It's amazing how fast "bad"news travels.
By Saturday afternoon, the "Twitterverse" and Facebook were abuzz with the "melee" that happened Friday night at the end of the Massac-Herrin basketball game. I saw a slightly different version of the "brawl".
For 24 minutes, Massac played pretty good basketball, and at a couple of junctures owned 11 point leads. Herrin turned up the heat in the fourth quarter, and at the 5:00 mark of that final frame took their first lead of the night.
For a fact, Herrin outplayed the Pats in the final quarter and a lot of frustration boiled over when the game was out of reach, and there were only 34 ticks left on the clock.
Massac's Jase Mizell and Trajen Keyes turned in stellar first quarters and staked the Pats to a 16-11 lead at the first horn. Kyler McIntosh took over in the second frame and helped the Pats grab a nine-point lead at the intermission.
Some patient work at the end of the quarter set Zach Travis up for a perfect look at the bucket, and Mr. Travis hit nothing but the bottom of the net for the three pointer and a 34-25 halftime lead. Herrin eased closer in the third frame, but a Kaleb Ramer tip-in at the buzzer kept Herrin in a five point hole.
But the fourth quarter belonged to Herrin. The Tigers warmed up some lukewarm shooting in the final frame, outscoring Massac 28-13 and turned around a poor night at the free throw line by hitting 8 of 9 charity tosses down the stretch.
Massac was spot on from the charity stripe with a 13 for 14 performance. But the final 34 seconds DID take place, and editorializing aside, the final results were two ejections and five assessed technical fouls.
There was no brawl, no punches thrown and the whole affair was over in a matter of minutes. Ugly? Yes, but did it resemble a lot of "scrums" I've seen? Not at all.
Mizell will miss Massac's next game against Benton as a consequence of the ejection.
Aside from the last quarter mishap, Massac was pretty good for most of the game and really good in spurts. The Pats got really nice efforts from Mizell, with 16 points and a perfect 6 for 6 night at the stripe. Keyes and McIntosh, off the bench, accounted for five and 12 points respectively, and Travis had 11 points.