Mat Mikesell

Beyond the Boxscore: Tempers flare between Payson, Unity in postgame handshake line

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 7, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Dec. 8, 2018 3:05 pm

MENDON, Ill. -- Members of the Payson Seymour and Unity boys basketball teams were shaking hands following the Indians' 55-41 victory Friday night when words were exchanged and was followed by some shoving.

An Unity and Payson player shoved one another, and Payson coaches Brian Rea and Timothy Southers, along with Unity coach Keith Carothers separated the two teams. Once both teams were back at their respective bench areas, Rea and Carothers exchanged words near midcourt before the situation cooled.

The tense handshake line seemed to be the result of a late layup by Payson's Cole Schwartz in the final seconds of the game. Carothers, along with others on the Unity bench, were irritated by the layup.

"It seemed like everyone walked away from the play and they took a cheap layup," Carothers said. "It was a cheap layup. I think there were some things said going through the line by the guys. I told coach Rea what I thought about it, but I think there were some things said between the kids. The extra curricular stuff is sour grapes is when you lose a game like that. Then you're all fired up, but that fight has to go into the game, then win or lose, you're in a good spot.

"I just thought it was cheap points from a game they clearly already won."

Rea, however, defended Schwartz's late layup.

"He should have went and made the layup when he had the open layup," Rea said. "Keep playing the game. We don't know what's going to happen. We could get called for traveling, five fouls in seven seconds and they get 10 free throws. You never know. That's just how it goes. It's not like he was shooting a 3-pointer at the buzzer when you're up 30. It was a layup when we're barely up double-digits."