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Riordan player hospitalized as brawl ends state basketball tournament game early

Riordan guard Achilles Woodson (12) drives during the second quarter of a West Catholic Athletic League basketball game against St. Ignatius in San Francisco, Calif. on Jan. 4, 2023. | Ethan Kassel/The Standard

A Riordan basketball player was hospitalized Thursday night after being knocked unconscious in a brawl at the end of a state tournament basketball game.

The Crusaders led Inderkum-Sacramento 61-52 with 1:15 remaining in Thursday night’s California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Northern California Division I Quarterfinal when the Tigers fouled Riordan forward Jasir Rencher at the end of a physical sequence.

Crusaders point guard Achilles Woodson took exception to the foul and pushed Inderkum’s Keivin Boone-Nelson. Boone-Nelson’s teammate, Savion Daniels, saw the play and proceeded to punch Woodson. The Inderkum bench then rushed onto the court, and junior guard Jeremiah Butler punched Woodson in the back of the head.

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Woodson was briefly knocked out following the punch from Butler. He later came to his senses after receiving medical assistance and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Riordan guard Achilles Woodson (12) shoots over Campolindo forward Dominick Sanguinetti (10). | Ethan Kassel/The Standard

Video showed Daniels later punching another Riordan player, Nathan Tshamala, in the back of the head.

While the Inderkum bench entered the court and participated in the fight, Riordan administrators and coaches kept most of the Crusaders on the bench. One bench player reached the half-court line before being turned around, and another joined the scrum a minute later before being restrained. The game was ultimately called, and the gym was cleared out.

The game is listed on the state tournament bracket as a 61-52 Riordan victory, though Saturday’s Northern California semifinal against Granada is currently listed as a neutral-site game. As the higher seed, Riordan would expect to host under normal circumstances. A change in location could be one of the punishments handed out by the CIF, as could suspensions for players who were involved in the altercation or left the bench.

In a text message to the San Jose Mercury News, CIF executive director Ron Nocetti, a San Francisco native, said, “We will wait for the report from the game officials before making any decisions.”

Woodson is the second Riordan athlete to be hospitalized after a sporting event this school year. In August, junior Aidan Laxa was immobilized, stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital after sustaining a concussion in a football game against Granada when he was tackled 30 yards away from the play.

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