A high school basketball game between South Bend Washington High School and Oregon-Davis High School turned violent on Saturday night.
A YouTube video showed the final minute of the girls varsity game between Washington High School in South Bend and Oregon-Davis. It has since been removed from YouTube, but you can watch it in the video above.
The video shows Oregon-Davis’ Lexi Minix push Washington’s Breondra Green after the whistle is blown. Green then turns around and hits Minix in the head, sending her to the ground. Oregon-Davis' Superintendent, Greg Briles, says Minix was checked out by two RNs and the consensus was that at most Minix possibly had a mild concussion. Briles says Minix was not taken to the hospital for treatment.
"It was tight game the entire way. The kids were competing, and it got out of hand," Washington head coach Maurice Scott said.
After Green struck Minix, the video shows both head coaches approaching mid-court and exchanging heated words, when an Oregon-Davis assistant approached, yelling at Scott and at one point putting his hands on him. IHSAA rules prohibit assistant coaches from going onto the floor. Washington's Interim Athletic Director, Robert Shriner, says he expects to be in communication with the IHSAA Monday about the incident.
"I was trying to talk to coach (Terry Minix) when the assistant coach starts going nuts", Scott tells WSBT. "I said, 'We're coaches. We've got to control this. (The assistant) got aggressive. That's when the crowd went nuts.'"
Several members of the crowd spilled onto the floor, but police officers and school officials were quick to control the chaos.
Oregon-Davis Head Coach Terry Minix says his player Lexi, who is also his daughter, was unable to attempt her free throws and was benched the rest of the game. He says she did get checked out, but would not comment on her condition as of Sunday morning.
Green was immediately ejected from the game. Scott, who is out of town Sunday, told WSBT Sports Director Pete Byrne that Green will also be suspended from the next game, per school policy.
IHSAA rules also mandate Green be suspended for the next game and is currently investigating the incident.
"We don't tolerate that, no matter what," Scott says. "She's a kid who made a mistake and needs to learn. As a team we all need to learn."
Multiple social media sites indicated that Skylar Diggins had also been ejected from the game for unruly behavior, a claim Scott says is untrue. As for the social media firestorm the event has created, Briles says the situation has escalated beyond what it should have. "As far as social media, our girls have been told it needs to stop," Briles emphasized. He did express some disappointment that after the game that the Washington coaches and players went straight to the locker room and did not shake hands. He also says his school system is not looking at pursuing any criminal charges as a result of what happened. Briles says, "Hopefully all the young ladies learn a lesson from what happened."
"We had her (Diggins) escorted out of the gym after the game was over to protect her", something Scott says is a common practice when Diggins attends games at her alma mater. "We do that EVERY game just to get her out. Otherwise she would never be able to leave", Scott told WSBT, referring to the number of requests for pictures and autographs Diggins receives. Diggins is a point guard for the WNBA's Tulsa Shock and the all-time leading scorer in Notre Dame women's basketball history.
Diggins was honored prior to the game along with the 2007 state championship team, and Diggin's number 4 was retired during the ceremony. Diggins' high school coach Marilyn Coddens says Diggins watched the rest of the game in the stands.
“I know for a fact that she was in no way in any confrontation,” Marilyn Coddens says.
However, a fan at the game tells us he observed Diggins appearing to defend the player who hit Minix. He also says her comments appeared inappropriate.
The YouTube video shows both varsity coaches getting into a heated discussion, at which point Coddens says the whole basketball team, as well as several people in the stands from both teams went down to the court—Diggins included.
“There was no trash talking, no ugliness, nothing,” Coddens says. She says everyone was upset and yelling, but when the coaches asked everyone to sit back down they did--with no incident.
"Skylar would never curse at a kid," Scott adds. "She was yelling at the refs to control the assistant coach and keep him away from her dad."
Scott had not spoken with Minix as of Sunday afternoon but says he has plans to do so at some time during the day.
Washington won the game 84-79. Prior to that, Oregon-Davis had been undefeated.
When asked to comment, Oregon-Davis principal Tim Pletcher sent the following statement to WSBT:
I was at the game last night, and I can tell you that it was a hard fought, physical game by both teams. Both teams play an aggressive style, which was apparent all game.
Unfortunately, this is a situation that got out of hand. It was near the end of a close game and emotions ran high. I am thankful the situation did not escalate further--as it very well could have.
Lexi was checked by the WHS trainer and later seen by an RN. Terry Minix has said that she is doing well and is resting.
I cannot attest to anything that Skylar did as that was not my focus as I went down to the floor. Mr. Briles, the OD superintendent, and I both went on the floor to assist with ensuring the safety of the players and coaches on the floor. I think the response by the security staff helped ensure nothing further happened.
I feel it is not my place to comment on the officials and the job they did during the game.
This is a tough lesson for all to learn, but that is what needs to be stressed here. Aggressive play and a strong desire to win is common with athletes, but there are clearly lines that should not be crossed. I cannot stress enough that there are lessons to be learned from this situation.