The Ottumwa Courier

February 17, 2013

Postgame melee mars contest

Ottumwa Courier

WEST BURLINGTON — Both the good and bad of the Indian Hills-Southeastern basketball rivalry was on full display within minutes of each other Saturday night at Loren Walker Arena. Seconds after a two-overtime battle finally ended with third-ranked IHCC pulling out a 104-99 come-from-behind win, a melee broke out between the two teams on their way to the locker room, resulting in at least two people — including Warriors head coach Barret Peery — being injured.

There is no word yet on what the consequences of the brawl will be.

“It’s too early in the process right now,” Indian Hills athletic director Mike Hagen said. “The conference commissioner is involved along with the administrations of both institutions reviewing video and looking at fans and players activity.”

Peery was injured in the melee and had to receive four stitches above his right eye.

“I’m not sure how I got hit. I just know I did,” Peery said. “We spent (Sunday) reviewing things and going over things with the (ICCAC) office. It’s such a heated rivalry. There’s a lot of history behind it. The fans were certainly into the game right from the start. You could feel it on the floor all night. It’s not surprising that it got the best of some people.”

According to the Burlington Hawk Eye, the fight pulled fans onto the court and into the melee. The melee eventually spread into the main hallway just outside the arena, where an unidentified woman was knocked down while trying to leave and had to be transported by ambulance to Great River Medical Center.

“It’s too bad a great game had to end that way,” current Southeastern and former Indian Hills head coach Terry Carroll told the Hawkeye. The Hawk Eye also reported that Carroll escorted his son to the hospital after the melee.

Neither Carroll or Southeastern Blackhawks’ women’s athletics coordinator Melissa Navntoft had any further comment on the incident. Audio from the KBUR-FM, the home station for Southeastern Community College basketball, described an Indian Hills player “sucker punching” a Southeastern school official on the radio broadcast.

Both Peery and Hagen confirmed that the review will continue this week. Peery also confirmed that, as of Sunday, all members of the Indian Hills basketball team are eligible to play in the Warriors’ next game at Moberly on Tuesday night.