ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The weekend was packed with great games as New Mexico high school basketball teams battled it out on the court during the state championship. But some unsportsmanlike conduct during and after the games now has an administrator and families speaking out.
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Over the weekend, the game between Bernalillo and Kirtland Central was brought to a halt when a Bernalillo player threw a Kirtland Central player to the ground. “It’s a young person losing their temper. Hopefully the young lady from Kirtland Central’s ok,” said one announcer after it happened. “But these are kids. and the emotions got the best of the young woman right there.”
The player ended up getting ejected. “Not a great moment. Hopefully, the fans remember this is a young person here. She’s not going to be happy either way,” said an announcer.
The incident prompted a statement from Bernalillo Public Schools’ Superintendent on their Facebook page, reading in part:
“One young lady is dealing with a short instance when her reaction was completely inappropriate. Her ability to overcome and learn from this will not come from hasty judgments and condemnation, but from mentorship and support. It is important that young people be held accountable for their actions, but it is even more critical that they learn how to grow from them. This is ultimately the goal of learning and growth. Good character is most often realized in our toughest times, so I have great hope that much can be learned from last night’s game. As individuals and a community, we have the unique opportunity to be better because of this.”
The bad behavior from the tournament spilled out of The Pit onto social media when players from Robertson High School in Las Vegas sent pictures to players of the team they beat from Santa Fe Indian Schools. The pictures showed them biting their medals and had the message, “who’s crying now.”
It all also comes after a water bottle was thrown at a Del Norte player last week after a game against Espanola. Espanola fans are also then to have said to use a paintball gun on Del Norte’s bus.
In response to the two incidents stemming from the state championship, the NMAA sent this to KRQE via email:
The NMAA has worked with the administration at both schools to ensure these incidents were appropriately addressed. Although it is unfortunate that these events occurred, they do not outweigh the positives that took place during the 2022 State Basketball Championships. Sportsmanship is an important part of education-based athletics and we will continue to emphasize our Compete with Class initiative throughout the remainder of this school year and into the future.
KRQE also reached out to leadership at Robertson High School, Las Vegas City Schools, Bernalillo Public Schools, and Santa Fe Indian Schools for comment on this story but did not hear back.