By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS (WCCO) — The Patrick Henry High School boys basketball team had to forfeit a sectional playoff game Thursday night due to violence on the court.

According to Columbia Heights boys basketball coach Willie Braziel, with 10 minutes left in the game, his team was about 25 points ahead when a Patrick Henry player, Jeff Bright, fouled their top scorer Zach Lofton, who had scored about 30 points so far in the game.

Braziel said Bright lost his cool and was kicking and punching Lofton. A minor melee broke out and parents and students rushed the court.

The coaches soon broke up the fight and Patrick Henry’s coach Jerry Williams Junior decided to forfeit the game.

Junior told WCCO-TV that “Bright is a good student and mild-mannered player who is highly regarded, but lost control after a play.” He also said the referees let it get it get out of hand.

Final score in game was 67-42 Columbia Heights. They will play in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

It is unknown if Bright will be punished for the incident. No arrests were made.

Lofton is said to be OK with a cut above his eye.

Comments (40)
  1. GenXXL Mommy says:

    I knew this game wasn’t kid-tested and mother approved. What is this world coming too?

  2. Dookie says:

    Its basketball.. who cares

  3. Dookie says:

    not to mention its HS hockey time

  4. Louie Lofton says:

    march madness baby lets go

  5. Tonia Lofton says:

    Regarding comment by Dookie, I care! I am the mother of the player hit. It is a news channel, they report news on everything- if they didn’t, it would be called hockey news.
    Now on to my comment on the story….
    I cannot believe my son was attaked on a basketball court! I had the police pulled aside to press charges after the game, my son chose not to press charges to prevent the player from a criminal record. Also, just a correction- although the video on the 10pm news showed the correct vdeo- on the morning news the newscastor stated they were showing video of Jeff Wright, it was actaully video of my son, Zach Lofton. Just wanted all to know that the video this morning was the victim, not the perpetrator.

    1. MARK from says:

      @Tonia Lofton, Your son and the other player should both be either off the team or suspended for a few games. Thats all nice your son didn’t press charges, but it takes a better man to walk away. If you want to help your son, have the coch suspend him, and tell him why

      1. Fred says:

        What an idiotic comment. When one person attacks another, it’s that person’s right to defend himself. Grow up.

        By the way, you’re asinine posts are terrible advertisements for that website you’re advertising.

      2. Grant Nichols says:

        Mark now you spelled it coch? What school did you go to man. Sounds like you went to school at Henry maybe. Why would Zach be suspended? For what Scoring 30 points and still having 10 min remain. Please! Pick up your tail walk your own self away and go back to Grammar school. You really need it. Coach not Coch or Couch

      3. John says:

        As a High School Jock? Walking away is not an option in this case. You’d be setting yourself up for ridicule and bullying from your peers for being afraid. As adults? we know better and can control our hormones. As a High Schooler? yea, Right. You’d end up with people trying to take your lunch money or trying to stuff you into a locker.or both. I’m not condoning what happened but these are kids and we all know just how cruel kids can be to each other.

    2. Grant Nichols says:

      Tonia I totally agree. Zach is a great kid. And it was a Assault I saw it. NO DOUBT> So for Zach to act bigger then that. Give him total Props. He showed to take some punches and keep on moving. That is a teenager becoming a young man there. Way to go Zach. You looking tall kid.

    3. Former player says:

      Your son not gonna die! Jeff mouth messed up. I would of punch him to. All that taunting and beating up he was doing on the court. Smh

    4. dededededededede says:

      what they didnt include in here is what zach did to him. jeff bright was getting elbowed all game by zach lofton. jeff bright has 5 chipped teeth. couldnt eat or drink for 3 days because of the pain so next time they want to put this on here… know both of the stories.

  6. MARK from says:

    Couch Junior could learn allot from Couch Herb Brooks. Blaming the referee? I see couch Junior has low standards, he should be fired.

    1. Grant Nichols says:

      MARK from

      Couch Junior could learn allot from Couch Herb Brooks. Blaming the referee? I see couch Junior has low standards, he should be fired.

      March 11, 2011 at 6:39 am | Reply | Report comment

      Ahhh you must be Intelligent man. Couch or you mean Coach?

  7. Justin Gordon says:

    @ mark…why would she suspend her own son wth?? zach didnt do anything! he would never be kicked off of the team

  8. Scott says:

    If you are the mother I wouldnt let the comments get to you, also I wouldnt even reply to the comments on my own kids story. I dont think this is that big of a deal and shouldnt be on the news. They could provide a whole news cast if they reported all the fights in Hockey.

  9. mark toxic and toxin says:

    Mark and Mark the dumbchit — moron, I was there. The Lofton kid was a scoring machine, the Bright kid was an idiot. Not sure why you make the dumb comments you do so often on the wcco forums? You on meds and cannot afford them anymore? Tell us – maybe we can help you find a treatment program. 😉

    1. Relevant Sons says:

      Do you know”the Bright kid” personally? If not, you need to refrain from personal attacks on him. He is far from an idiot. I know him personally and this is not indicative of who he is. He made an unfortunate choice and will have to live with the consequences of his actions. Instead of making personal attacks on people you don’t know (Bright and the other poster), maybe you should reflect on why you’re so angry and bitter at everyone else.

