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Simsboro wins game, shows character

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It’s something we see all too often in the news these days.

Three high school students in Arkon, Ohio, are facing charges as the instigators of a brawl that broke out at the end of a championship basketball game last month.

In New Jersey, the American History High’s girls basketball season was suspended and the team will remain on probation next year after players were involved in a benches-clearing brawl during a game against Roselle on Feb. 9. That melee included spectators pouring from the bleachers and attacking Roselle players.

The Ruston Daily Leader applauds fans of Simsboro High School for not letting the same happen in Lincoln Parish on Friday night.

A 76-65 Class B quarterfinal win for the Simsboro boys basketball team after officials called the game with 55.9 seconds remaining when Panther fans stormed the court and refused to leave following Stanley head coach Peyton Rutherford’s ejection on a second technical foul call in the final 1:34 of the contest.

The longtime rivals were meeting for the 101st time (with the series tied at 50-50), and emotions were running high.

Game officials and law enforcement personnel tried to clear the court for a couple of minutes before the referee was forced to wave off the final 55.9 seconds and send Simsboro on to the Class B semifinals on Wednesday in Lake Charles.

“The thing I’m most proud of — and thankful for — was the way our fans handled the situation,” said SHA coach Josh Brown. “Not only did they play a big role in our comeback by cheering us on, but I’m so proud of the way they handled themselves with class and dignity at the end when things got out of hand. Things could have gotten ugly and could have ended up affecting the outcome and the upcoming semifinal game. But our players and fans handled themselves the right way and did the right thing.”

There is no setting where those kinds of actions are acceptable, and especially during a game being played by high school students.

The Ruston Daily Leader commends game officials, Simsboro High School personnel and law enforcement officials for gaining quick control of the situation and SHS fans for not letting things escalate and become much worse.

That was a winning effort we all should be proud of.

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