LaMelo Ball’s team gets into fight during rout

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LaMelo Ball returned to Spire Institute Monday night following a prolonged absence due to a broken finger. In the game against Springdale Prep, Spire Institute earned a decisive 102-83 victory, but a fight marred the night.

Ball finished with a double-double (14 points and 12 assists), but Myron Gardner led the team in scoring with 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds (for a double-double of his own) and handed out four assists. Rocket Watts contributed 19 points and 7 assists.

Ball was his typical selfless self, deferring to open teammates in his return into the lineup. He also put on a high-flying show with an array of dunks, as did the rest of Spire, namely Isaiah Jackson and Watts.

Unfortunately, the dunks from Ball and company led to a nasty incident. Midway through the second half, with Spire up 69-50, a foul turned into a much worse incident: A cheap-shot punch from a Springdale Prep player ignited a fight.

Fighting, unfortunately, has become a common theme in Spire games. More than once this season, opponents have either seen their emotions get the better of them or taken out their anger following a loss in a physical manner. To Spire’s credit, in nearly every case, the players mostly took the high road, as was mostly the case on Monday.

Ball did go down with an injury after the fight, but it appeared to be a minor tweak. With the game no longer in doubt, Ball exited and did not return.

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