A game that was played at a furious pace last night at Bay Shore High School was delayed for about 20 minutes with 1:03 remaining after a player's furious reaction to a spectator fight.
Wyandanch senior guard Jorrell Pinckney raced across the court during a timeout and joined a fray involving Wyandanch fans against other Wyandanch fans and members of his family. Pinckney came out from a corner of the gym, where the brawl occurred, still angry, and had to be wrestled to the ground by three adults and escorted from the gym.
An announcement was made to the crowd that the game had been declared over, with Malverne winning. But in fact, the game was only halted to clear the gym. The final 1:03 was played and Malverne went on to defeat Wyandanch, 79-71, to win the Long Island Class B championship. The Mules (15-5) can earn a trip to Glens Falls with a victory Friday at Pace University in the state Southeast Regional final.
"The utmost concern is the safety of the players, coaches and officials," Bay Shore athletic director Claude Kasman said. "We'll have them warm up for three minutes, then continue the game."
Pinckney was ejected and charged with a technical foul for leaving the court. Dashawn Moorer made one of two free throws upon resumption of play and the Mules scored all six of their points late at the foul line. Moorer, who played spectacularly in the first half when he scored 26, finished with a game-high 37.
"I was just worried about my family and wanted to make sure they were OK," said Moorer, whose driving layup with 4:15 left gave Malverne a 63-58 lead after Wyandanch rallied from a 12-point deficit to start the fourth quarter and got it to 61-58. "I wanted to stay away from the drama. I've never played a game without fans. It was a little weird. The Wyandanch crowd had been turning me on."
It was a spirited game from the start, with both teams playing helter-skelter, all-court pressure defense. Moorer's shooting helped the Mules build an 18-point lead in the second quarter, but Wyandanch forced enough turnovers to make it a game in the second half. Qualice Jones led the Warriors (14-9) with 27 points.
"I don't know what happened," Wyandanch coach Andre Edwards said. "I just saw my point guard run across the court. His family members were in a fight."
The fight never did spill onto the court and the gym was emptied in orderly fashion, under the supervision of Section XI basketball chairman Bob Mayo, Section XI coordinator Ed Cinelli and Section VIII basketball chairman Wally Backman.
"I was just making sure my fans, my family and our spectators were OK," said Malverne coach Darrol Lopez, who removed his team from the court.
"Clearing the gym was the right thing to do." Kasman said.