Landry-Walker, McDonogh 35 matchup showcases stars, but fight taints game _lowres

Advocate file photo by SHERRI MILLER -- McDonogh 35's De'jon Jarreau drives past Walker-Landry's Semaj Matthews for a basket in a Dec. 15 game.

I should be using this space to write about how special Lamar Peters of Landry-Walker and DeJon Jarreau of McDonogh 35 were Tuesday night.

The two senior guards gave the fans who packed the Landry-Walker gymnasium every bit of their money’s worth.

It was $7 well spent as Peters, Jarreau and their teammates battled for four quarters.

Too bad their headlines were all of a sudden snatched away because of a fight that broke out right as time expired at the end of Landry-Walker’s 75-60 victory.

It started, or at least quickly escalated, when a fan came onto the court toward a McDonogh 35 player.

It was complete chaos after that.

It took police officers about 10 minutes to completely restore order.

It was an ugly, embarrassing scene, with fans all over the court.

Some were fighting. Most were trying to break things up.

But when you have a court full of people, sometimes you can’t tell who’s doing the fighting and who’s doing the breaking it up.

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.

And according to the New Orleans Police Department, there were no arrests, although there was one person in the gym handcuffed once order was restored.

But the repercussions from the incident remain to be seen.

The LHSAA has suspended both teams from playing until it conducts a thorough investigation of the incident. Schools and game officials have 48 hours to submit their reports of their findings. All the videos floating around on Twitter, plus surveillance cameras in the Landry-Walker gym should help the LHSAA make a just ruling.

Eddie Bonine, executive director of the LHSAA, has stressed sportsmanship from Day 1 when he took over a little over a year ago.

He expressed his displeasure with the incident Wednesday morning on a radio talk show.

“You think you could go to a high school game, sit there, pay your admission to get in, watch the game and go home with your kid,” Bonine said. “There’s no room for this. It’s just frustrating, very frustrating.”

Indeed it was.

The game was well played and well officiated.

But all it takes is for one bad seed or two in a crowded gym to ruin things for everybody.

You have to hope that’s not the case for two teams who each have a legitimate shot for a state championship, especially if Landry-Walker center Cameron Lard and McDonogh 35 center Brison Gresham return.

Lard who is committed to Iowa State and Gresham, who has signed with Massachusetts, have been held out of games this season waiting on eligibility rulings from the LHSAA to play this season.

Now their teammates are waiting on LHSAA rulings to see when (or if) they will be playing anymore this season, too.

Everyone in attendance Tuesday night has their fingers crossed, salivating to see more of Peters and Jarreau.

Jarreau, a UMass signee, finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.

Peters, a Mississippi State signee, finished with 28 points (four 3-pointers), three assists, and the one stat he wanted most: the win.

“Coming into this game, I knew me and (Jarreau) were two of the top guards in the state,” Peters said. “We just wanted to come out and have a nice competitive game, put on a show for the crowd.”

And boy did the two put on a show.

Too bad it’s not what everybody left the gym talking about.