Cape-Tech fight being investigated

Officials from both Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech High are investigating an altercation that led to several boys’ basketball players being ejected from a game on Thursday night.

Two players from each team were involved in the fight, which broke out midway through the third quarter of the Henlopen Conference Northern Division contest being played in Lewes.

Kevin Charles

The substitute players for both schools were also automatically ejected for leaving the bench, although they have not been accused of taking part in the altercation.

The game resumed with just three players available for each squad. They were the on-court players who weren’t involved in the fight.
After three players fouled out, the contest finished with Sussex Tech having just two players and Cape having only one in what might have been an unprecedented situation in a Delaware high school game.

The Ravens rallied from a 12-point deficit to win 63-62.

DIAA official Kevin Charles said he spoke with administrators from both schools on Friday.

“I can tell you in talking with both schools, as you can imagine, they’re very upset by this,” said Charles, the former DIAA executive director, who is currently a consultant for the organization.

“They’re taking this very seriously. It doesn’t reflect what the two schools expect of their interscholastic teams in education-based athletics. Obviously, it’s the same for us. But we’re still investigating so we don’t know all the specific details.”

As has been the standard practice, the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association will allow the involved schools to investigate and hand down punishments. The DIAA can still give further punishments if it believes they are warranted.

By rule, the ejected players are suspended for each team’s next game. Cape Henlopen is slated to play Polytech on Tuesday evening with Sussex Tech playing Smyrna.

Junior varsity players can be used in those games.

Charles said he assumes there is some video of the incident but hadn’t seen any yet.

Sussex Tech put out a statement on Friday. It read:

“Sussex Technical High School is committed to the highest standards for our students and athletes. The incident at last night’s basketball game does not reflect the Raven values of fair play and sportsmanship. Sussex Technical High School does not condone the behaviors exhibited on the court. Sussex Tech is working with Cape Henlopen to review the incident. Our administration is investigating and will take appropriate action when that process is completed.”

As for Thursday’s game itself, Charles said both teams are required by rule to have five available players at the start of the contest. After that, however, the game is required to continue as long as each team has more than one player.

If a team is down to only one player, the officials have the discretion to stop the game. In Thursday’s contest, Cape trailed by only one point and the game was in the final seconds when the Vikings got down to one player.

“The officials, by rule, are obligated to evaluate and allow the game to continue if they believe the (one-player) team can win,” said Charles.

“It’s unique, that’s for sure,” he added. “I don’t recall this happening during my years here. I can’t say that it never happened in Delaware or anywhere else in the country, but it’s really rare, thank goodness.”