  10. Victim Du Juor says:

    Marky ran to tell his momma you being mean to him it seems. That’s a blessing for us all

  11. C'Mon says:

    Coach Junior and many others coaches could have learned a lot from Herb Brooks, but I think Mark from could spend his time wiser by returning to school and learning how to spell. No one can take you seriously when you talk about couches or sofas or other furniture.

  12. Tonia Lofton says:

    Mark from – I am sorry. I forgot to tell my son not to ever get fouled in a basketball game, not to lay on his back from the foul and then get punched from a player standing over him – after the play was done. Silly me. I should have known he should be suspended for doing nothing but playing basketball….right? Okay, done commenting, not coming back to this blog- so no need to respond.

  13. justice fleeting says:

    Pat Henry High, North Minneapolis, no surprise here.

    1. Relevant Sons says:

      Another voice of ignorance and racial stereotyping.

      1. MNTom says:

        why does the truth hurt

  14. get some! says:

    Bright was frustrated and let his emotions get the best of him. That’s no excuse to start throwing down. His Coach did take the high road by forfieting the game, as a result of the melee caused by one of his players. Even if the refs are to blame, Junior should’ve noticed one of his players getting ready to break and benched them, to cool them off. On a side note. Not one parent, student or fan should have jumped onto the court! Those that did, should be charged with disorderly conduct and expelled from any future b-ball msshl games, for the rest of the year, PERIOD!

    1. Grant Nichols says:

      Agreed. But I got to say. If it was my Kid getting punched and kicked I don’t think you would stop me from going out there. So I can see Tonia being protective over her Son.

  15. Louie Lofton says:

    its basketball and it is a physical sport and theres no more of a physical player than Zach…Zach gives it out as much as he takes it But a sucker punch on a man you just fouled and brought to the ground is really a bone head decision that we could’ve all made at that age with emotions running as high as they were….REFS I know you wanna let the kids play but you have to have control of your game

  16. Erik Daun says:

    As a student from Patrick Henry I am sad to see all the hatred and stereotypical remarks about us being a “Northside” school. Location means nothing. I heard about the incident where Jeff hit Zach. Ok, His emotion got the best of him, What caused his emotions to get the best of him? Jeff is one of the star football players at Henry. If you guys don’t know much about Henry football… It’s not pretty
    .9/3/2010 Minneapolis North Community H.S. 6 – 7 L
    9/10/2010 Minneapolis Washburn 6 – 38 L
    9/18/2010 Minneapolis Roosevelt H.S. 21 – 16 W
    9/24/2010 Minneapolis Southwest 0 – 47 L
    10/1/2010 Worthington 0 – 25 L
    10/8/2010 Minneapolis South 12 – 28 L
    10/15/2010 Minneapolis Edison 62 – 30 W
    Jeff by the way has earned a scholarship to play football for the University of Northern Iowa. I’m disgusted by all the remarks about Henry being a Northside school and having issues. ALL SCHOOLS HAVE ISSUES. There is SO much more at Henry than what the media tells you people.
    The game really doesn’t bother me all that much. Henry has beaten Heights already this year. Its unfortunate to see that this fight will hurt Henry’s rep.
    Also Jeff was suspended. I believe that both players should be suspended as well as both team forfit the game.

  17. a spectator... says:

    @erik, watch the video and tell everyone why both teams should be punished for the sad unsportsman like conduct of one of Henry’s athletes-

  18. Recruiter says:

    Here is the sad thing about this whole situation,I was at the game and what I had seen has not been reported, that was a horrible officiating job done by the officials. On a few plays I witnessed this young man Zack Lofton do things that should have been called but the officials turned there backs on whast he was doing. I watched a Henry coach talk to the refs at half time and the refs said they would deal with the situation and never did. On the particular play at hand Zach drove for a lay-up striking Jeff in the jaw with his elbow, at this point both players then started to react to with their emotions on high. From what I have read Jeff was punished but Zach has not been, but should be for his actions caused Jeff’s reaction. Also the officials should be repremended for there lack of controling the game itself. I myself was there to watch Zach Lofton play scouting him for school, and I am very disapoointed at what I witnessed from him as well as the Jeff.

  19. Christopher Dycha says:

    I expect teenagers in the heat of the moment to not always have composure since restraint is a trait that is honed as we mature. However, it is inexcuseable for parents, adults and others to rush the floor and fan the flames. Christopher Dycha

  20. James Fullwood says:

    Watch the clip, Zach was on the ground and the play had stopped. There was no reason to hit this kid. Watch it on WCCO. I was at the game. Minnesota sports politics are too funny, this kid needs to leave minnesota. To the likes of Jordan Tyler and others who have seen great success out side of minnesota. This was a very mature decision on not pressing charges, we have enough black men in the judicial system.

