IHSA contacts Harrisburg regarding 'unsportsmanlike actions' during championship game

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The last forty-eight hours have been a blur for Harrisburg high school. The Bulldogs won their first ever boys basketball state championship on Saturday over Seton Academy. Now, the Illinois High School Association has contacted both teams about what they consider to be unacceptable sportsmanship.

The IHSA recently released the following statement:

"The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) is disappointed with and embarrassed by the actions of both Harrisburg High School and South Holland (Seton Academy) during Saturday’s IHSA Class 2A Boys Basketball State Championship game.

While passion and intensity are an integral part of athletic competition, especially at the highest levels, the behaviors of both teams crossed the lines of acceptable sportsmanship.

The IHSA is in the process of reviewing the events associated with tonight’s contest. Both schools will be contacted Monday.

“I am embarrassed by what took place here tonight,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “Interscholastic athletics are designed to teach young people important lessons about life. The lessons on display tonight were that respect and sportsmanship are not important, and that is simply not acceptable.”

The IHSA staff will be reaching out to the schools participating in next week’s Class 3A and Class 4A Super-Sectionals and State Finals tournament to reinforce the expectations of sportsmanship and appropriate behavior in interscholastic contests."

It was definitely a heated contest. Seton Academy's Mark Weems Jr. was accessed two technical fouls and ejected in the second quarter. The second technical came because he made contact with an official.

Harrisburg's Dakota Upchurch was also given a technical foul in the first quarter.

Harrisburg athletic director Jay Thompson says the IHSA contacted him Monday, with several questions as to what happened and why during the game.

Thompson plans on sending the IHSA a written report on Tuesday, and expects a quick response. He said it's a shame the school's first championship has been met with controversy.

"In a perfect world, we would have won the championship, walked off the floor, and never thought about any controvery," Thompson admitted. "Unfortunately, that's not the case, and so now it's our administration's job to take care of this."

Thompson adds that he has no idea if there will be any sanctions or punishments handed down to Harrisburg.

As for Seton Academy, according to the Chicago Tribune, the team refused to accept the second place trophy on Saturday. However, coach Brandon Thomas issued an apology for his team's actions on Monday.

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