Camden High School basketball player BEATS a rival mid game sparking

Camden High School basketball player BEATS a rival mid-game, sparking a massive brawl on the court

A high school basketball game between Camden and Camden Eastside in New Jersey was abandoned Thursday after a mass brawl broke out on the court.

Camden, the top finisher, was leading 30-17, 4:24 in the second quarter of the Camden County tournament in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, when play had to be stopped and county police had to intervene.

The melee was initiated when one of Eastside’s squad members, Titus Bacon, put up a screen that a Camden player, Cornelius Robinson, took offense at, according to the Courier Post.

Robinson then punched the Tigers player, who immediately responded when the referee blew his whistle.

Chaos broke out as fans, players and coaches flooded the pitch and some players had to be stopped from joining the fight.

A high school basketball game in New Jersey was abandoned Thursday after a mass brawl on the court

A high school basketball game in New Jersey was abandoned Thursday after a mass brawl on the court

Camden County Police were able to calm the situation, but Camden County School District officials decided to suspend play. The gymnasium was evacuated and a police presence was reportedly set up outside the school.

With the New Jersey state tournament set to begin on Monday, the incident could have serious repercussions for both teams.

In The Garden State, teams can be disqualified from participating if players leave the bench.

Camden, who has star player DJ Wagner, ranked by ESPN as a top contender in the Class of 2023, is the defending Group 2 champion; Camden Eastside in Group 3.

But according to NJSIAA regulations, even teams already seeded in the tournament could still be disqualified from the state championship.

The NJSIAA rulebooks state, “Any varsity team that accumulates three (3) or more player or coach disqualifications prior to the start of the tournament shall be disqualified from participating in the state tournament. Seeded teams will lose their right to participate if a disqualification limit is reached for the team prior to the start of the tournament.’

Woodbury’s girls program was banned from the playoffs last month over a similar incident.

In the clip of the incident, Camden’s bench appears to have emptied onto the pitch, but it’s not clear if the Tigers reacted in a similar way.

But both Eastside athletic director Mark Phillips and coach Kenny Avent insisted their players hadn’t left the bench.

“The video shows our team didn’t leave the bench,” Camden Eastside sporting director Mark Phillips said. ‘Everything else, we’ll see how it goes.’

“None of my children left the bank,” Avent added. “We should be fine. None of my children left the bank. I don’t know what happened to their team, I just wanted to take my kids to the locker room.

Camden's Cornelius Robinson beat Tigers' Titus Bacon, who retaliated immediately

Camden’s Cornelius Robinson beat Tigers’ Titus Bacon, who retaliated immediately

has reached out to Camden’s athletic director Willie Hickson and superintendent Katrina McCombs for comment.

The county released a statement via NJ Advance Media that read, “We are disappointed to learn that tonight’s Camden County Championship basketball game between Camden High School and Eastside High School has been suspended following an altercation on the court during the game .

“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students and fans. Luckily no one was seriously injured.

“This incident is not an indication of who we are. … And we expect our student athletes to compete in sports. The district will take all necessary steps to take appropriate disciplinary action.’

This was the first year for the county tournament and Avent said he wasn’t aware of any tension between the teams going into the game.

“Both teams are competitive, kids are competitive,” said Avent. “They were in competition and it’s just an unfortunate incident.”

Game officials must submit a written report to their assignor, who will then forward it to the NJSIAA.

Jeff Cohen, assignee for IAABO 34, said through NJ Advance Media that a report will be filed and sent to the NJSIAA as soon as possible. He awaited information from the three match officials assigned to the final.

Camden went into last night’s game with a record of 23-2, led by two of the top five recruits in the country, according to ESPN.

The Panthers were big favorites to win another title, were No. 2 in South Jersey’s Group 2 playoffs and are expected to open Tuesday’s tournament at home to No. 15 Lindenwold.

Eastside, who last year won their first championship since 1985, started the week fifth in South Jersey. The Tigers are No. 2 in South 3 and are scheduled to take on No. 15 Clearview on Monday.