Blowout game called in fourth quarter after Redmond fan throws punch
For the first three quarters, Friday night’s 4A Kingco boys’ basketball matchup between the visiting Garfield Bulldogs and the Redmond Mustangs at Reiger Gymnasium was like any other heated league rivalry.
The two schools’ student sections were trading derisive cheers and chants back and forth throughout, while the young athletes on the court were playing with the purpose and intensity of the playoffs.
And in the blink of an eye, everything went downhill.
With Garfield leading 50-33 midway through the fourth quarter, Mustang senior Max Wisman and the Bulldogs’ DeAndre Taylor bumped and exchanged words, which incited Redmond High School senior Sean Shewey, 18, to charge out of the stands and punch Taylor in the face.
The Garfield bench cleared as the game referees, four Redmond police officers, coaches and administrators had to intervene to break up the mayhem.
After consulting for 15 minutes in front of a tense crowd awaiting the game’s outcome, the decision was made to postpone the contest.
“Garfield was going to be stuck in a situation where they only had four players… so we’re going to suspend the game and consult the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) and get their input on how to fix this,” said John Appelgate, Redmond’s Athletic Director.
“The bottom line is that we didn’t feel like this was going to be a safe environment for the last 5:26 of this game.”
Eight Garfield players were ejected for leaving their bench, and Redmond’s Wisman was also ejected.
The decision was recently made by the WIAA to declare Garfield High School the winner of the game. Redmond administration is now considering whether to leave the final score 50-33 or to take a forfeit.
Shewey, a runningback for the Mustangs and second-team all-league selection, has been arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault and Disorderly Conduct.
Appelgate, who was admittedly embarrassed about the incident, voiced his concern over the school’s reputation during a lengthy speech to the student body who attended Friday’s game. The fans were released only after Garfield’s stands had completely cleared out and left the campus.
“This is a stain on Redmond High School that we have to now work to overcome,” Appelgate said. “Not just you, not just me, not just the administration, but the whole community.”
“No one should feel unsafe at a high school basketball game.”
Appelgate, in his second year as Redmond’s AD, has worked hard to push core values through promotions like the “Mustang Super Fan,” which awards prizes at all home games at halftime to the fan who best exemplifies the school’s tradition of high spirit level and sportsmanship.
Redmond head coach Jeff Larson, now in his fifth year as Mustang head coach and ninth overall with the program, couldn’t believe what he saw in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a great example of how one act can tarnish the whole,” Larson said. “I’ve never seen anything like it… it’s just so unfortunate.”
Larson added that he agreed with the decision to call the game.
“The only thing that mattered at that point in time was everyone’s safety,” he said. “The game very quickly becomes secondary, and there was no good reason to finish the game under those circumstances.”
A feather in Redmond’s cap was that the Mustang players stayed as calm as they possibly could through the ordeal, resulting in no ejections other than Wisman’s.
“I’m so proud of my team for not leaving the bench and making it worse than it could have been,” Larson said. “I also want the (fans) that made the right choice to know I respect them for doing that.”
After suffering a narrow 67-66 double-overtime loss to the Bulldogs a week before, the Mustangs could not get anything going offensively against undefeated Garfield, shooting just 5 for 22 in the first half.
The Bulldogs shot over 50 percent (8-of-15) and took a 29-18 lead heading into halftime, which was extended further as Garfield hit six of its first seven shots in the third.
When the game was suspended with 5:26 left, Wroten was leading all scorers with 17 points, with guard Chris Harrington, who hit the game-winning three-pointer against Issaquah the night before, adding 12.
But what happened has happened, and Larson knows his team must move on as they push towards the postseason.
“Our job is to play as well as we can on the court,” he said. “That’s what we do as a basketball team, and we’re going to go back to work.”