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Lodi Flames take McDonald’s Classic basketball title amid controversial ending

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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:10 am, Mon Dec 12, 2011.

The Lodi Flames boys basketball team captured the McDonald's Classic on Saturday night in a heated and controversial fashion. Up 69-61 with under five minutes remaining in the final against McNair, the Flames would see the game called by the referees when a fan would not leave the game after exhibting unruly behavior, according to Lodi coach Dave Nutting.

"It was an interesting game," Nutting said. "It was sad that that had to happen. I don't know what the (fans) did. Let the kids play, they're there to cheer and that's it."

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1 comment:

  • Gerald Krein posted at 8:06 am on Mon, Dec 12, 2011.

    Gerald Krein Posts: 20

    Having attended the game your article does not speak to how volatile the circumstances really were. The players on the court form Lodi and McNair acted appropriately and there were no visible signs of inappropriate aggression. The players played a clean game. That was not true of a certain element of McNair fans who were seated in the south west corner of the gym. From the time the first foul was call on McNair, the referees were berated by these individuals. At one point the Uniform security officer placed himself in front of these fans and they yelled at him.
    The game ended at half time with Lodi leading McNair 49 to 35. The clock was set to 10 minutes for the normal half time. At the end of 10 minutes the referees were no where to be seen. The Coach form McNair and Lodi went to where the referees had secluded themselves in the locker room. They found out that two of the McNair fans, from the southwest side, had threatened the referees and they would not resume the game until these people were ejected. After 15 more minutes security was able to eject these individuals.
    The game resumed and with 4:31 left in the game, play stopped and the referees refused to go back on to the court. They apparently had been threatened again and I personally heard one referee say he feared for their safety. At that point Lodi lead 69 to 61 and had possession of the ball. McNairs best player had just fouled out. One can only speculate what would have occurred during the remaining time. Lodi was granted the win but their was no championship ceremony because of hostility in the gym. The players from Lodi, McNair and other schools were cheated of their well deserved recognition. Numerous police officers from the Stockton Police Department had to be summoned to keep order. It was a scary situation for many.
    This is a black mark toward McNair and the Lodi Unified School District. This is not the first time McNair fans have displayed inappropriate behavior. Their was an incident at Lodi High last year when Lodi beat McNair. The School District needs to act.





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