Alton and Riverview Gardens players are trying to be restrained while an official was knocked to the ground during a brawl between the two teams on Friday night at the Alton Tip-Off Classic at Alton High School.

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ALTON - With 19.2 seconds to go in the third quarter between the Alton Redbirds and the Riverview Gardens Rams, a brawl ensued between players on both teams. The fight spilled into the grandstands on the east side of the gym on Friday night in Godfrey at the Alton Tip-Off Classic at Alton High School.

Officials suspended the game and both teams took a forfeit loss.

Alton Athletic Director Jeff Alderman stated because all team members left their respective benches that results in an automatic suspension. Alton’s game between Ritenour and Riverview Gardens’ game against Carbondale tomorrow night are forfeited.

The Redbirds conclude the tournament going 2-2 and the Rams finish 1-3.

Alton’s next scheduled game is Friday, Nov 30 when they host Jerseyville at 7 p.m.

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Riverview Gardens head coach Milton Stith said that the players’ safety comes first, and he was apologetic.

“Right now safety is first and foremost for us and for Alton,” Stith said. “It’s a very unfortunate situation. I feel bad. [There are] some things I should’ve did a little differently with my guys. It was a heated competition and tempers flared.”

“Alton’s program is first class. Their AD is first class. My apologies if anything happened that we could’ve prevented and I take full blame for this,” Stith said.

Alton head coach Eric Smith declined to comment.

Stith claimed tempers flared before both teams headed to their locker rooms for halftime. Additionally, there were two technical fouls issued on the Rams in the third quarter.

The game was tied at 12-12 in the first quarter, but Alton went on a 13-0 run to close out the quarter that was capitalized by a Donovan Clay ally-oop dunk before the buzzer sounded as they led 25-12.

Clay finished led all scorers with 20 points, ten rebounds, and four blocked shots.

The Redbirds closed out the first half with a 42-23 lead.

Alton, who never trailed, held a 64-43 advantage when the brawl took place, which forced members of the Madison County Police Department to maintain peace.

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