Ever since fans became involved in a brawl between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers on Nov. 19 in Auburn Hills, Mich., spectator behavior at sporting events has been closely scrutinized.
Officials charged with keeping the peace didn't receive high marks at high school basketball games across the country last week.
A fight broke out in the stands at a girls' game in Prattville, Ala., that quickly spilled onto the floor, where a nationally televised video clip showed chairs flying through the crowd. No players were involved, though.
And a game was halted Friday between San Diego Scripps Ranch and visiting La Jolla when a fight began on the court and spectators quickly joined the fray.
Closer to home, several fans charged onto the floor Wednesday during halftime of a San Gabriel Valley League game between Compton Dominguez and visiting Lynwood and again at the end of the game, when coaches and players from both teams began exchanging words.
On Friday, a Glendora fan threw a seat cushion at a referee after a foul was called in a Sierra League game against visiting Chino Hills Ayala. The action prompted a technical foul. The ensuing free throws helped Ayala extend its lead from 11 to 16 points in the 74-61 victory.
"It's something we obviously don't want to happen," said Glendora Coach Mike LeDuc, who said he believed the official acted prematurely in assessing the technical. "But how's a school with three or four administrators [in attendance] supposed to keep an eye on 2,100 people?"
Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart clinched its first outright league title in 43 years last week.
The Cardinals defeated Los Angeles Cathedral and Long Beach St. Anthony to take a four-game lead in the Camino Del Rey League with two games left. Cantwell gained two games on defending champion Rosemead Bosco Tech because the Tigers (17-10, 6-2) will have to forfeit their final two league contests for violating a Southern Section rule that limits the number of nonleague games.
The Cardinals are led by senior guard J.J. De La Garza, who averages 18 points, and senior post player Pierre Ysaguirre, who sat out last season after transferring from Hacienda Heights Los Altos. Ysaguirre is averaging 12 rebounds.
"He's going to be a major factor in the playoffs," Coach Frank Lopez said of Ysaguirre.
Tickets for Wednesday night's Western League showdown between Westchester (14-3, 8-0), ranked No. 1 in the Southland by The Times, and No. 3 Fairfax (20-3, 7-1) will go on sale at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fairfax. The junior varsity game begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by LA36 at 9 p.m.
Today features several games with league-title implications, including: Montebello at Alhambra in the Almont League; Redlands at Rialto Eisenhower in the Citrus Belt; La Habra at Fullerton in the Freeway; Long Beach Jordan at Lakewood in the Moore; Lakewood Artesia at Lakewood Mayfair in the Suburban; Los Alamitos at Huntington Beach Edison in the Sunset.