Reporting Mary Robb Jackson
CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA) — Last Saturday, the Woodland Hills Wolverines and the Peters Township Indians showed up at California University of Pennsylvania for the first round of the WPIAL AAAA playoffs.
It should have been a season highlight for the players. Instead, it was a sobering lesson in poor sportsmanship.
With just minutes left on the clock and Peters leading, WPIAL officials say Woodland Hills star senior Shakim Alonzo committed a flagrant technical foul by throwing an elbow. He was ejected.
An unidentified Peters player was also fouled and ejected for throwing the ball at the opposing team.
At that point, a heated Alonzo allegedly pulled away from his coach, slugging Peters center Gabe Pritz on the left side of his head, tearing ear cartilage that required 11 stitches.
“It was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in a high school game,” says Peters coach Gary Goga. “Gabe had his back turned – of course – he cheap shot him – and that’s what it was – right in front of me.”
Woodland Hills coach Mike Decker was stunned.
“I just saw our guy was out of control,” Decker said. “I’m sick to my stomach over what happened, embarrassed – that’s not who we are, that’s not who I am.”
Gabe Pritz returned to the court, finishing with a game-high 30-points. Peters won.
Shakim Alonzo, 17, is facing possible misdemeanor assault charges. The Washington County District Attorney has not reviewed the case yet.
The 17-year-old honors student and multi- sport athlete already has a football scholarship offer from Cincinnati. He has apologized for the incident.
Woodland Hills players allege that racial slurs were made by Peters players on the floor, but a spokeswoman for the Peters Township School District says neither their coaches nor officials said they heard any slurs made during the game, but admits that something was said in the locker room and that it is being addressed.
That allegation and others are being investigated by both schools. WPIAL Executive Director Tim O’Malley said they will make their reports by the end of the week along with what, if any, actions should be taken.