When the Royals Men’s Basketball team walked in to the Sabbagh Athletic Center on Tuesday, they knew the Webber International Warriors wanted revenge for their previous match-up, which saw Warren Hall hit a game winning buzzer beater that secured a 91-90 victory in double overtime for the Royals.
However, what they did not know at the time was that every fan in the building would have to leave before the 104-99 overtime victory for the Royals before the game was over.
That’s because after the Royals stormed back from a seven-point deficit in the final 30 seconds of regulation, capped off by a Warren Hall jump shot off the glass that tied the game up at 87-87 as time expired, the Warner crowd went crazy.
After several moments of cheering, people began to flee the bleachers onto the court because Webber Band students were throwing instruments into the middle of a fight that had broken out right in the middle of the band section, presumably between several Webber students and a few Warner students.
After the fight, every fan in the building was asked to escort the building by the referees in the interest of the safety of everyone involved, thus leaving only players and coaches in the gym to finish out the overtime period.
A.J. Lamb, the 7-foot freshman center for the Royals, said that playing overtime with no one in the stands “took him back to AAU days,” traveling around to small gyms with no one there.
“It was totally different. We cheered from the bench and tried to make as much noise as possible,” said Lamb.
Amidst the craziness of the evening, the Royals were able to play with poise and confidence in overtime, outscoring the Warriors 17-12 in the final period.
The Royals move to their season record to 17-7, and 7-7 in The Sun Conference play.
The team returns to action on Saturday the 14th at Florida Memorial University and will play at the Turner Athletic Center against Northwood University next Tuesday the 17th.
Video Courtesy of Ray Beasock of the Lakeland Ledger News