Seasons over for Beach, Savannah girls basketball following fight

Sports

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Following a postgame fight, the Savannah Chatham-County Public School System has disqualified both Beach and Savannah High girls basketball teams from the Class AAA Region 3 tournament and state playoffs.

“I am deeply disappointed at the behavior displayed by those involved in this situation and regretful for the loss of the opportunity for continued play,” SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett said in a statement. “Unfortunately, these students violated the rules set by the Georgia High School Association and the expectations set by the school district for sportsmanship. That disappointment is compounded by the amount of effort it took to even allow teams to play this year during the pandemic.”

The incident in question happened at the end of the Bulldogs’ 50-35 win over the Bluejackets Thursday night after two players got into a physical altercation, and both benches were cleared.

Citing a violation of the Georgia High School Association’s rules on sportsmanship, SCCPSS officials announced the two squads would be suspended for the next two contests. Both teams were scheduled to play Friday night, with Beach set to play Johnson in the region championship and Savannah slated to face Liberty County in the consolation game.

The final contest of the mandated two-game suspension would have been the first round of the GHSA 3A playoffs.

“The incident Thursday evening was inappropriate and does not represent the high standards the Savannah Chatham County Public School System expects its student athletes to uphold,” Levett added.

By default, the Johnson High School will be crowned the region champions and earn the 1-seed headed into the state playoffs. Liberty County, which lost to Johnson in the semifinal Thursday night, will be the 2-seed.

Southeast Bulloch High School has earned the third overall seed from the region and there will be no fourth seed.

Savannah Chatham County Public School System sent WSAV News 3 a statement, which says in part the following:

On Thursday evening, February 18, 2021, an on-court altercation occurred between two players on the Beach High and Savannah High Girls Basketball teams just as a game between the two teams was ending. The incident led to members of both teams, along with spectators, rushing onto the court towards the altercation.

These actions are in direct violation of GHSA Rules on Sportsmanship and do not embody the high standards that are expected of our student athletes.  As a result, both teams will be withheld from play for the next two scheduled contests as stipulated in GHSA Rule 2.71 – Rules on Sportsmanship.  Based on where the season stands, this disqualification will allow no further play by these two teams in regional or state competition, meaning both teams will forfeit the remainder of their seasons.

The incident Thursday evening was inappropriate and does not represent the high standards the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System expects its student athletes to uphold.  Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett says, “I am deeply disappointed at the behavior displayed by those involved in this situation and regretful for the loss of the opportunity for continued play.  Unfortunately, these students violated the rules set by the Georgia High Schools Association and the expectations set by the school district for sportsmanship.  That disappointment is compounded by the amount of effort it took to even allow teams to play this year during the pandemic.”

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