New Haven and Romeo will have short benches for their MAC White basketball games Tuesday after members of both teams were disciplined for their roles in an altercation that took place between the squads Friday night.
The Rockets, 9-1 and ranked No. 4 in the state in Division 2, will have six varsity players plus one called up from the JV when they play at Ford, New Haven coach Tedaro France said Monday.
Romeo (2-8) will have seven varsity members in uniform when it plays at Grosse Pointe South, Romeo coach Marvin Cushingberry added.
An eighth Romeo player was not disciplined after the fight, but won’t play against Grosse Pointe South because he has a concussion after being punched by a fan who went on the floor during the third-quarter melee, Cushingberry said.
“It was a competitive game with hard fouls,” Cushingberry said of the contest won by New Haven, 78-47. “Things got out of hand.”
New Haven led by 12 points when the incident occurred.
A video showed New Haven guard Eddie Dandridge dribbling into the lane, where he was fouled by Romeo senior Brock Horne, a Bowling Green football recruit.
“Brock was protecting his ‘house’ (the area near the basket); it was a hard foul,” Cushingberry said.
As Dandridge hit the floor, New Haven's Romeo Weems, a 6-foot-7 DePaul recruit who had been above the top of the key when the foul occurred, shoved Horne with both hands.
“He came to defend his teammate with a shove,” France said. “He wanted to show that this is our house, too.”
In ensuing moments, several individuals converged on the area where the foul occurred.
None of the 10 players in the game at the time were ejected by referees.
All of the players ejected were kicked out because they left their respective bench areas, France and Cushingberry said.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association mandates that a player ejected from a game must sit out his team’s next contest.
France and Cushingberry got some of their players, including captains, together at New Haven on Monday.
They shook hands and posed for pictures.
“We have nothing against New Haven; New Haven has nothing against us,” Cushingberry said. “There’s no animosity.”
France called the episode “a great teaching and learning experience.”