By Michael Rand
Sometimes a heated rivalry can’t be contained within the lines of play. Sometimes, in Massachusetts, it spills over … to the scorer’s table. From Don S. and via the Watertown TAB & Press and Daily News Tribune comes this fantastic story (bold is ours, as usual):
The scorekeepers for archrival Lexington and Watertown basketball teams will be summoned to court after trading a splash of water and a punch during a big league game. Watertown Police reviewed a cable TV video of Monday night’s Middlesex League clash and said it shows an argument start between the two scorekeepers. … Josh Bellini is the Watertown scorekeeper, and Nick Santosuosso is the Lexington scorekeeper. … Police did not say what set off the sideline clash, but among the varying accounts from witnesses, the most common version is that the two scorekeepers had been arguing throughout the game about the number of fouls a Lexington player had called against him.
Play-by-play sports reporter Al Ditullio said the game was a pressure-cooker. Watertown and Lexington are big basketball rivals. “It was an intense game, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “We were getting into it…It was getting hot and heavy.” As the game wound down, the Watertown scorekeeper allegedly sprayed water on the Lexington scorekeeper. In video of the incident, it looks like Bellini opens a water bottle and dashes it in Santosuosso’s face. The Lexington scorekeeper then punched the Watertown scorekeeper in the face, hitting his eyeglasses and opening a cut above his left eye.
It’s a league game, Smokey! But don’t take the reporter’s word for it or even our word. Let’s go to the video. Skirmish stories from you are welcome in the comments.