incident and thankfully we had three other officers in the gym,” Melton said. “It was really unfortunate that the trainer fractured her hand, but if she didn’t put her hand between the chair, multiple people may have gotten hurt.”
Marquis is taking the situation as a learning experience and believes the team can only grow from what happened and keep moving along.
“I’m just going to worry about what goes on with our team, and that’s it,” Marquis said. “The main question is if anyone learned from this and we have taken a lot out of this that will better prepare us if a situation like this happens again.”
Lamar State’s Athletic Director Scott Street chose not comment on the situation since its still an ongoing investigation. However, he shared that the team manager’s recovery was going well.