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Brawl mars English-Winthrop tilt

By Joe Vieira | Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | http://www.bostonherald.com |

LYNN – A fantastic high school basketball game between Northeastern Conference rivals Lynn English and Winthrop was marred by a shouting match between a Winthrop assistant coach and an English player that eventually grew into a 100-person mosh pit last night.

Vikings assistant Poncho Bingham began a verbal exchange with an English player during the postgame handshake, but Lynn police officer Paul Holey quickly stepped in and tried to walk Bingham out of the gymnasium. Exiting fans soon became involved, however, and the situation quickly escalated into a shoving match between fans, players and coaches from both sides.

No punches appeared to be thrown in the midst of the mob that spread out from the scorers’ table across the Winthrop bench area, and police and officials from both schools managed to separate the sides after approximately two minutes. Police escorted the Winthrop delegation to its buses.

Holey said he spoke with the parties involved and that no criminal charges were pending as of last night.

“It’s a terrible way for a basketball game to end,” said English coach Buzzy Barton, whose team won a 69-51 decision that was much closer than the score indicates. “It’s sad to see adults act like that. It’s not good for the game.”

Top-ranked English (12-0, 10-0 NEC) opened the game on a 20-3 run, spurred by quick outlets for easy fast-break points, 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc, and a dismal 1-for-11 performance from the field for the Vikings (12-2, 8-2).

Dino Mallios (game-high 27 points) single-handedly pulled Winthrop back into the game in the second quarter, scoring eight straight points to open the frame. He added four more down the stretch and, along with six points from Jake Connors, had the Vikings within six points, 29-23, at the break.

“I did (expect the Winthrop comeback), because they’re a good team and they execute really well,” Barton said. “I knew sooner or later they’d try to slow us down, which they did. They shut that fast break down.”

Mallios scored four straight points to pull Winthrop within three, 36-33, midway through the third. Collins came up with an athletic tip-in to cut the lead to one, and then Jarred Bingham drove the lane for a lay-up that gave the Vikings their first lead with 2:40 remaining in the quarter.

It was Winthrop’s only lead, however. Two free throws for Jarell Byrd took the lead back for English, and a 3-point play by Ryan Woumn pushed it to 43-37 a minute later.

Woumn scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including seven to close the door after the Vikings had pulled within five, 55-50, with 3:06 to go.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/high_school/general/view.bg?articleid=1228558

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