11-6A brawl leads to punishments
Duncanville girls coach, 4 players suspended for roles in melee at DeSoto
Duncanville girls basketball coach LaJeanna Howard and four players have been suspended for varying lengths of time because of a fight that occurred in Saturday’s loss to DeSoto, Duncanville ISD announced Tuesday.
DeSoto ISD athletic director Larry Davis said in a text message that DeSoto has “issued consequences as well.” He did not respond when asked what those consequences are.
Howard was suspended for one game, as was one player who was on the court at the time of the incident, Duncanville ISD said. Two players who left the bench were suspended for two games, and the player who was involved in the altercation was suspended for three games.
Duncanville’s next game was Wednesday at home against Waco Midway. Duncanville ISD did not provide the names of the players who were suspended. The district also did not announce who would coach the team Wednesday.
In a matchup of bitter rivals — and the top two teams in the Dallas area — one player from each team was ejected from Saturday’s game at DeSoto after a fight broke out between two players away from the play with 4:23 remaining in the third quarter. Players from both teams rushed in and had to be separated by security.
UIL rules state that any player ejected from a contest must miss the following game, but Duncanville handed out its own punishment.
“This event is unacceptable and does not meet the expectations for athletes in our school district,” Duncanville ISD Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith said in a statement. “While we will continue to support our players and coaches, sportsmanship is a priority for us. We have taken the appropriate actions and administered consequences for those who failed to meet our expectations.”
DeSoto, ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 6A, beat No. 3 Duncanville 69-60 to complete a two-game district sweep of defending state champion. It gave District 11-6A leader DeSoto (18-1, 10-0) a two-game lead over second-place Duncanville (21-2, 8-2) with four district games remaining.
In February 2018, an ugly brawl between the Duncanville and DeSoto boys basketball teams after the end of a game at Duncanville’s Sandra Meadows Arena led to DeSoto choosing to forfeit its final two regular-season games and issuing suspensions for those involved in the incident. Duncanville opted not to forfeit any games, but both teams and both head coaches were issued two years probation and a public reprimand by the UIL State Executive Committee.