The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 23, 2009

Greenbrier East’s win over Woodrow marred by fight

From staff reports

The fire that once permeated the Greenbrier East-Woodrow Wilson rivalry returned Friday night.

In an ugly way.

A fourth-quarter fight marred the girls game between the longtime adversaries, a game in which East prevailed 67-62 at Fairlea.

Two Woodrow Wilson fans were ejected from the gym, another was arrested, several players were ejected from the game — all but four from each team — and Woodrow Wilson finished the game with two players and Greenbrier East with three.

The altercation occurred late in the contest, with just over two minutes left, and at that point, Greenbrier East had a 57-56 lead.

“Here’s what I saw,” Greenbrier East coach Jim Justice said. “One of our girls and one of their girls went after a ball, and from my vantage point, their player threw her arm back and swung at our girl. Then our girl swung at her. The referee at that point dives between the two girls. Well, I’m going out on the court, and all of a sudden here comes the whole Woodrow bench. I mean, this was on my side of the court. They ran the length of the court.”

Woodrow Wilson coach Bernie Bostick had a slightly different version.

“Well, basically, from my vantage point — and we’ll have to watch the tape — one of their girls punched one of our girls and our girl retaliated,” Bostick said from the team bus. “Then their bench emptied, then our bench emptied. When they finally got order restored, our fans and their fans got into it. One of our fans was taken out in handcuffs.”

When order was restored, initially, each team had just four players remaining.

Woodrow had a player foul out, then East had a player foul out, leaving the squads with three each. Another Woodrow player fouled out, leaving the Eagles with two at the game’s end.

A Woodrow Wilson fan was arrested after an alteration in the stands, reportedly with a sheriff’s deputy.