Fight cancels Holiday Classic

Published 8:40 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2023

AHOSKIE – Citing safety concerns, the 32nd annual Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic came to an abrupt end here tonight (Wednesday).

A physical altercation between two individuals attending the game halted the semifinal girls game between Gates County and host Hertford County at the 5:39 mark of the first quarter.

Hertford County Athletic Director Charles Simmons said the two combatants, both HCHS graduates, got into a fist fight in the gym lobby. There were no weapons involved. Both men, who were not identified, were arrested.

When the fight erupted, fans in the lobby rushed inside the gym, prompting fans that were seated to react. There was a frantic rush by hundreds of fans who made their way towards the two back doors of the gym. One fan, seated near one of the back doors, was injured, requiring medical attention.

Meanwhile, the game’s referees directed both teams to their respective locker rooms.

“I hate this happened,” said Simmons, whose varsity boys squad was scheduled to play Edenton-Holmes in Wednesday’s nightcap. “We talked it over at length and decided that it was best to cancel the rest of the tournament due to safety concerns.”

The tournament, one that featured teams from six high schools, was scheduled to last until Friday’s championship round.

There were two earlier games played tonight, both involving Bertie and Northeastern high schools.

In the girls contest, Northeastern, the defending Holiday Classic champions, defeated Bertie, 71-25.

In the boys game, Bertie’s Jah’Kelvin Rascoe came-up with back-to-back steals and scored four points in the final 13 seconds to preserve a 62-55 win by the Falcons.

The tournament tipped off on Tuesday with three games on the schedule. Northeastern’s boys edged past Greater Destiny Prep Academy, 53-50; Gates County’s girls outscored Edenton-Holmes 35-5 in the second half en route to a 53-18 win; and the Edenton boys gained a bit of revenge when they used a 14-5 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter to rally for a 40-35 win over Gates County.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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