  21. Wilson says:

    I really have no idea why this is “Breaking News”. So Zach got a “cut” near his eye, Jeff has cracked teeth from him, which one is worse?. I guess if my team was losing and I got punched by such a calm kid like Jeff I would blow it out of proportion too.

    I am also sickened by the comments about Henry and the North Side. I really hope that they are written by ignorant children and not adults. The news outlet did a very good job getting BOTH sides of the story. I bet Jeff is waiting for his interview.

  22. H O N E S T Y ! ! ! ! ! ! ! says:

    Um , Where You Aware That (ZACH) Your Son ELBOWED Jeff In His Mouth Which Resulted In(CHIPPING HIS TOOTH ! ) , He Was Throwing Petty Fouls All Night ! !
    ( Not Saying What Jeff Did Was Right ) , But Your Son Is No Angel Him self POINT BLANK ! ! !


    1. HylanderALUM24 says:

      Zach is a competitor and he “elbowed” him in the mouth trying to get position… if HENRY is gonna whine about a chipped tooth cause you were trying to get physical… let me play a tune on the smallest violin ever! Sounds like these players need to play football cause Henry’s football team is soft as charmin!

  23. Entire game footage given to WCCO says:

    WCCO was given the video of the entire game from beginning until the incident occurred. Therefore, you can request that they show the entire game if you would like to see it. This would put an end to all of the comments that Zach did anything to anyone on the court. It happened, it’s done. Both kids are moving on to bigger and better things.

  24. Tisha Rodgers says:

    I am very disappointed at the lack of honesty here, i was at that game, and this is so not what happened, first of all the news is being nosey and sending out a false message, why lie about this fight? anyways zach had been throwing elbows and hurting ppl on henrys team, he hit jeff in the mouth and chipped his tooth! i understand its basketball, but he doesn’t have the right to intentionally hurt some one else, that was wrong on zachs part.jeff threw one punch. jeff is a smart boy, and makes good decisions, he probably lost his cool on this one, but everything happens for a reason, so don’t sit here and act like zack is a saint, and jeff is a crazy person. cause thats not the truth. not saying that was the right thing to do, but still, he didn’t just do it for nothing. the news is blowing it up, if you ask me its none of their dang business, and who are they to fill in the blanks of a incomplete story? wcco need to get they facts right, or not say anything at all. Henry is a good school, and jeff is a good student, so all of you stereotypical people can go move on somewhere.

  25. HylanderALUM24 says:

    @Mark… From your point of view it is clear that you were not at this game because if you were to have seen what happened, Zach was attacked and did not retaliate… so yes let’s suspend him for having 30 points with 10+ minutes left in the game… HENRY is lucky that the game got called or Zach would’ve scored 50 BELIEVE it… suspend the kid for doing nothing but making the kid who hit him frustrated cause he couldn’t guard him is ridiculous! Get the facts before you flat out say suspension! Thanks… and Mrs. Lofton I am a former Hylander and know your son… thank you for standing up for him… I would love to tell you my name but I am choosing to keep this post annonomous! I will see you there when Heights competes with DE LA SALLE for a chance at State! GO HEIGHTS

  26. skky 2k11 says:

    Henry wouldn’t have this stereotype if they didn’t do this all the time and i think everybody just up set that heights might just do this and i got faith in my boys they going all the way and whhyy would heights forfeit if there winning and didn’t do anything and petty fouls smh no Henry cant play with out them and that school is look this way for a reason and i know there’s more at Henry but tell the truth what is this school known as SO HEIGHTS LETS GET THIS AND TAKE IT ALL THE WAY ITS GAME TIME!!!

  27. passive observer says:

    Having looked at the game tape extensively, and having been there at the game, It is clear that this was a powder keg waiting to happen. the Foul that occurred immediately prior to the altercation would not be considered excessive in any way. It was a block, the young man from PH grabbed the CH player as they fell to the floor. The reaction by the PH player was dealt with by immediate ejection. MS. LOFTON YOU ARE THE SINGLE REASON THAT THIS ESCALATED TO WHAT HAPPENED. YOU HAD ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS LEAVING YOUR SEAT AND ENTERING THE FLOOR TO VERBALLY ASSAULT BOTH THE OFFICIAL AND THE YOUNG MAN FROM PH. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR BEHAVIOR AND SHOULD BE BANNED FROM EVER ATTENDING ANOTHER GAME. Having been an official for over 20 years, I can say that the officials in this case did a fine job though out the game, and conducted the administration of this game correctly. There is a fine line between letting them play and calling to much or too little, and in this case they did a wonderful job in a tough game to work. Whom I feel really sorry for is the teams that subsequently lost to CH in the remaining tournament games. By definition, only the 5 players that were on the floor at the time of the incident should have been eligible to continue playing. All other players that left the confines of the bench should have been ejected, and thus not eligible to play the next game. The state High school league had a chance to send a message about this type of conduct, but chose not to do so.

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