Official identifies “smack talk” an cause of incident; coach says behavior was unacceptable
By E. David Guel
A high-intensity match Wednesday between this college’s Rangers and the Southwest Texas Junior College Cowgirls erupted into a 20-plus-person scuffle on the hardwood, cutting short a home game with the Rangers leading 56-48.
The game was called at the 2:31 mark of the fourth quarter when a confrontation between kinesiology freshman Destiny Solis and Cowgirls post player Robin Hill — who led her team’s effort with 20 points — escalated into an exchange of fists.
All players, coaches, game officials and several spectators rushed the court in Gym 1 of Candler Physical Education Center.
The previous play had ended in a technical foul on Cowgirls guard Kellie Faison, who scored 11 points, for an illegal push on an opposing player.
Rangers coach Haley Capestany said the tussle started with an “attitude over here” as “they gave in,” motioning to opposing players and referring to their effort as the game drew to a close.
After the game, Cowgirls coach Jesus Garcia said Ranger players were “mouthing off,” instigating the feud.
The back-and-forth game stayed close until the end of the third quarter when this college’s team began to pull away 45-36.
Tensions grew and nerves wore thin as defensive intensity from the Rangers ultimately overwhelmed the Cowgirls, who struggled at times to inbound the ball and dribble to the opposite end of the court.
Solis tallied more than four steals, which helped propel her teammates’ scoring opportunities throughout the night.
After the game, Garcia and an official who asked to remain anonymous discussed how the game result would be tallied. “I don’t care about what the win is; the only thing I can say is what the situation is, and we’re saying that the game is a forfeit based on both teams’ playing,” the official said.
League officials will decide whether the Rangers win by forfeit.
Another official pinpointed the cause as “just people talking smack to each other — that’s all.”
After the game, Capestany and Garcia assessed the situation with officials and stressed to their teams their behavior was unacceptable. “There should be no smiling whatsoever,” Capestany said to her team. “This is not OK.”
Kinesiology Chair Brad Dudney stressed the importance of players remaining calm when dealing with in-game confrontation.
“Those things happen. It happens in games; the intensity … and everything goes on … tempers flare and there’s sometimes pushing and shoving, but they have to understand that it can’t go beyond the scope of what it’s supposed to be.”
“You have to know as a player that you can’t come off the bench.” Players from both teams who left the bench during the altercation are subject to game suspension.
Alamo Colleges police officers arrived in about 15 minutes. Capestany, kinesiology Instructor Raul Rodriguez, officials and Garcia filed incident reports.
After an Oct. 28 victory over Palo Alto College, the team remains at a league record of 2-1 until further notice.
The Rangers are scheduled to face off against the Wildcats at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 in Huisache Hall at Northwest Vista College.