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High School Basketball Player Punches Rival in Face and Starts Epic Brawl

"I just wanted to get my kids to the locker room.”

A high school basketball game descended into chaos when one player punched a rival in the face, sparking off an on-court brawl that ended up with police having to intervene at the school. The game was between Camden and Camden Eastside at Cherry Hill East High School, New Jersey. Camden player Cornelius Robinson allegedly punched Camden Eastside player Titus Bacon, and the court was soon flooded with fans, coaches, and other players.

"We are disappointed to learn that this evening's Camden County Championship basketball game between Camden High School and Eastside High School has been suspended following an on-the-court altercation during the game," says the Camden County School District. "Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students and fans. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured." The entire incident was caught on camera: Here's what happened.

Players Held Back From Fighting


The melee happened after Robinson and Bacon had an on-court altercation, which quickly sparked off a mass brawl with players being held back. Both teams have since been withdrawn from the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) state tournament.

Eastside's athletic director Mark Phillips and couch Kenny Avent say their players did not leave the bench. "The video shows our team didn't leave the bench," Phillips said. "Everything else, we'll see how it turns out." "None of my kids left the bench," Avent adds. "We should be fine. None of my kids left the bench. I don't know what happened with their team, I just wanted to get my kids to the locker room."

The Superintendent Responds


Superintendent Katrina McCombs released a statement about the incident on Friday, February 17. "In the Camden City School District, we pride ourselves on sculpting scholar-athletes and students that understand the importance of character and integrity," she says.

"Our number one objective at the district is to raise students that meet the standards that we set for society and that we want our very own children to embody. Nevertheless, last night, at the Cherry Hill High School East gym those standards were severely undermined by an incident between Camden High School and Eastside High School during the championship game of the Camden County Basketball Tournament."

Both Teams Withdrawn From the Tournament


McCombs says both teams have been withdrawn from the state tournament. "Let me be clear, I am saddened and disappointed with the conflict from last night, but I believe we need to make this a learning experience for our student body. Furthermore, we know meaningful action must be taken and it must be done swiftly which is why the District will be withdrawing both teams from NJSIAA tournament play."

Both Teams Are Responsible

McCombs says both teams must take accountability for what happened. "This initiative is being taken to ensure that our scholar-athletes know that accountability for their actions is paramount not only in basketball but also in the larger game of life. In short, the district and the students fully understand the infractions that took place at last night's game."

RELATED: Cheerleader Is Ejected From Basketball Game After Shoving Player Who Got in Her Way

The District Is Contesting Allegations


McCombs says while the students must be held responsible for their actions, the district doesn't completely agree with all allegations being investigated by the NJSIAA. "The students involved in the incident from both schools have had a tremendous season and have worked incredibly hard to be successful. We are not taking away any of the prior successes they have had this year, but we want them to know their actions have consequences. That said, even though we will be making this a growth opportunity for our students, we will also continue to contest the unfounded allegations being investigated by the NJSIAA."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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