Magnet, BC Scuffle On, Off Court
With almost two minutes left in the fourth quarter and Campus Magnet ahead in the game by the score of 54-38, Beach Channel forward Frank McArthur and Campus Magnet’s Christian Hoffman exchanged punches at midcourt.
The confrontation occurred during a break in the action after Campus Magnet had committed a turnover and the Dolphins were about to retain possession of the ball.
Both players did not connect on their punches as they were separated quickly by coaches, referees and school security. Order was quickly restored and both players were ejected from the floor.
The referees originally intended to finish the contest but with rising tensions between both teams still ongoing, they ended the contest with 2:10 left remaining. Both teams were escorted from the floor, returned to their respective locker rooms and no further incidents occurred.
Hoffman, a first year varsity player, and McArthur, a senior who is playing his first season of high school basketball, are expected to be suspended by the PSAL. The penalty imposed is a minimum two game suspension.
“It seems that there was a lot of conversation going on,” Beach Channel head coach Jim Malone said after the game.
“We should never react to things that we reacted to and there were low frustration levels out there and that showed.”
Campus Magnet head coach Charles Granby could not be reached for comment. Before the unfortunate events at the end of the game, both teams came out strong in the first half as they each entered with a record of 4-0 in the PSAL III A Division.
Campus Magnet is one of the biggest frontcourts in the city, with center Keith McAllister and forwards Earl Anglin and Josiah Peay. And it was that size and strength displayed especially by Peay that dashed the Dolphins hopes of rising to first place.
Peay scored 10 of a game high 23 points by slashing expertly through a Dolphins defense in the second quarter and overcame what was a 20-19 deficit to a 31-20 halftime lead.
Though the Bulldogs were missing their best player in guard Evan Thomas, who sat out with an ankle sprain, they kept the pressure on in the second half. Beach Channel’s Dwayne Messam, who scored the first 11 points of the game, was shutdown and the rest of the team could not generate enough offense.
With little experience beside starters Messam and junior Davon Saxon, head coach Jim Malone is forced to incorporate new starters into what is the toughest division in Queens. McArthur is a starter only because Kevin Chapman and Marcus Thompkins, two valuable players in last year’s playoff team, did not return to the team because of academic ineligibility.
The Dolphins had not faced a team this year with the size and athleticism that Campus Magnet has.
“It was a totally different game for the guys. We were supposed to play real good ball, play good defense,” Malone said. “We have weaknesses and they’re big and wide.”